Today’s blog post is a research tip for beginning researchers.We often advise students who are researching student life or campus life to take a look at the yearbooks. However, the yearbooks often make veiled references to events without providing full information.
To dig into further details on the silent vigil, memorial march and “a few broken glasses” mentioned in the yearbook, one would need to find corroborating documentation. I find the best documentation of student life is the student newspaper, the Iowa State Daily. Below is an article that was used in an earlier blog post, Formation of the Black Student Organization at ISU. The protest organized by Black students on campus led to the formation of the Black Student Organization (now the Black Student Alliance) at ISU.
Now that there are more details about campus’ reaction to the assassination of Martin Luther King, there are further places to research. You can look up the Black Student Organization (BSO) and Black Student Alliance Files in the collection on Student Organizations, RS 22/3/0/1 to see what further developments took place. You could check the papers of the ISU president at the time, Robert Parks, to see what files the administration kept on the protests or the BSO, or if there was any relevant correspondence worth checking out from 1968.
Where else do you think you could look for more information on how campus reacted? Leave a comment below or drop by our reading room to do some research! We’re open Monday-Friday, 9-5.