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Student Activism History

Overview of primary and secondary sources available for researching the history of student activism and protests at Washington University in St. Louis, and the surrounding community.

Student Activism Resources at University Archives

This guide provides an overview of collections, files, and books related to student activism at Washington University in St. Louis available to researchers at the Department of Special Collections, Olin Library.  Topics include Civil Rights, Black Power, Feminism, Environmentalism, Communism, Socialism, Academic Activism.  Also included are general resources about other college campuses from the early 1960s to present day.

A selection of these images are shown below. Most images are not online, but are available at University Archives.  However, a few images are available online here: https://wustl.box.com/s/w8szcay7ujocqxoqzaa3i1sessdvooke (Note the year is the first 2 numbers of the number string in the filename. For more information about the event, contact University Archives).

Students and Chancellor Eliot

on campus 1970

SCAN

on campus 1949

SDS at WU

1968

Tunnel to South-40

1968

Students

1968

Finding Aids by Subject: Student Activism (Anti-Racist/Anti-War)

The full collection description is available by clicking each link below. View these collections by visiting or contacting Special Collections:

Finding Aids by Subject: Student Activism (Gender and Sexuality)

The full collection description is available by clicking each link below. View these collections by visiting or contacting Special Collections:

Findings Aids by Subject: Student Activism (Environmental)

The full collection description is available by clicking each link below. View these collections by visiting or contacting Special Collections:

Oral Histories - Activists at Washington University

The following oral histories are part of the American Cultures Studies American Lives project at Washington University in St. Louis. To read a short description of each interviewee, hover over their name. To access typed transcripts for these oral histories, click the name of the interviewee then click the "transcript" link right above the "Table of Contents" heading. To access audio files for these oral histories, click each heading section under the "Table of Contents" heading and to the right of the timed length of the file.

For stories about student activists, see especially recordings by:

  •  Berger, Henry
  •     Claiborne, Clay
  •     Davis, Susan
  •     Edwards, Mark
  •     Faust, Fred
  •     Goldstein, Neil
  •     Kennedy, Devereaux
  •     Koch, Phillip
  •     Kowalski, Rose
  •     Mechanic, Howard
  •     Milam, Julian D.
  •     Oldham, Charles
  •     Veninga, Louise
  •     Wamser, Jerry
  •     Zaricor, Ben (Benjamin Zaricor)

For stories from the perspective of university faculty, staff, administrators and others, consult recordings by:

  •     Eliot, Thomas H.
  •     Fields, Wayne
  •     Himes, Ronald
  •     Kohl, Daniel
  •     Metcalf, Bob
  •     Muhammad, Jamaal Hasan
  •     Nash, Helen
  •     Revard, Carter
  •     Wheeler, Burton

Related Books about activism on other campuses

Related Books about activism and acedmia

Links to resources on current student activist groups (as of 2015)

Addtional Resources