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Civil Rights: Researching Issues, Student Movements and Campus Protest  

An introduction to resources available locally, including through the Heritage Resources programs of Western Libraries
Last Updated: Apr 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This guide suggests useful resources for studying civil rights issues and the history and impact of student movements and/or campus protest. It focuses on resources available through Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs and the Western Libraries. Please contact us or the Western Libraries' Research Desk if you have questions or need assistance finding more information.

Related Library Guides


Western Libraries provides access to a wide variety of article and research databases (a WWU log-in is required). Follow this link to the Libraries' online guide to Databases A-Z and/or ask staff at the Libraries' Research Desk for assistance.  


    Searching Western Libraries' Catalog

    You may find it useful to search the catalog (Onesearch) using some of the following subject search terms (you can also narrow results by adding a geographic location, e.g. Student movements--Washington (State)  OR Student movements--Washington (State)--Bellingham):

    • Antinuclear movement
    • Black power
    • Civil rights movements
    • College students
    • College students--Political activity
    • Conscientious Objectors
    • Feminism
    • Gay college students
    • New Left
    • Peace movements
    • Protest Movements
    • Race relations
    • Radicalism
    • Student movements
    • Student protesters
    • Vietnam War, 1961-1974
    • Women's rights

    Consult with your instructors about recommended readings and ask us if you need help finding a specific title or type of resource. Here are some select titles relevant to local campus history: 

    Bellingham Herald
    This is the best source for a day by day account of what was going on locally. It is available in microfilm from May 1904 to the present.

    Northwest Passage
    Alternative newspaper published in Bellingham and later, Seattle, Washington, circa 1969-1986. Additional copies available at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

    Western Front
    Call Number: LD5778.W475, Fall 1967-
    Publication Date: 1967-
    This is the print version of The Western Front and is available as part of the Libraries circulating collection on Haggard 3 in the oversize section, or, in Special Collections, WL677.

    Western Washington University Student Newspapers [Online Digital Collection]
    Student newspaper and a rich source of information re: campus history.

    Brief History of Western Washington State College - Office of Institutional Assessment
    Call Number: LD5773.B74 1972
    Publication Date: 1972
    This is available in Special Collections and provides a brief timeline and some enrollment information up through 1972.

    [Faculty Senate meeting minutes & agenda] - Western Washington University
    Call Number: LD5765.8.F3
    Publication Date: 1910-1979
    Available in print and microfilm in Special Collections, WL 677.

    Recollections of Herbert R. Hearsey: an autobiographical account - Hearsey, Herbert R.
    Call Number: Z720.H44 A3 2003
    Publication Date: 2003
    This is available both in Special Collections, WL677, and for check-out from the Circulating Collection, Wilson 5E. This is the memoirs of a faculty member who retired in 1974 just as things were calming down.

    Western at 75 - Hicks, Arthur C.
    Call Number: LD5773.H4
    Publication Date: 1974
    This is available in both Special Collections, WL677, and for check-out in the Circulating Collection, Wilson 4W.

    Western Washington University: One Hundred Years. - Schofield, Phil
    Call Number: LD5773.S39 1999
    Publication Date: 1999
    This is available in both Special Collections, WL677, and for check-out in the Circulating Collection, Wilson 2E-Oversize. It's a nice coffee table book but it provides background and features photos of protests.


    Miscellaneous Items

    Vertical File Folders

    We have vertifical files on various topics related to Campus History. For students researching protests on campus we have two folders:

    • Student protests prior to 1979
    • Student protests since 1980

    We also have files for each of the presidents which may include information about student movements during their administration

    Viet Cong Flag

    We have the flag that was made and showcased in front of the Viking Union Building in March 1969 along with an accompanying folder of information describing the incident and administrations response.

    Heritage Resources

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    Heritage Resources
    Contact Info
    Special Collections, 6th Floor Wilson Library, 360-650-3193

    University Archives and Records Center, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-3124

    Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-7534
    Send Email

    Heritage Resources


    Western Libraries Heritage Resources provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and resarch at Western Washington University and beyond. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives and Records Management work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.


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