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A Guide to the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Thomas N. Gardner Papers 1948-1994 [1958-1975] Southern Student Organizing Committee and Thomas N. Gardner Papers, 1948-1994 [1958-1975] 11192-a

A Guide to the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Thomas N. Gardner Papers 1948-1994 [1958-1975]

A Collection in
The Special Collections Department
Accession Number 11192-a


Special Collections, University of Virginia Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110
Phone: (434) 243-1776
Fax: (434) 924-4968
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Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Accession number
Southern Student Organizing Committee and Thomas N. Gardner Papers 1948-1994 [1958-1975]
Physical Characteristics
This collection contains ca. 2,500 items (housed in 6 Hollinger boxes, 2.5 linear feet), including correspondence, memoranda, reports, minutes, broadsides, printed materials, articles, speeches, and newsclippings.
This collection contains Tom Gardner's papers as staff member and chairman of the SSOC until its demise in 1969, as a radical campus leader at the University of Virginia, and as an active participant in anti-war, labor and civil rights protests in the South

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Southern Student Organizing Committee and Thomas N. Gardner Papers, 1948-1994 [1958-1975], Accession #11192-a, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information

These papers were given to the University of Virginia Library by Thomas N. Gardner, Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 21, 1995.

Biographical/Historical Information

Thomas Gardner was born in New Orleans in 1946 and grew up mainly in the South. He became involved in the student movement in 1964, during his first year at the University of Virginia, becoming active in the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) and the Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee as a community organizer in eight Southside Virginia counties.

He left school for a time to serve on the staff of the National Student Association's Southern Project in Atlanta and then as a full-time campus traveler with SSOC, serving as its chairman from 1967-1969. In 1967, Gardner "represented SSOC in the first meeting between anti-war and civil rights activists in the United States, and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. Tom helped steer SSOC toward greater involvement against the Vietnam war and draft, and during the summer of 1968, he was Southern Field Director for the Vietnam Summer Project, organized out of Cambridge.

Later Gardner finished his degree in sociology at the University of Virginia and completed two master's degrees, one in journalism at the University of Georgia and the second at the Kennedy School of Government in 1985.

Since 2001, he has been associate professor of communication at Westfield State University. He was formerly managing director of the Media Education Foundation of Northampton, Mass., public affairs officer for Harvard Divinity School, senior editor at the Harvard Institute for International Development, and director of communications for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scope and Content Information

This collection consists of the papers of Thomas N. Gardner, Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1948, 1958-1975, 1990, and 1994, including correspondence, memoranda, reports, minutes, broadsides, printed materials, articles, speeches, and newsclippings. The subject files are chiefly concerned with topics related to the draft and the Vietnam War, labor issues in the South, and the student and civil rights protest movements. Also present is a 1948 scrapbook concerning the Progressive Party Presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965).

Adjunct Descriptive Data

The correspondence of Thomas N. Gardner includes periodic form letters concerning the SSOC and the following persons or topics:
Appalachian Enterprises, Inc. (1968 Apr 19)
Carl Braden - death (1975 Mar 1)
Campus Organizers' Strategy Seminar (1967 Aug 24-25)
Conference on the draft and Vietnam War (1967 Nov 11)
Bob Dewart (1966 Oct 9-10, 23; 1968 Feb 27)
Draft resistance (1966 Jul 2, 9; Aug 9, 16; Dec 4; 1968 Feb 22, 26)
Gardner family involvement in public life (1967 Aug 13)
Gene Guerrero (1968 Feb 15)
Hanoi trip, unable to go (1967 Oct 31)
Nathaniel Lee Hawthorne (1975 Mar 4; Apr 29)
Japanese Student Autonomous Association, Hiroshima University (1967 Jul 31)
Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War (1968 Feb 12)
Harlon E. Joye (1967 Jul 31; Aug 3)
Howard Levy (1967 Jul 23)
Linda Morse, Student Mobilization Committee (1967 Aug 15)
Shirley Newton (1967 Apr 3, 14, 30)
Palestinian movement (1971 Nov 16)
Peace Tour, Arkansas (1967 Jul 31; Aug 15)
Peace Tour, North Carolina (1967 Oct 14, 28, 29)
Peace Tour, South Carolina (1968 Feb 7)
Prague Conference (1967 Jul 28; Aug 15)
Sedition charges against the McSurelys and Joseph Malloy (1967 Aug 13, 14)
Southern Conference Educational Fund (1967 Dec 16)
Southern Legal Action Movement (1967 Jul 26)
Southern Student Human Relations Project (1966 Oct)
Students for a Democratic Society - SSOC relations (1968 Jan 13, 24; Feb 13, Apr 16)
Student Religious Liberals re an internship (1966 Apr 12, 24; May 18, 26, 31; Jun 7)
Le Thiet, Vietnam students (1968 Feb 5)
George Vissard - death (1967 Jul 23, 28)
Voter Education Project (1966 Oct 19)
Lyn Wells (1967 Aug 11)

Contents List

Correspondence of Thomas N. Gardner [ca. 1965]-1975
Box 1
4 folders
Subject Files
  • Box 1
    A-C (general) ca. 1966-1967, n.d.

    including: AFL-CIO Legislative Department, Africa Today , Facts on Alcorn, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Friends Service Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Boston Draft Resistance Group, the legal case of John Buenfil, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Charlottesville Freedom Movement, the Charlottesville Workshop in Nonviolence, and Credit Unions

