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Student Activism at Brandeis collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 05-MWalB00345A

Scope and Contents

Files in this collection were created from 1951 to the present. Materials include newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence, videotape and handwritten notes. Subjects covered by the files include civil rights, the Vietnam War, apartheid in South Africa, and others. Many of these materials were not used in the final exhibit, but provide rich information on the history of student activism at Brandeis. The collection has been expanded to include activism materials collected and produced after the exhibit and panels in 2000.


  • Creation: 1951 to the present


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.  Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandies University.

Biographical or Historical Information

“Be Realistic… Demand the Impossible: Brandeis Student Activism 1948-2000” was the name of an exhibit presented at the Robert D. Farber University Archives from February through May, 2000. The exhibit was produced in coordination with a mini-conference entitled “Student Protests 1969-1970: Brandeis and America” which took place April 12, 2000 in Rapaporte Treasure Hall. The conference and exhibit were both organized by archives staff. The exhibit featured photographs, newspaper articles, and videotape highlighting examples of student activism both on and off-campus dating back to the University’s founding. Topics ranged from global issues such as nuclear disarmament and world hunger to Brandeis- specific issues such as university administration, racism and daily campus life. The conference included panel discussions on the Ford Hall occupation (1969) and the National Strike Information Center (1970), as well as two special lectures on the national arena in 1969-70. Panelists included alumni and faculty who participated in the Ford Hall occupation or worked with the National Strike Information Center. Both guest speakers were professors emeritis from local universities.


4.00 Linear Feet (1 record center box, 1 map drawer, 1 oversize rolled object)

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. Exhibit and Conference Planning Materials, 1998-2000; 2. Exhibit Subject Files, 1951-present; 3. Conference Photographs, 2000; 4. National Student Strike Center Subject Files, 1970. Within each series the materials have been organized alphabetically. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing.

Custodial History

Materials come from many varied sources including alumni, faculty, staff, current students, and items collected from campus by the University Archivist.

Accruals and Additions

In the original collection Brandeis Student Activism: 1948-2000 was created when gathering materials for an exhibit and conference. Additional student activism materials began to be added to the collection in 2010.

Related Materials

For addidtional issues of the Strike Newsletter and more Ford Hall Takeover materials, please see the Gordon Fellman Papers. For a WGBH production about the Ford Hall Takeover of 1969 please see Say Brother episode 24: Black Power on University Campuses streaming on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Additional resources on Brandeis student activism can be found in several other collections, including the University Alumni Collection, the Student Organizations Collection, and The Justice: Office Files.

Student Activism at Brandeis collection
Steven Butzel, Archives Assistant
circa early 2000s
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
Archon version of finding aid created by Zachary Albert in 2012. Migrated to ArchivesSpace in 2014.

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections