Guide to the Vassar College 1969 Black Studies Sit-in Records, 1966-1974
Table of Contents
- Collection Summary
- Administrative History
- Scope and Content Note
- Subject Headings
- Related Material
- Administrative Information
- Access and Use
- Encoding Information
- Series List
- Container List
|Repository:||Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries|
|Creator:||Vassar College. Africana Studies Program.|
|Title:||Guide to the Vassar College 1969 Black Studies Sit-in Records|
|Quantity:||0.9 cubic ft. (4 boxes)|
|Abstract:||Materials related to the early years of the Vassar College Black Studies Program and the student sit-in staged in 1969 for improvements to the program along with other demands relating to the African-American community both on campus and off.|
|Forms of Materials:||Correspondence, reports, clippings|
Vassar's College's Black Studies Program was established in 1969 along with similar programs at colleges and universities across the country. With recommendations and urging from the Students' Afro-American Society (SAS), a multidisciplinary program in black studies was approved in February, 1969. The Urban Black Studies Center was also established and opened off-campus that year to provided educational opportunities for Poughkeepsie residents. Nevertheless, both initiatives were considered experimental and not assured of permanent funding.
On October 22, 1969, the SAS presented the College's administration a list of demands related to the Black Studies Program, the Urban Center, and student services, particularly contiguous housing for African-American students. Dissatisfied with the administration's response, 32-35 students occupied the first floor of the Main Building on October 30. They remained until November 1, when the College and Trustees (confirm in documents) agreed to most of the protestors demands. The occupation drew substantial national publicity. The Catlin Report, formally the report of the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on the Education of Minority Students, recommended increasing the number of black students, faculty, staff, administration and trustees, a larger proportion of financial aid to black students, a commitment to black studies concentration equal to others in the Vassar curriculum, a commitment to the Urban Center as part of the academic Black studies program, separate housing as an option available to black students (but no dormitory assigned exclusively to black students for legal reasons), and a cultural center for black students. The Board of Trustees approved the report in December, 1970.
Now the Africana Studies Program, the program is the oldest of Vassar's multi-disciplinary programs.
The records document the creation of the Urban Center for Black/Africana Studies, beginning in 1968. Included are faculty, trustee, administration, and student reports and correspondence documenting the establishment and early growth of the program. Also included are student handouts, administrative correspondence and reports, and press clippings recording the extensive coverage of the 1969 occupation of Main, which played a significant role in the program's development. Records of the Urban Center and material related to its activities within the Poughkeepsie community are included. Correspondence also records fund-raising efforts for the projects.
This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.
- The Vassar College Africana Studies Records, Vassar College Archives and Special Collections.
- The "Special Projects - Black Students Sit-in, October 1969" files in the Alan Simpson Papers, Vassar College Archives and Special Collections.
- Sanders, Joshunda VC '00. "Making History: 40 years of Africana Studies at Vassar." Vassar, The Alumnae/I Quarterly, Spring, 2007.
- Vassar College--Students.
- African American students.
- Student movements.
- Student protesters.
Encoded by Jessica Kemm, October 2009.
Vassar College 1969 Black Studies Sit-in Records, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.
Date of original processing unknown.
Materials were transferred from several Vassar College offices.
Series I. Articles and Clippings
Series II.Flyers and Handouts
Series III. News Releases
Series IV. Reports
Series V. Correspondence
Series VI. Black Studies Program
Series VII. Miscellaneous
|Folder 1.1||Pre Sit-In: Articles on Black Studies & Housing, May 1968-November 1969|
|Folder 1.2||Pre Sit-In: Miscellaneous Articles & Clippings, November 1966-November 1969|
|Folders 1.3-4||Sit-In: Clippings, 30 October-1 November 1969|
|Folder 1.5||End of Sit-In: Clippings, November 1969|
|Folder 1.6||Post Sit-In: Articles & Clippings, November 1969-February 1974|
|Folder 1.7||Editorial Comments, November-December 1969|
|Folder 1.8||Flyers & Handouts|
|Folder 2.1||News Releases from Vassar|
|Folder 2.2||Media Contacts|
|Folder 2.3||Summary of Media Coverage, Nov 1969|
|Folder 2.4||Demands, Proposals, Actions, May 1969 - March 1973, n.d.|
|Folder 2.5||Reports and Minutes, 1969|
|Folder 2.6||Reports and Minutes, 1970|
|Folder 2.7||Reports and Minutes, 1972, 1973, 1974|
|Folder 3.1||Inter-departmental Communications, Nov 1968 - Oct 1969|
|Folder 3.2||Inter-departmental Communications, Nov 1969|
|Folder 3.3||Inter-departmental Communications, 1970|
|Folder 3.4||Inter-departmental Communications, 1972|
|Folder 3.5||Inter-departmental Communications, 1973|
|Folder 3.6||Correspondence, Apr - Nov 1969|
|Folder 3.7||Correspondence, Jan 1970 - June 1974|
|Folder 4.3||Urban Center for Black Studies Proposal for Tutorial|
|Folder 4.4||Proposals for Outside Funding|
|Folder 4.5||Africa-Study Field Trip Fund Raising|