Kent State University

Kent State University Special Collections & Archives houses historical records of the university as well as subject based collections in a wide array of topical areas. Relevant highlights for Project STAND include the May 4 Collection, documenting the Kent State shootings of 1970. This large collection is comprised primary and secondary sources related to student protest activities in the years leading up to and including the shootings and the legacy of these events up to the present day. The May 4 collection also includes coverage of the activism of campus organizations such as Black United Students, the KSU Students for a Democratic Society, and the May 4th Task Force, among many others. The department also houses a stand-alone archive of Black United Students records, including its publications, such as the Black Watch newsletter. Black student life from 1967-1971 is meticulously documented through the photographic archive of Lafayette Tolliver, a student photojournalist and eyewitness to the Black Student Walkout (1968) and Kent State shootings (1970). Collections are currently being built to add to documentation of Black student life and LGBTQ communities.

Featured Collection

Fred Ahmed Rally

Image: Fred “Ahmed” Evans Rally

Collection: Lafayette Tolliver Papers and Photographs

Dates: 1967-1971

Description: The Lafayette Tolliver papers and photographs are comprised mainly of photographic negatives, prints, and slides, totaling over one thousand images taken by Tolliver during his time as a student at Kent State University. The images document black student life in the late 1960s and early 1970s and include photographs of demonstrations organized by Black United Students (BUS), student activities in the arts, athletics, fraternities, and community service. The collection also contains newspaper clippings related to black student life on campus, BUS, and copies of Tolliver’s column “Basic Black,” which appeared in the Daily Kent Stater. Also included is a small amount of correspondence and a scrapbook.


Primary contact: Cara Gilgenbach (bio)