These photographs consist of black-and-white photographic prints, negatives, and contact sheets depicting student protest activities at Columbia from April 21, 1967 to April 21, 1969, with the overwhelming majority of items dating from April and May, 1968 - the period of the most sustained and significant student protests at Columbia.
The images depict protest activities around the campus, scenes of the occupation in a number of Columbia buildings, and the aftermath of these occupations, as well as many of the Columbia individuals who were prominently involved in the student protests. These individuals include SDS student leader Mark Rudd, Columbia President Grayson Kirk, Vice President David Truman, Columbia College Dean Henry Coleman, and Assistant Dean Michael Platt. Faculty members who figured prominently in events, such as Michael Sovem (Co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Joint Faculties of Columbia and later President of Columbia), Alan Westin (also Co-chair of the Executive Committee and a member of the Ad Hoc Faculty Group Steering Committee), and Immanual Wallerstein (Ad Hoc Faculty Group Steering Committee), as well as Archibald Cox and other members of the Cox Commission, which was formed in early May, 1968 to investigate the causes of the protests, are also featured in these images.
Prints, negatives, and contact sheets are arranged chronologically and housed together in two archival photo binders. Two sets of negatives are 120 mm format, while the rest of the items in the collection are 35 mm format. Duplicate copies of some prints and numerous duplicates of some contact sheets have been retained, but they are foldered and housed separately in one manuscript box.
Apart from the 1967 and 1969 rolls, the prints and contact sheets were originally housed in 15 large manila envelopes, which were dated on the outside, while the negatives were housed in 65 protective sleeves, which were labeled "Protest" and also bore dates, along with A, B, C, ...markings in some instances (e.g. "4/48/68-A "); these additional notations are on the inventory listing, when applicable.
A few of the negative sleeves also had brief descriptive hand-written notes about the subjects of the photos. In addition, many of the negatives and contact sheets had themselves been dated, presumably by their photographer. These dates and notes have been used to date the items and to organize and describe the collection. They have been compared with dates in the select chronologies of events depicted.
The University Photographer for the Office of Public Affairs during these years was Manny Warman, but the negatives cannot be definitively attributed to him. Some negative sleeves had names noted on them, along with dates and other information, and these may be the names of photographers; this information is noted as follows:
"Phil": rolls 12, 18,23,24,29,30,38,39,40,41,51,5455,58 "Goldstein": rolls 12,21,27,34,43,63 "O'Stearle": roll28 "Heller": roll 29 "Erica": roll 36