University Resources | May 4 Newsroom | Kent State University

University Resources

The May 4 Visitors Center

In 2017, the May 4 Visitors Center footprint expanded to include space for new, temporary exhibitions. These temporary exhibitions will explore a range of topics and use a variety of mediums to further our educational mission. Starting in 2018 and leading up to the 50th anniversary, the Center is launching a special series of four exhibits honoring each of the students killed on May 4, 1970.

The May 4 Visitors Center

The 50th Commemoration

Beginning in the fall of 2019 and continuing through May 4, 2020, Kent State University will observe the 50th commemoration of the tragic events that occurred on May 4, 1970. The impact of those events continues to affect and influence generations nearly 50 years later.

The 50th Commemoration

May 4 Collection

The May 4 Collection, housed in the Kent State University Library’s Department of Special Collections and Archives, is the largest collection of May 4 resources available anywhere. More than 300 boxes filled with material related to the shootings line the shelves of the library. Articles in the archives include paper documents, books, videos, audio recordings and artifacts. These materials are divided into 100 sub-collections which contain photographs, newspapers, press releases, police reports and much more.  The collection is available to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
More information about the May 4 Collection

To arrange for a tour, contact Lae'l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist, at or 330-672-1639.

The May 4 Oral History Project

The May 4 Oral History Project (Department of Special Collections and Archives) contains reported eyewitness accounts of May 4 and its aftermath. Both the sound recordings and the transcripts are available at its Web site. Founded in 1990 by Sandra Perlman Halem, the project continues to seek first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970. More than 100 interviews have been contributed so far, serving as invaluable resources for students and other researchers.
More information about the May 4 Oral History Project

Contact Lae'l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist, at or 330-672-1639.

School of Peace and Conflict Studies and May 4

Immediately following the shootings, a university-wide commission was charged with recommending long-term institutional responses. The commission's consensus recommendation was that Kent State University should establish a living memorial in the form of a center to study and to promote peaceful mechanisms of change. The Center for Peaceful Change was established in 1971, later renamed the School of Peace and Conflict Studies (SPCS). The center's undergraduate degree program in peace and conflict studies was established two years later, in 1973, making it one of the oldest in the country. It is also currently the largest in the country, enrolling in excess of 1,000 students in its courses each academic year. SPCS also staffs a concentration in Conflict Analysis and Management in the Political Science Ph.D. program, and offers trainings and services in mediation, negotiation, nonviolent action, and facilitation to the community. 
More information about the School of Peace and Conflict Studies

e-mail or call 330-672-3143.