Skip to main content

Students for a Democratic Society collection

Identifier: MSS 265 large

Scope and Contents

The collection contains leaflets, newspapers clippings, pamphlets, and photographs created by Students for a Democratic Society, Weathermen, and Prairie Fire and pertain to the politics and activities of those groups. Topics include Vietnam War protests, women's rights, anti-imperialism, and other topics. A large proportion of the materials relate specifically to the presence of the SDS at Michigan State University and surrounding Michigan universities.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1966 - 1974
  • Creation: 1966 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

The Students for a Democratic Society was a leftist political organization opposed to the Vietnam War and in favor of a more participatory model of democracy. In the 1960s and early 1970s, it constituted the intelligentsia of the American left.


5.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Original accession information is unknown. Much of the collection may have been created and collected by members of the MSU chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society active from approximately 1967 - 1972. The vertical files were compiled from Saul Wellman, Stuart Dowty, and by incremental purchase and donation.

Separated Materials

The following materials were separated from the collection for individual cataloging: Debate within SDS RMY II vs Weatherman, Radical Education Project Groundswell: Newsletter of the Prairie Fire Distributing Committee, vol.1, no. 1, February 1975 Women's Liberation and Imperialism, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee

Processing Information

The Students for a Democratic Society collection was organized, conserved, and inventoried with funds provided by the American Radicalism Collection endowment fund in honor and memory of Dr. Beth J. Shapiro in 2005. In 2018, the Students for a Democratic Society vertical files (ARVF) were integrated into the collection. The original finding aid author is unknown, but it was updated in 2018 and 2019 by Sarah Klimek and Lydia Tang.

Finding Aid for the Students for a Democratic Society collection
4 Published And Cataloged
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Klimek and Lydia Tang
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA