MAY 4 COLLECTION -- Box 59
Prepared by Scott L. Bills, August 15, 1980; Updated by Penny White, June 2013.
1 cubic foot (1 record storage box and 3 oversize folders)
Physical Location: 12th floor
Professor Sheila Tabakoff donated her materials to the Kent State University Archives on March 19, 1980.
Professor Tabakoff was an instructor in the School of Art at Kent State University in May of 1970. After the shootings of May 4, the University was closed by court injunction, and it remained closed for the duration of the spring quarter. Special arrangements were subsequently made in each academic department for students to complete coursework. In the case of the Art Department, mimeographed letters were sent to students' home addresses offering them alternate ways either to receive partial credit or withdraw from the course. In large part, this collection consists of the student responses to the forms that she sent out in the weeks following the shootings.
Professor Tabakoff sent not only academic information but also included informational items and her own commentary on the Kent State situation. She wrote, "It is my personal hope that you will use this period to reexamine your beliefs and aspirations, and to question the direction and policies of your university and your country." She urged her students to contact groups of other Kent State students which had gathered at Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve. When the University would eventually reopen, she hoped it would be as a "vanguard of modern education."
Folder one contains, for the most part, intrauniversity memos and mailings; folder two contains the forms and letters which Professor Tabakoff sent out to her students. The student responses have been arranged alphabetically. Responses not including full names have been placed together in folder fourteen. Several items, including a May 1970 issue of the Cleveland underground newspaper Burning River and a poster by the Cambridge Strike Committee, were oversized. They can be located in the horizontal file (hf).
This collection will be of value to researchers examining student and faculty attitudes in the period following May 4, 1970. Students returning their forms often wrote notes concerning the shootings and their feelings on the closing of the University. Interesting as well are materials in folder eighteen which indicate faculty sentiments within the School of Art. Individual items of interest are the Kent State Faculty Resolution of May 5, 1970 (folder nineteen); the May 18 and May 22 issues of the Kent Strike Paper (folder twenty-seven); and informational leaflets from Kent students at Oberlin College (folder twenty-one).
Professor Tabakoff has kindly donated to the Kent State University Archives whatever property and literary rights that she possesses in this collection.