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Student Protest Movements at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: General Resources

I Raised My Hand to Volunteer

Part of a larger project that included a physical exhibit mounted in the Manuscripts Department of Wilson Library 23 January, 2007 through 15 June, 2007 and a series of accompanying programs, this online exhibit contains digitized documents, images, and other archival materials relating to 1960s student protests in Chapel Hill, N.C. The exhibit is divided into four parts, relating to four different periods of protest in 1960s Chapel Hill. In addition, this website contains biographies of participants and links to exhibit program events. See the digital version of the exhibit here.


The North Carolina Collection has a number of books relevant to researching protest movements at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Books on the history of UNC-Chapel Hill and student protests as a wider phenomenon may also be useful to researchers. All of the titles listed below, and many other relevant works, are available at Wilson Library. ‚Äč

Snider, William D. Light on the Hill: A History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. C378 UE52

This volume covers the history of UNC- Chapel Hill from its origins in the 18th century to the late 20th century. In his coverage of the 20th century, Snider discusses the Speaker Ban controversy, sit-ins and civil rights protests, the 1969 food worker's strike, and the anti-war movement within the context of the broader history of the University. 

Wilson, Louis R. The University of North Carolina Under Consolidation, 1931-1963: History and AppraisalC378 UE30

This volume details the development of UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and UNC Greensboro during the period from 1931 to 1963. The conflict over desegregation within the University of North Carolina system is covered as are early reactions to the Speaker Ban Law by system administrators. 

Turner, Jeffrey A. Sitting In and Speaking Out: Students Movements in the American South, 1960-1970. C378 UE80

Turner's book focuses on the student activism of the 1960s. In particular, Turner discusses the initial desegregation of college campuses and the conflict that followed as Southern universities adjusted to new realities. Focused broadly on the American South, this volume provides context for the events at UNC- Chapel Hill during this time period, discussing civil rights activities at the school as well as the Speaker Ban Law and anti-Vietnam War protests. 

Cohen, Robert, ed. Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960sC378.9 R291j

This collection of essays, like Jeffrey Turner's book, focuses on student activism in the South during the 1960s. In addition to covering events at UNC- Chapel Hill, this volume discusses protests and race relations at other institutions of higher education in the South. 


Floren, Gillian Dar. Speaking Freely: UNC-CH Administrators Respond to Freedom of Expression, 1963-1970. Master's thesis, 1989. C378 UO2 1989 FLOREN, G.D

This thesis offers a concise look at each of the movements discussed in this guide. The work is particularly helpful in setting the UNC-Chapel Hill events into a national context. 

Donovan, Sarah Elizabeth. Caution and candor : the student movement at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1929-1940. Honors essay: Dept. of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998. C378 UO7 1998 v. 1

Michael, Randall Blake. Student activism : a study of a selected group of activists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969. Honors essay: Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1970. C378 UO14.1 1970

Student Publications

In addition to national and state news outlets, student protest movements at UNC-Chapel Hill were also covered in many campus publications. The following are student-published resources that may be relevant to the study of this topic. These resources are available at Wilson Special Collections Library and many can be found online. 

The Daily Tar Heel

Published since 1893, The Daily Tar Heel is the primary student newspaper at UNC-Chapel Hill and includes coverage of all student protests through news articles, photographs, editorials, and letters to the editor. The paper can be accessed on microfilm in the North Carolina Collection. The paper is freely available for the years February 1893 – December 2008 via the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Library patrons or users affiliated with UNC have free access to the paper via the database

Black Ink 

Black Ink is a news source published by the Black Student Movement at UNC-Chapel Hill. Issues from November 1, 1969 – December 1, 2001 can be accessed in the North Carolina Collection and online via DigitalNC.

The Left Heel

A publication of the UNC chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, The Left Heel covers both national and local issues, including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. 

Vietnam Viewpoints

Devoted to covering American involvement in Vietnam and related protests at home, this publication includes both original material and reprints of articles from other, similar newspapers. 

Newspapers and Periodicals

Student protest movements at UNC-Chapel Hill were covered extensively in newspapers across North Carolina and across the United States. Wilson Special Collections Library has a large collection of North Carolina newspapers that can be accessed online and in the library's readings rooms. The majority of newspapers housed in Wilson Library can be accessed on microfilm. This includes newspapers such as the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun. There are several additional ways to locate relevant newspaper articles. This is a subscription service available to users affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill and to patrons in the library buildings. The site contains digitized North Carolina newspapers and is full-text searchable. Most of the digitized newspaper issues date from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. Later issues can be accessed on microfilm. For those interested in University history, this site is particularly useful. Digitized editions of the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, are available from 1893 through 1992. 

America's News: This is a subscription service available to users affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill and to patrons in the library buildings. Of particular note, this database provides access to historical and current newspaper content from The News and Observer, The Greensboro News & Record, and The Charlotte Observer.

DigitalNC: This site contains a wealth of useful resources from across North Carolina including community newspapers, student newspapers, and yearbooks. Black Ink, the newspaper of the Black Student Movement at UNC, is available here as are publications from African American colleges in North Carolina such as North Carolina Central University and St. Augustine's College. Digitized editions of the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, are available from 1893 through 2008. 

North Carolina People, Places, and Things Citation Search: This tool allows researchers to search citations for newspaper articles gathered by North Carolina Collection staff members. Bound volumes of clippings can be found in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room and are a great resource for finding information on people, places, and things from the state. Relevant clipping collections include North Carolina Biographical ClippingsNorth Carolina Subject ClippingsUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Clippings, and Negroes in North Carolina Clippings. There are also smaller clippings collections that related to certain events and individuals at UNC- Chapel Hill. Particularly useful collections include: Opposition to the Vietnam War, UNC Student Body President Paul Dickson, and Food Service Workers' Strike

Additional Resources

North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives provides access to images from all of North Carolina's 100 counties. The archive, located in Wilson Library, is also the major repository for historical images documenting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photographs documenting anti-war protests, the food workers' strike, the Speaker Ban controversy, and civil rights demonstrations can be found in the many collections related to UNC-Chapel Hill

Southern Oral History Program

The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) is an effort to collect the many voices that have contributed to southern history. Over 5,000 people have been interviewed by faculty and students at UNC. The interview database can be searched online. Many of the interviews are available online and the work is archived at Wilson Special Collections Library.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

While this LibGuide lists a number of resources that deal primarily with student protest movements at UNC-Chapel Hill, there are many other, broader sources that include at least some information about the subject. Library of Congress Subject Headings are an excellent way to locate additional material in Wilson Library, Researchers can search the UNC Libraries online catalog for the following subjects:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- History 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- Students

College students -- Political activity -- North Carolina

Peace movements -- North Carolina

Student protesters -- North Carolina -- Chapel Hill

Student movements -- North Carolina -- Chapel Hill