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The San Francisco State College Strike Collection

Introduction to the Collection

Helene Whitson

A collection of primary source materials housed in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University

The San Francisco State College strike is probably as well documented as any similar occurrence on American college campuses in the 1960's. During the strike, faculty groups, student groups, off-campus participants, and others inundated the campus with broadsides and leaflets explaining their points of view. Those materials which I received through the campus mail, bought from hawkers at the campus commons or in the student bookstore, or collected on the campus grounds after the day's activities, I put in a special file. As the strike continued, I began to organize the materials I had collected and arrange them. I first asked members of the library staff to donate any materials they had collected, and later requested faculty to contribute their files. Their generosity was so overwhelming that it took me two years to arrange the major portion of the collection. Materials are still being added as faculty or former students donate their files.

The ephemeral materials in the strike collection were arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization which published them or alphabetically by the name of the person who wrote them. Most of the materials are listed under the name of the organization, e.g., AMERICAN FEDERATION, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, BLACK STUDENTS UNION, etc. Those materials under the names of persons are mainly pronouncements by college administrators, e.g., HAYAKAWA, S. I., or state officials, e.g., DUMKE, GLENN. I only used a subject category as a beading in a few cases, such as FACULTY REFERENDUM AND RESOLUTIONS and FACULTY STATEMENTS. As there was such variety among the material, both in content and form, I found it easiest to put all faculty materials together under one subject heading.

Within each category, materials are arranged in one of two ways -- alphabetically by title, or chronologically by date. The statements of the American Federation of Teachers, for example, seemed to fall easily into an alphabetical arrangement, while the statements of President Hayakawa seemed more appropriate in a chronological arrangement.

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