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Dean Savage Papers

Identifier: SCA-0033

Scope and Contents

The Dean Savage Papers document Savage’s experience volunteering with the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project during the summer of 1965, specifically in Orangeburg County, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. The collection contains 16 color photographs taken during that summer depicting multiple events.

Highlights include a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the SCOPE orientation in Atlanta on June 15, 1965; volunteers being arrested on August 2, 1965 after organizing a sit-in due to voter registration hours being cut short, and the subsequent court hearing; a Klu Klux Klan (KKK) rally held in the area; the house in Orangeburg where many of the volunteers stayed; and other meetings and celebrations.

The collection also contains a pamphlet from the KKK rally, news articles relating to arrests, transcripts from the SCOPE orientation in Atlanta, and supplemental materials provided by Dean Savage as contextual information.


  • 1965-2011
  • Majority of material found in 1965 - 1965



Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.


The Dean Savage Collection is the property of Queens College Libraries. All intellectual rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

Historical Note

The Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project was an initiative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), directed by Hosea Williams based on a call from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for northern students to participate in the civil rights activities in the south.

Taking place in the summer of 1965, the SCOPE project aimed to expand on the efforts of the Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign sponsored by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) the previous year. After an initial orientation in Atlanta, Georgia, SCOPE volunteers, consisting of around 500 predominantly white students from universities in the north and west, travelled to rural and urban communities all over the southern states, many staying in the homes of local African American families.

Often at risk of arrest and violence, SCOPE volunteers collaborated with local individuals and groups to lead voter registration drives, hold information sessions, and assist with other community organization efforts.

Biographical Note

Dean Savage was born and raised in Washington State. He attended Stanford University, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in History in 1963. He was a graduate student at Columbia University in 1965 when Jim Shenton, lauded history professor at Columbia, recruited a group of students from Columbia to join SCOPE and volunteer in the south for the summer.

Savage was posted along with other Columbia volunteers to Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he spent the summer working to increase voter registration among African Americans. The SCOPE project was one in a series of civil rights initiatives in which Dean participated, starting with a demonstration outside a Woolworth’s in Palo Alto, California in support of the original Woolworth’s sit-in at Greensboro, South Carolina in 1960.

He remained active throughout the decade, and to this day continues to advocate for equality through his scholarly work.

Savage obtained his masters’ degree in History and his Ph.D. in Sociology, both at Columbia University, completing his studies in 1975. Savage is currently a Professor of Sociology at Queens College where he has taught since 1971. He has served as the Department Chair of Sociology and currently teaches a senior seminar on “Inequality in Higher Education.”


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

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The Dean Savage Papers documents civil rights initiatives by northern student volunteers under the auspices of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project during the summer of 1965. This collection primarily consists of color photographs taken in Orangeburg County, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. Also included are newspaper articles, pamphlets, and photocopied transcripts of speeches given at orientation in Atlanta, Georgia.


  1. Printed Items
  2. Photographs
  3. Transcripts
  4. Supplemental Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Dean Savage, 2011

Related Materials

Dean Savage Oral History. Queens College Special Collections and Archives.

KZSU Project South Interviews (SC0066), Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California. This collection includes transcripts of interviews and meetings with SCOPE volunteers and other civil rights workers throughout the south during the summer of 1965 for Stanford University’s campus radio station KZSU. Volunteers named in the Dean Savage Papers that were interviewed by KZSU include Robert Brumbaugh, Willy Siegel Leventhal, Sarah L. Oakes, Sheldon Rosen, and Moshe Shur. Other relevant interviews feature volunteers from SCOPE or other organizations posted in Orangeburg, SC and elsewhere; SCOPE group interview sessions featuring volunteer responses to incidents; SCOPE orientation sessions, featuring speakers Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (which appear to partially coincide with the transcripts in Series III of the Dean Savage Papers). The finding aid for the collection is available via Stanford University Special Collections and University Archives and the Online Archive of California.

Lynn Goldsmith Papers: The Diary and Papers of a Young Civil Rights Worker. Brandeis University Archives and Special Collections. Her physical papers are part of their alumni collection.



Dean Savage Papers
Robin Potter
Spring 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us