Prepared by Dyani Scheuerman, June 4, 2003; Updated February 2012.
1 half-size record storage box, 1 record storage box, 1.5 cubic feet, 12th floor
In 1970, Howard Ruffner was a second year student at Kent State University,
majoring in broadcast communications. Prior to attending the University, he
had spent four years in the Air Force, where he learned photography. Ruffner
was on the staff of the Daily Kent Stater and the Chestnut Burr,
editing the yearbook in 1971. He agreed to provide photographs for Life Magazine
of the events on and surrounding May 4, 1970. One of his photographs became
the cover of the May 15, 1970 issue of Life. Of the students who suffered
that day, Ruffner stated, "I saw their faces and I could feel their pain, and
I took their pictures so that no one would ever forget what happened at Kent
State and the trauma that it caused for our nation." A number of his photographs
ended up being used in the various legal proceedings dealing with the May 4
shootings. Ruffner is currently a freelance photographer in Phoenix, Arizona.
Scope and Content
This collection primarily includes photographs that appeared in the 1971 Chestnut
Burr. Predominantly they involve the events surrounding May 4, 1970 (on
and leading up to the date and also its aftermath), but several other subjects
are represented as well. These photographs were taken by a number of different photographers, including Ruffner. Also included are various items related to Ruffner's
involvement in photojournalism and the protest movement. Captions for photos
have been supplied by Special Collections and Archives staff. Page numbers
referring to placement in the 1971 Chestnut Burr are noted.
Restrictions on Use
The photographs in this collection are not owned by Kent State University. Copyright is held by individual photographers and media organizations listed in the credits on page 392 of the 1971 Chestnut Burr. The photographs are available for research purposes only.
May 4 Collection -- Box 190
Folder -- Contents
Photographs from 1971 Chestnut Burr
Alewitz, Meyer, Scranton Commission. p. 57.
Blue Key Club. p. 245.
Burned ROTC building, May 3, 1970. p. 35.
Burned ROTC building, May 3, 1970. p. 34-35.
Burned ROTC building, May 2, 1970. p. 34.
Burning ROTC building, May 2, 1970. p. 34.
Burning ROTC building, May 3, 1970. p. 36
Campus. p. 370
Canterbury, Robert H., Scranton Commission. p. 56.
Car windows shattered by bullets. John Filo. p. 52
Student jumping in pool of blood, May 4, 1970. p. 51.
Student speaker. p. 32
Student talking to guards, May 3, 1970. p. 38.
Student waving flag at Guardsmen, May 4, 1970. p. 48.
Students and guards, May 3, 1970. p. 38-39.
Students and guards, May 4, 1970. p. 40.
Students followed by Guardsmen, May 4, 1970. p. 53.
Students on lawn, May 1, 1970. p. 32.
Students running and throwing things, May 4, 1970. p. 48-49.
Students running for cover, May 4, 1970. p. 50.
Students walking by sculpture near Taylor Hall, May 4, 1970. p. 50.
Unidentified person on stretcher, May 4, 1970. p. 52.
Vecchio, Mary crying above Jeffrey Miller, May 4, 1970. p. 51.
Viccny, Frank, swimming coach. p. 127.
Victory bell, May 1, 1970. p. 32.
Warren, George V., Scranton Commission. p. 56.
Woman lighting a cigarette for guardsman, May 3, 1970. p. 39.
Women at computers. p. 16-17.
May 2, 1975. Long, Phil. Kent, Ohio. To Howard. Thanks Ruffner
for use of photograph.
October 14, 1977. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, VA. To Benjamin Civiletti.
Requests that the documents regarding the burning of the ROTC building be
October 17, 1977. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, VA. To Howard Ruffner. Regarding
Ruffner's desire to obtain copies of FBI files on himself.
January 28, 1978. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, VA. To Howard Ruffner. Regarding
Bill Ferster's plan for a short film about Kent State.
January 31, 1978. Ruffner, Howard. Cleveland Heights, Ohio. To Bill Ferster.
Gives permission for the use of several photographs in a film.
January 31, 1978. Thomas, Charles. To Andrea Biren. Discusses technical
details about weapons which he believes dispute prior claims made by Guardsmen.
February 3, 1978. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, V.A. To Howard Ruffner. Discusses
photographs of Ruffner's which he feel dispute prior claims made by Guardsmen,
evidence from trial that went missing, Michener book.
February 14, 1978. Ruffner, Howard. Cleveland Heights, Ohio. To Charles
Thomas. Encloses said photographs.
February 21, 1978. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, V.A. To Howard Ruffner. Response
in agreement with Ruffner's letter.
March 30, 1978. Thomas, Charles. Washington, D.C. To Alan Freeman. Attempting
to locate some of Ruffner's photographs which he feels belong in the National
April 10, 1978. Thomas, Charles. Arlington, V.A. To Howard Ruffner. Lists
Ruffner's photographs included in National Archives. Notes discrepancy in
the amount of photographs different sources claim there are.
