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COLLECTION Identifier: HUA 969.100.2

Harvard University Strike Posters Collection


These posters were created during a period of intense student unrest at Harvard University during April 1969.


  • 1969 and 1984

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Posters may be oversized and fragile and require special handling. Some posters may be deemed too fragile for research use.


6.3 cubic feet
167 posters

Posters are each unique and all date from April 1969 unless otherwise noted in the list below.

Production of the Posters

During April 1969, student unrest at Harvard University was mounting. Students took over University Hall in Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, evicted the administrators whose offices were in the building, and eventually were expelled themselves by Massachusetts State Police. During the protests, posters were used in many ways: to express dissent, as notices of meeting places, and as announcements of events. The most prolific group of poster creators was a print workshop set up in the basement of Harvard's Memorial Hall and calling itself "Designers for Peace," which had a sibling group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Protesters were against the University’s expansion into Boston and Cambridge, against involvement in the Vietnam War, and in particular the University’s inclusion of a Reserve Officers Training Corps on campus.

Visual Inventory

A visual inventory of the posters is available in the Harvard University Archives reading room. This paper inventory includes images of all the posters. Request the visual inventory of the Strike Posters collection from Public Services staff in the Harvard University Archives reading room.

Acquisition Information

These posters were acquired from a variety of sources. Librarians, activists, and others wishing to preserve the history of the 1969 student strike saved posters that had been displayed or used during protests and donated them to the Harvard University Archives.

Online access

Some of the posters have been digitized and are available online. Links to digitized posters accompany descriptions.

Related Materials in the Harvard University Archives

  1. General information by and about Students for a Democratic Society and other student organizations involved in the peace, civil rights, and anti-war movements of the late 1960's and early 1970's (consult collections with call numbers beginning: HUD)
  2. Newspapers such as the Harvard Crimson and The Old Mole that date from the period of the strike, especially a Harvard Crimson article entitled A wrap-up of strike art that appeared on April 18, 1969 (HUA 969.100.3) and some issues of The Old Mole which have large graphics printed for use as protest signs (HUA 969.100.65)
  3. Books and memoirs about the mid-twentieth-century student unrest (consult works with call numbers beginning: HUA 968 and HUA 969)
  4. Harvard University records from the era (subject to the 50- and 80-year restrictions that apply to all University records)

Inventory update

This document last updated 2019 August 15.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne Britton,2007. Finding aid written and encoded by Kate Bowers.

Harvard University Strike Posters Collection : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461