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May 4 Collection -- Box 59
Prepared by Scott L. Bills, August 15, 1980; Updated by Penny White, June 2013; Updated November 2016
Inclusive Dates: 1970
Extent: .50 cubic foot (1 half-size record storage box)
Physical Location: 12th floor; oversized materials are shelved in map case
Historical Note / Scope and Content: Sheila Tabakoff was an instructor in the School of Art at Kent State University in May of 1970. After the shootings of May 4, the University was closed by court injunction, and it remained closed for the duration of the spring quarter. Special arrangements were subsequently made in each academic department for students to complete coursework. In the case of the Art Department, mimeographed letters were sent to students' home addresses offering them alternate ways either to receive partial credit or withdraw from the course. In large part, this collection consists of the student responses to the forms that she sent out in the weeks following the shootings.
Professor Tabakoff sent not only academic information but also included informational items and her own commentary on the Kent State situation. She wrote, "It is my personal hope that you will use this period to reexamine your beliefs and aspirations, and to question the direction and policies of your university and your country." She urged her students to contact groups of other Kent State students which had gathered at Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve. When the University would eventually reopen, she hoped it would be as a "vanguard of modern education."
This collection will be of value to researchers examining student and faculty attitudes in the period following May 4, 1970. Students returning their forms often wrote notes concerning the shootings and their feelings on the closing of the University. Interesting as well are materials which indicate faculty sentiments within the School of Art. Individual items of interest are the Kent State Faculty Resolution of May 5, 1970; the May 18 and May 22 issues of the Kent Strike Paper; and informational leaflets from Kent students in exile at Oberlin College.
Acquisitions Information: Sheila Tabakoff donated these materials to the Kent State University Special Collections and Archives on March 19, 1980.
Restrictions on Use: Professor Tabakoff has kindly donated to the Kent State University Archives whatever property and literary rights that she possesses in this collection.
Restrictions on Access: Some information included in this collection is restricted due to the presence of information protected by privacy laws. This information has been redacted where present on documents in the collection. Un-redacted originals, in all cases, have been retained by Special Collections and Archives. One file has been completely restricted because it is composed entirely of restricted information.
Sponsor: Digitization of this collection was funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Folder -- Contents