Vietnam Center and Archive Collection Finding Aid

Collection Finding Aid

Social Movements Collection
Collection Number
129 linear feet
Physical Location(s)
D123.1A; Museum Objects
Processed by
R. Grau, Jun. 2005[Updated: Jun. 2007 by T. Reynolds]
Digitization Status
Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive

Scope and Content

The Social Movements Collection is 128 linear feet of newspapers, newsletters, periodicals, correspondence, pamphlets, fliers, brochures, books and other assorted materials documenting the socio-political environment prevailing in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, and many aspects of American involvement in the Vietnam War including the anti-war and anti-draft movements. The material ranges in dates from 1925 to 2004. The bulk of the material is from the 1960s and 1970s. The Social Movements Collection is divided into four series: Series I - Social Protest Groups (52 linear feet); Series II -Periodicals (13 linear feet); Series III - Newspapers and Newsletters (60 linear feet); and Series IV - Assorted Materials (3 linear feet). Each folder in every series is labeled with abbreviations and numbered. All folders are labeled SM, which indicates the Social Movements Collection. Furthermore, each folder is marked with NN, P, SPG, or AM, indicating Newspapers and Newsletters, Periodicals, Social Protest Groups, or Assorted Material respectively.

Series I

Social Protest Groups (52 Boxes)

The contents of each file include primarily official correspondence, pamphlets, fliers, newsletters, books, and other publications containing information distributed by any particular group. Groups (approximately 3500) include memorial and education foundations; campus organizations (political, religious, social, international students); organizations, institutes, and centers in communities and states across the US (Charlottesville, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco Bay Area, New York) focusing on several topics (Palestine, prisons, race relations, Indochina, war, poverty, economics, politics, international relations, labor, Cuba, education, the Middle East, environment); legal defense committees for various individuals and groups; social issues activist groups (abortion, anti-draft, drugs, economy, environment, equal rights, gays, prisons, racism, war tax, women's rights); religious organizations (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Atheists); political groups (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Anti-communists, Socialists); groups spearheading campaigns for individuals running for different offices (President, Congress); ethnic groups (Arabs, African Americans, Jews); and others. Groups in this series are arranged by name in alphabetical order.

Series II

Periodicals (13 Boxes)

An assortment of periodicals (approximately 1380 volumes) ranging in publication dates from 1925 to the 1980s cover many topics including politics, economics, religion, society, and education in the United States. The bulk of the periodicals come from the mid- to late 1960s and the 1970s. Many periodicals are editorial in nature, while others are news journals. A few periodicals cover news and events from other countries and regions in the world including Cuba, Hungary, Scotland, South Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Periodicals are arranged in alphabetical order according to title, then chronologically.

Series III

Newspapers and Newsletters (60 boxes)

Newspaper and newsletter publications (approximately 11,200) by various groups include unofficial military publications from various US bases throughout the world; community papers from cities across the United States; political activist newspapers (communists, socialists, libertarians, feminists, white supremacists, others); publications from various religious groups (Christians, Muslims, Jews); college and university publications from across the US; Native American tribal group publications; human rights activist / humanitarian publications; and war veterans publications chronicle a wide variety of issues including the Vietnam War; the anti-war movement; race relations in America; feminism; economics; the clash between labor and capital; and a host of other socio-political issues. The dates of the material range from 1941 to 2004. The bulk of the material was published in the mid- to late 1960s through the 1970s. Newspapers and Newsletters are arranged in alphabetical order by title, then chronologically.

Series IV

Assorted Materials (3 boxes)

The Assorted Materials include excerpts and articles from various publications, official correspondence from organizations, books, and pamphlets. The material covers essentially the same range of topics in Series I, II, and III. Specifically, Series IV includes material related to Nixon's impeachment; the Vietnam War; voters' guides; mail order catalogs; course catalogs for various classes; posters; public notices for protests, rallies and marches; and comic book buyers' guides. There is no specific alphabetical or chronological arrangement in this series.

Administrative History

The origins of the Social Movements Collection date back to 1969, when the Charlottesville (Virginia) Draft Resistance organized to pass out literature, pamphlets and fliers at the University of Virginia and within the community in opposition to the draft and the Vietnam War. The organization became the Charlottesville Resistance in 1974 after inductions in the draft ceased. The organization evolved to include several points of view extending over a broad range of social topics within the United States. The Charlottesville Resistance was a recognized student organization at UVA and remained open to anyone wishing to join. Membership remained loose and the organization held meetings in members' homes, or at the Mouse Trap, a local restaurant and bar popular among UVA students.

The Committee for a Social Movements Collection, an organization independent of the Charlottesville Resistance but one that enjoyed many of the same memberships, formed to amass an array of diverse material that reflected broad social trends in the United States in the 1970s, as well as local trends in Charlottesville. The Committee approached the UVA administration in 1969 asking for space at UVA in which to house the material the Committee intended to collect for the Social Movements Collection. Much of the initial material came from the Charlottesville Draft Resistance. The administration agreed to house the Social Movements Collection on the fifth floor of the Alderman Library, and agreed to furnish the Committee with some file cabinets. The Social Movements Collection grew from funds provided by UVA as well as from money generated by members of the Committee and members of the Charlottesville Resistance, who delivered speeches at rallies, attended protests, and other gatherings. Steve Squires and Bill Volonte volunteered significant amounts of time and energy maintaining and organizing the Social Movements Collection throughout the early and mid 1970s.

The Charlottesville Resistance dissolved in late 1978, and the Committee was faced with what to do with the Social Movements Collection. John F. Hennig, a member, graduated from Kent State University (Ohio) and recalled that KSU had a small collection of radical student newspapers and other underground publications from the late 1960s and 1970s. Hennig contacted Dean Keller, Curator of Special Collections at Kent State, and then delivered the bulk of the Collection to KSU in the fall of 1979. Hennig continued to send portions of the Collection to KSU throughout the 1980s, until he moved to England in 1986.

The Social Movements Collection remained virtually unused and almost entirely unprocessed in Kent State's stacks. Kent State University transferred the Social Movements Collection to the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University in March 2004.

Rights and Access

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research

Collection Inventory

Social Movement Groups 
Newspapers and Newsletters 
Assorted Materials 
Oversized Materials 
OS 129

Separated Materials

Museum Objects
1451museum3061: Incense from Dawn Horse Book Depot.

Digitized Materials

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive