Queens College students and faculty have a rich history of participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, as well as other struggles for social justice. Starting in 2009, Special Collections and Archives (SCA) began collecting materials from alumni, faculty, and community members involved in these movements. The collections document projects like Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 and the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) project in 1965, as well as local and campus chapters of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). SCA also has smaller quantities of materials related to McCarthyism and LGBTQIA activism. SCA continues to incorporate a broader array of voices, organizations, and eras in this collecting area.
The Michael Wenger Collection documents the Student Help Project and other activism on the Queens College campus during the 1960s. The Student Help Project was initiated by Queens College students, including Michael Wenger, and Queens College Education Department professors Dr. Rachel Weddington and Dr. Sidney Simon. This project brought tutoring services to under-served children in South Jamaica, Queens and Prince Edward County, Virginia. Wenger chaired the organization in 1964, but the...
1963-2009, bulk 1963-1965; Majority of material found within 1963 - 1965
Professor, activist, radical, and biographer, the Michael Wreszin collection contains a large number of documents related to American radical culture of the 20th century. A large portion of the collection is devoted to the 20th century radical, Dwight Macdonald, of whom Wreszin wrote a biography, and other New York Intellectuals. The collection also holds documents related to the history of radical activities in New York from the 1960's to 1980's, including protests and activism on Queens...
Rabbi Moshe Shur is an adjunct Professor of Jewish History at Queens College of the City University of New York. During the summers of 1965 and 1966, as a student at Columbia University, Rabbi Shur traveled to Orangeburg, South Carolina to register black voters as a part of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) program. The Moshe Shur Papers contain newspaper clippings from the events surrounding the two summers Shur spend in the South, newspapers from the days...
1965-2008; Majority of material found in 1968 - 1968
The Oscar Shaftel papers contains correspondence,
flyers, press clippings, transcripts of testimony, printed
materials and miscellanea documenting student activism at
Queens College in the late 1940s and early 1950s and the
effect of McCarthyism on academic freedom in New York
State. Oscar Shaftel, one of the original faculty members at
Queens College, was fired in 1953 under Section 903 of the
New York City Charter for refusing to testify in front of the
Senate Internal Security...
Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum graduated with honors from Queens College in 1965 with a major in sociology. At Queens College, she worked with the Student Help Project to provide free tutoring services to under-served schoolchildren in South Jamaica, Queens and Prince Edward County, Virginia. During the summer of 1963, Padow-Sederbaum was one of sixteen Queens College students who lived with black families in Farmville, Virginia and tutored African American children who had been denied formal...
The Queens College Campus Unrest Collection contains papers, correspondence, and flyers regarding the Spring 1969 sit-in protest of the social science building by the Ad Hoc Committee to End Political Suppression. The protest was in defense of the three members of the Students for a Democratic Society who were arrested and charged for leading a protest for the removal of General Electric recruiters from QC campus. The sit-in lasted four days resulting in the arrests of thirty-eight students...
Robert Masters graduated from Queens College in 1966; at age 20 he spent seven weeks in Greenwood, Mississippi as a volunteer in the Freedom Summer of 1964. The collection includes newspaper and magazine articles, color snapshots, letters in which Masters describes his work in Greenwood, and artifacts.
1963-1967; Majority of material found in 1964 - 1964
Robert Rygor worked as a community, LGBT rights and AIDS activist in and around his neighborhood of Greenwich Village for the majority of his adult life. Graduating from New York University in 1976 with an MBA in Finance, he worked briefly for Morgan Stanley (1972-1976) and then for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (1982-1990). He organized support on a wide variety of issues and participated in several organizations, including Villagers Against Crime (1984-1988), the...
Rosalind Andrews (then Rosalind Silverman) was a Queens College student who volunteered with the Student Help Project, tutoring under-served children in both Queens and Virginia. In the summer of 1963, she and the other members of the project traveled to Farmville, Virginia, to spend six weeks teaching the African American children of Prince Edward County. These children had been denied formal education since 1959, when the county defunded and closed its public schools rather than comply...
Sid Simon was the Queens College professor and faculty advisor for the student groups who wanted to volunteer in civil rights initiatives in the South. In 1965, Simon traveled twice to Mississippi to help rebuild churches that were burned down by the Ku Klux Klan. The first group traveled in February; the second during Easter recess. The photos in this collection depict students participating in the February construction projects, as well as scenes of the region in which the volunteers...