University alum Tom Hayden, a leading activist during the 1960s, a founding member of Students for a Democratic Society and primary drafter of the 1962 Port Huron Statement. Now students will be able to study his experience firsthand, with his donation of 120 boxes of material, including his FBI file, to the University.
Some of Hayden’s material includes photographs, notebooks Vietnam in the 1960s and his extensive FBI file with details of his past whereabouts. Hayden and his ex-wife and folk singer Joan Baez sued the government for illegal surveillance to retrieve these documents.
Howard Brick, Louis Evans Professor of History, said that other universities, including the University of California, Berkley and New York University, were interested in the collection. However, Brick said Ann Arbor was a special place for Hayden.
“I think he felt that his own history here at Michigan and in Ann Arbor tugged at him and made it seem most appropriate that that collection come here,” Brick said.
Hayden’s collection will be housed in the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, which assembles collections related to the history of social and political protest movements from the 19th century to the present, in the Hatcher Graduate Library.
Julie Herrada, the curator for the Labadie Collection, is in the process of arranging the documents so students and faculty can use them.
“It is a fascinating collection and very valuable historically,” Herrada said. “It’ll be very useful to students and researchers for many years to come.”
Brick said this collection gives an in-depth look into activist movements during the 1960s and how those movements affected everyday politics.
“It’s an extraordinary record about how the activism of the 1960s could live on afterwards and trying to bring those radical perspectives into ordinary politics and policy making,” Brick said.
Hayden is coming to the University in mid-September to speak to the staff of The Michigan Daily, where he served as editor from 1960-61. He is publicly celebrating the collection at a public reception at Hatcher Graduate Library on Sept. 18.