  • Box 1
    Campaign GM (General Motors) 1970-1971
  • Box 1
    Charlottesville School Desegregation -- Interviews 1965
  • Box 1
    D-K (general) 1958-1967

    including: draft resistance and Gene Guerrero, Duke Employees Local 77, Far Horizons , The Fellowship of Reconciliation, financial aid for minorities, Gulf Coast Pulpwood Association, Highlander News , The House Committee on Un-American Activities, the John Birch Society, and the Kentucky Conference on the War/the Draft

  • Box 2
    Draft and Selective Service System Study 1962-1967, n.d.
    3 folders
  • Box 2
    Friends World College, Committee on 1965-1966
  • Box 2
    Henry Howell Campaign for Governor 1969, n.d.
  • Box 2
    L-R (general) ca. 1966-1975

    including: the Joann Little Defense Fund, Inc., Lowndes County Freedom Organization, the "Mississippi Manifesto," National Farm Worker's Association, Operation Crossroads Africa, Orangeburg Massacre, Poor Peoples Corporation, Prince Edward County education, racism, radical Southern history, Marcus Raskin's speech mailing list, and a Congressional bill concerning riots

  • Box 2
    Labor Law ca. 1968-1970
  • Box 2
    New University Conference (NUC) 1970-1971
  • Box 2
    North Carolina & Lyn Wells 1965, n.d.
  • Box 2
    Notes re: William T. Sherman n.d.
  • Box 2
    Charles Nunnally Case n.d.
  • Box 2
    S (general) ca. 1965-1967

    including: school desegregation, Scope , Socialist Party, Southern Regional Council, Inc., Students for a Democratic Society (organizer's work lists and pamphlets), Student Government Information Service, "Student Leadership in Race Relations," and Student Religious Liberals

  • Box 3
    Scrapbook re: Presidential Campaign of Henry A. Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket 1948
  • Box 3
    South Africa Coal Conference 1974, n.d.
  • Box 3
    Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) 1965-1972
  • Box 3
    Southern Historical Association Radical Caucus 1969-1970
  • Box 3
    Southern Legal Action Movement (SLAM) 1969-1971, n.d.
  • Box 3
    Southern Research Institute Proposal 1966-1969
  • Box 3
    Southern Student Movement 1968-1970
  • Box 4
    Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) 1967-1968, n.d.
    2 folders
  • Box 4
    SSOC -- By-laws, Constitution and Lists of Members & Staff 1966-1968
  • Box 4
    SSOC -- Proposals 1966-1967, n.d.
  • Box 4
    SSOC & Students for a Democratic Society Split 1969, n.d.
  • Box 4
    SSOC -- Theory & Program Suggestions 1968-1969
  • Box 4
    Student Mobilization Committee 1967
  • Box 4
    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1966-1967
  • Box 4
    Students & Labor in the South 1966-1967
  • Box 5
    T-Z (general) ca. 1964-1971

    including: "Tutoring Reading," Union For Radical Political Economics, United States National Student Association, Upland Institute, Virginia Council on Human Relations, Voting Rights Act of 1965, War Resisters League, the W.E.B. Dubois Clubs, the West Virginia Council of the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and White Community Project Workshop

  • Box 5
    United committee to Free Anglia Davis 1970-1971
  • Box 5
    University of Virginia 1966, n.d.
  • Box 5
    University of Virginia Chapter -- American Association of University Professors 1968-1969
  • Box 5
    University of Virginia -- Off-Grounds Housing 1966, n.d.
  • Box 5
    Vietnam Summer 1967, n.d.
  • Box 5
    Vietnam Protest 1965-1968, n.d.
    2 folders
  • Box 5
    Virginia Research Institute 1969-1973, n.d.
    2 folders
  • Box 6
    Virginia Students' Civil Rights Committee Voter Registration and Education Project -- Charlotte County, Virginia 1966-1975, n.d.
  • Box 5
    The Virginia Weekly Articles & Correspondence, Libel Suit 1971, n.d.
Articles & Printed Material
  • Box 6
    "American Labor and the IndoChina War" by Philip Foner 1970, n.d.
  • Box 6
    "American Women: Their Use and Abuse" by Lyn Wells 1969
  • Box 6
    "Dixie's New Left" by Harlon E. Joye 1970
  • Box 6
    "Manpower Unchanneled" by Tom Gardner from We Won't Go Personal Accounts of War Objectors collected by Alice Lynd [1968]
  • Oversize box P-18
    Miscellaneous Newspapers 1967-1972

    including: The Hilltop News , The Militant , The Phoenix , SDS New Left Notes , SLAM , The Southern Patriot , and The Student Mobilizer

  • Box 6
    The New South Student 1967-1969
  • Box 6
    News clippings ca. 1966-1969
  • Box 6
    "The Role of the Southern Radical and the American New Left" -- A Discussion Bulletin 1967 May 5-7
  • Box 6
    Socialist Revolution 1974
  • Box 6
    "SSOC -- The Southern Student Organizing Committee" by Tom Gardner 1970, 1994
  • Box 6
    SSOC -- Articles 1966-1968, n.d.
  • Box 6
    SSOC -- Handbook 1969
  • Box 6
    SSOC -- Pamphlets n.d.
  • Box 6
    SSOC -- Prospectus & Speakers' Guide 1968-1969
  • Box 6
    SSOC -- Virginia Newsletter 1969 Feb
  • Oversize box P-18
    The Virginia Weekly (10 printed issues) 1970-1972
  • "White Southern Student Activists in the 60's -- What We Did and Why": A Lecture by Tom Gardner for Julian Bond's Class "History of the Civil Rights Movement" 1990 Nov 20