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COLLECTION Identifier: HUM 330

Douglas J. Dawson personal archive


Douglas J. Dawson was a member of the Harvard College Class of 1970, and he received his AB in March 1971. The collection contains Dawson's Harvard course notes, essays, syllabi, and reading lists, Harvard admissions and financial aid materials, flyers and other political ephemera from the 1969 Harvard student strike and anti-Vietnam War protests, and several Harvard publications, all of which document Dawson's academic and political activities as an undergraduate student at Harvard.


  • Creation: 1964-1971 and [undated]


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


1.5 cubic feet (2 document boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 card box)

The Douglas J. Dawson personal archive documents Dawson's social, political, and academic activities as an undergraduate student at Harvard. The collection includes notes, essays, syllabi, and reading lists from various Harvard classes; Harvard admissions and financial aid materials; flyers distributed during the student strike of 1969, including issues of the Old Mole; flyers distributed on the Vietnam War and nonviolent direct action, circa 1970; newspaper clippings regarding the draft board protest at Boston Army Base, May 1970; and Dawson’s Harvard AB diploma, dated March 8, 1971. There are also several Harvard publications, including issues of the Harvard Lampoon, Harvard Crimson, Winthrop House Lion Rampant,Yardling, and others. The collection includes a paper mask with the face of Fred Glimp, dean of Harvard College, which was created to be worn by students during protests in the late 1960s, most likely at the October 1967 Dow Chemical protest.

Biographical note on Douglas J. Dawson

Douglas J. Dawson was a member of the Harvard College Class of 1970; he received his AB in March 1971.

Historical note on the Harvard 1969 Strike

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 (ROTC) on campus.


The records are arranged in three series:

  1. Academic materials, 1964-1971 and [undated]
  2. Political and personal ephemera, [circa 1967-1970]
  3. Publications, 1966-1970

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Harvard University Archives by Douglas J. Dawson in March 2018; accession 2018.570.

Related Materials

The Harvard University Archives holds several collections related to the 1969 student strike, including the David Holmstrom collection of the Harvard student movement memorabilia, 1969-1970 (HUM 227), the Herbert J. Levine collection of Harvard student strike posters, 1969 (HUM 264), and the Harvard Student Strike and Protest Collection compiled by the Harvard College Class of 1970, 1969-1970 (HUY 187).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Olivia Mandica-Hart in January-Fenruary 2019. Titles were transcribed from the documents; title enclosed in brackets were devised by the archivist.

Dawson, Douglas J. Douglas J. Dawson personal archive, 1964-1971 and [undated] : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
January 20, 2019
Description rules
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