University Libraries Provides Access to Kent State May 4 Shootings Audio Archive
More than 100 reel-to-reel audio recordings pertaining to the May 4, 1970, Kent State University shootings and their aftermath are now accessible through the Kent State University Special Collections and Archives’ digital repository. Some of the recently digitized items include previously inaccessible audio recordings of radio call-in forums, a speech by Kent State President Robert I. White the day after the shootings, a press conference with six students who met with President Richard M. Nixon just days after the shootings, the Scranton Commission hearings and a speech made by Dick Gregory at the Kent State Memorial Service in 1971.
The digitization project started in spring 2015 after University Libraries was awarded a $2,000 Ohio Archives Grant for the proposal, “Providing Access to the Kent State Shootings Audio Archive.” The Ohio Archives Grants are funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration through its State and National Archival Partnership Grants program. University Libraries’ faculty members Cara Gilgenbach, Virginia Dressler and Lae’l Hughes-Watkins prepared the successful proposal.
“As we head toward the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event in American history, we seek to provide expanded access to unprocessed portions of the collection, especially audio-visual materials, which are highly sought by researchers,” says Gilgenbach, head of University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.
The audio recordings are available online and are accessible worldwide.
The Kent State University Board of Trustees today established a comprehensive, national search to recruit and select the university’s 13th president.
The events of May 4, 1970, placed Kent State University in an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard ended in tragedy with four students losing their lives and nine others being wounded. From a perspective of nearly 50 years, Kent State remembers the tragedy and leads a contemporary discussion and understanding of how the community, nation and world can benefit from understanding the profound impact of the event.