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UCLA Students. Student Activism materials. 1927-2014.
University Archives Record Series 259  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Historical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: UCLA Students. Student Activism materials.
    Identifier/Call Number: University Archives Record Series 259
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.8 linear ft. (7 boxes)
    Date: 1927-1986
    Abstract: Record Series 259 contains materials related to student activism at UCLA throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. Themes include communism, pacifism, World War II, the Vietnam War, civil rights, and freedom of expression.
    Physical Location: Record Series 259 is located in Library Special Collections Technical Services Annex, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library.
    Creator: UCLA University Archives.


    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright of this collection has been assigned to The Regents of the University of California. The UCLA University Archives can grant permission to publish for materials to which it holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to UCLA Library Special Collections Public Services.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], UCLA Students. Student Activism materials (University Archives Record Series 259). UCLA Library Special Collections, University Archives.

    Historical note

    Since the university's early years, students at UCLA have been moved by situations at home and abroad to raise their voices in protest.
    In the late 1920s and 1939s, student activism was fueled by the social and economic conditions of the Depression era, reaction to the rise of fascism in Europe, threat of war, and political repression at home, particularly against Leftist groups. Students held a strike for peace, and demanded the freedom to express their beliefs without enduring academic repercussion.
    Academic freedom remained a much-discussed issue in the 1940s, as students reacted to World War II and its aftermath. Issues such as discrimination and labor rights took greater prominence as veterans returned to campus in the late 1940s.
    Controversy over the Loyalty Oath at the University of California, brought on by national anti-communism sentiments, ushered in the 1950s. Discrimination, labor rights, and freedom of expression remained active topics.
    The early 1960s saw students engaged in the Civil Rights Movement, protesting against segregation and for racial equality. Student activism during this period also critiqued the university system and the nature of modern American higher education, as evidenced in the Free Speech Movement which made its appearance at UCLA in December 1964.
    Peace and antiwar movements, especially concerning American involvement in Vietnam, intensified during the late 1960s and early 1970s, resulting in a strike of students, faculty, and staff. Students were roused to action in support of Black and minority rights, with outrage and vehement protests by the UCLA campus community following the Angela Davis controversy. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the women’s liberation movement, and police violence on college and university campuses inspired student action.
    Student activism in the mid and late 1970s critiqued the University of California’s association with international programs as students turned their attention to events in South East Asia and South America. At home, the labor rights of farmworkers, funding for higher education, and environmentalism took focus.
    During the 1980s students protested in opposition to apartheid in South Africa, and the University of California’s financial ties to supporters of apartheid. Protests were held in support of political movements in Central and South America. Concerns over nuclear war and nuclear energy also engaged students.
    The cessation of affirmative action at UCLA prompted student activism in the 1990s, as did educational budget cuts enacted by the University of California Regents, and experimentation on animals. The 1990s also saw the establishment of a Chicana/o Studies Department at UCLA.
    A resurgence of anti-war movements began in the 2000s, while concerns over the cost of higher education remained an issue.
    Students at UCLA continue to engage in activism over local, national, and international concerns as they arise.

    Scope and Content

    Record Series 259 contains materials related to student activism at UCLA from 1927-2014. Files contain materials generated by, or intended for, UCLA students.
    Subjects include but are not limited to free speech, communism, pacifism, socialism, freedom of the press, resale of books/student book store, parking on campus, WWII, racial discrimination, Jim Crow, affordable housing, job security, the Loyalty Oath controversy, the Korean War, McCarthyism, the Rosenberg trial, the visit of the Shah of Iran to UCLA, the Civil Rights Movement, desegregation, Selma, the Vietnam War, draft resistance, labor rights, farm worker rights, women's liberation, abortion, Chicano/a rights, Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panther Party, elections, and religion.
    Materials include circulars, leaflets, fliers, pamphlets, newsletters, campaign materials, protest literature, clippings, publications, bulletins, letters, press releases, ephemera, correspondence; and meeting, demonstration, conference, and event documentation.
    This is an active record series; additional University records are expected to be added.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection is arranged chronologically. Folder titles refer to dominant themes of materials within a given period of time, but are not comprehensive lists of all subjects mentioned.

    Related Material

    For more on student activism, see also: Public Information Office. Administrative Files of Chandler Harris (University Archives Record Series 543). For images of students engaging in activism, see: UCLA University Archives. Photographs (Reference Collection) (University Archives Record Series 100).

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 3520345