December 1, 1978. Ruffner, Howard. Cleveland, Ohio. To Charles Thomas. Gives
permission to use photographs in Gallery magazine.
February 28, 1979. Silber, Glenn. Madison. To Howard Ruffner. Regarding
film documentary on the antiwar movement.
May 2, 1979. Munves, James. New York. To Howard Ruffner. Requesting photographs
for Cover-Up at Kent State.; June 17, 1979. Munves, James. New York. To Howard
Ruffner. Inquiring as to whether Ruffner received last letter.; June 22, 1979.
Munves, James. New York. To Howard Ruffner. Includes photocopies of photographs
[n.d.] Charlie [Charles Thomas]. To Howard. Includes newsclip which discusses
photographs of unknown origin which have just been released, and may be related
to an attempted cover-up.
Folder -- Contents
Publications, papers, and documents
American Report, November 12, 1971
"An Appeal for Justice." June 21, 1971.
Civil trial interview of Ruffner. Part 1.
Civil trial interview of Ruffner. Part 2.
Civil trial interview of Ruffner. Part 3.
Civil trial interview of Ruffner. Part 4.
Contemporary, May 6, 1990.
Copyright registration form for Chestnut Burr
Criminal trial interview of Ruffner. November 7, 1974.
Deposition of Ruffner in Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 1. October 21, 1974.
Deposition of Ruffner in Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 2. October 21, 1974.
FBI file on Ruffner.
For the Record, June 11, 1990
Gallery, April 1979
High School Press Institute Review, August 21, 1970
Interview between Howard Ruffner and [Jeffrey] Zink. June 30, 1970.
Kent, June 1970
"Kent - Aftermath." by Jerry M. Lewis
"Kent State: Murder and Coverup." Charles Thomas (includes note from
"Charlie"). June 9, 1978.
KSU Position Paper. Statement of Policy. October 14, 1970.
KSU Position Paper. Presidential Policy on Examination of Issues. October,
Life, May 15, 1970
"May 4, 1970 - Date Nation Won't Forget"
Newsclip: "KSU Photo Featured in Exhibit," Record Courier,
September 18, 1970.
Newsclip: "Kent State and Watergate," World, June 5, 1973
Newsclip: "The Other Kent State Photographer: Howard E. Ruffner,"
Plain Dealer Magazine, April 29, 1979
Newsclip: Photograph of Ruffner
Newsweek, May 18, 1970
"Not a Great Deal of Error ... ?" by Carl M. Moore and D. Ray
Heisey. Criticism of Kent State: What Happened and Why by James Michener.
Official Kent State University Bulletin, June 10, 1970
"On the Slain Collegians" by Herman Melville
Paper recommending emergency communication systems
Politics and Education, V.1.1.
The Post-American, Spring 1972
Reader's Digest Guidelines, March 1971
Report and recommendations to University Commission to Implement a Commitment
"Reporting the Kent State Incident"
Restatement of University policy, October 19, 1970.
Rough draft script for Unnecessary, Unwarranted, and Inexcusable
by Alva I. Cox, Jr.
Scranton Commission interview of Ruffner.
State Grand Jury interview of Ruffner.
Statement of Charles Thomas, National Archives, on possible coverup. December
Subpoena for Ruffner's court appearance on September 23, 1970
Subpoena for Ruffern's court appearance on October 22, 1974
Subpoena for Ruffner's court appearance on December 19, 1978
Time, May 18, 1970
Trial proceedings of Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 1. December 19, 1978.
Trial proceedings of Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 2. December 19, 1978.
Trial proceedings of Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 1. December 20, 1978.
Trial proceedings of Krause vs. Rhodes. Part 2. December 20, 1978.
Camera lens belonging to Ruffner, used by John Filo on May 4, 1970.
Catalog for Farrar Straus Giroux, Fall-Winter 1972-1973. Includes The
Murders at Kent State by Peter Davies.
Certificate of excellence from "Cover '71" art exhibit, October
Fliers for "Kent State: A Wake," Occidental College presentation.
Flyer for "Bearking Witness," an art exhibit featuring Ruffner.
Flyer for "To Heal Kent State" by Kim Sorvig
Flyer for Kent State: May 4, 1970
Invitation to 1971 Publications Banquet.
Invitation to "Cover '71" art exhibit. October 26, 1971.
Invitation to "Artists for Justice," May 19, 1974.
List of film production companies
Map of campus including area of protests
Map of campus showing where students were wounded
Maps showing Ruffner's position upon taking photographs
Poster for Moratorium [oversized: shelved in 12th floor mapcase]
Press release, postcard, and seed packet for "Simple Gestures: A Commemorative
Installation" by Eve Birch
Raw audio recording of 1971 Chestnut Burr record insert
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