Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Robert West Beyers papers
Collection Number: 2014C42
Creator: Beyers, Robert West, 1931-2002.
5 manuscript boxes
(2 linear feet)
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
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.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Robert West Beyers papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives. Material in the papers was previously a part of the New Left Collection, Hoover
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
. 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.
New Left collection, Hoover Institution Archives
||Born, New York City
||B.A., Cornell University
||Public relations director, U.S. National Student Association
||Assistant managing editor, University of Michigan News Service
||Director, Stanford University News Service
||Volunteer communications coordinator, Mississippi Summer Project
||Volunteer associate editor, Pacific News Service
||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
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.
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.)