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Inventory of the Robert West Beyers papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Robert West Beyers papers
    Dates: 1962-1969
    Collection Number: 2014C42
    Creator: Beyers, Robert West, 1931-2002.
    Collection Size: 5 manuscript boxes (2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Speeches and writings, correspondence, notes, press releases, memoranda, and printed matter, relating to work of the Council of Federated Organizations (composed of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other organizations) in carrying out a voter registration drive among black citizens of Mississippi in 1964, involvement of Northern college student volunteers, and attendant violence.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert West Beyers papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives. Material in the papers was previously a part of the New Left Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Searchworks at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Searchworks is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    New Left collection, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical/Historical Note

    1931 Born, New York City
    1953 B.A., Cornell University
    1954-1955 Public relations director, U.S. National Student Association
    1956-1961 Assistant managing editor, University of Michigan News Service
    1961-1990 Director, Stanford University News Service
    1964 Volunteer communications coordinator, Mississippi Summer Project
    1990-1995 Volunteer associate editor, Pacific News Service
    2002 Died, Palo Alto, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    While Robert W. Beyers had a long and varied journalistic career as director of the Stanford University News Service and in other capacities, his papers in the Hoover Institution Archives are narrowly focused on a single episode in that career, the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964. The project was sponsored by a number of civil rights organizations, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee foremost among them, grouped together as the Council of Federated Organizations. Its goal was to secure voter registration of black Mississippians and otherwise to promote improvement of their condition in what was widely considered to be the most thoroughly segregated state in the country.
    The project depended heavily on college student volunteers from the North to carry out this work. Approximately forty Stanford University student volunteers participated in the project. Beyers, taking leave from his job, joined them as volunteer communications coordinator for four weeks in June and July 1964. The project predictably elicited strong opposition from the Mississippi power structure, including local law enforcement officers. Incidents of harassment, arrest, intimidation and violence culminated in the murder of three civil rights workers. Although concrete immediate achievements of the Mississippi Summer Project were limited, it did draw national attention to the condition of blacks in the Deep South and to the broader national civil rights movement.
    The collection includes correspondence, internal memoranda, circulated materials and press clippings, documenting the project from a number of perspectives. These include the Stanford University community; the Council of Federated Organizations on the scene in Mississippi; the white Mississippian response, as seen from local newspaper coverage; and the national public reaction, as reflected in national press coverage.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Civil rights--United States.
    African Americans--Civil rights.
    Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)
    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)