Metcalf Hall Protest Posters and Resident Life Records, circa 1969 -- 1976


Title: Metcalf Hall Protest Posters and Resident Life Records
Dates: circa 1969 -- 1976
Call Number: UA249
Size: 3 Cubic Feet, 54 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): This collection is mostly in English with some materials in Spanish.  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection contains protest posters addressing a variety of topics such as the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, capitalism, and workers' rights; three checkout binders for residence halls at Tufts University; and a silkscreen for an original student musical that was found with the posters.


This collection is arranged in two series: Protest posters, and Resident Life records.


Metcalf Hall

Metcalf Hall was constructed in 1893 to serve as a dormitory for women students. It was named for Albert Metcalf, member of the Board of Trustees, who donated funds to construct the building. It was designed by J. Philip Rinn.

The building included a dining hall for women, and was supervised by a house matron. Residents were allowed to receive guests only in common area, and were required to be in their rooms by 10:00 p.m. nightly. The men students quickly dubbed the new residence the "Bird Cage" in honor of its residents.

In 1937 an addition to the west side of the building was made to provide additional housing for women, and nearly doubled the size of the original building.

Currently the building is home to the Metcalf Living and Learning Community, which is supervised by a scholar-in-residence who works with undergraduate students interested in current affairs in politics, education, and ethics and provides opportunities for students to engage Tufts' faculty and each other in a more informal atmosphere.

Student Protests at Tufts, 1960s-1970s

Tufts has a long history of student activism stemming from its founding, but one of the most acute periods of activism ran from 1967 to 1972. Opposition to the Vietnam War and was the biggest catalyst for student protest, but students also protested U.S. involvement in apartheid South Africa, for increased representation of and support for African-Americans on campus, and for greater student involvement in the Tufts administration. Opposition to the Vietnam War also prompted student protests against military recruitment and against the presence of the ROTC on campus.

In the fall of 1969, students organized a one-day boycott of classes in opposition to the Vietnam War. There were six major confrontations between the school and student protesters during the 1970-71 academic year. At the Fletcher School, the office of Dean Gullion was firebombed in March 1971 in an apparent act of opposition to his open support for the war and the School's close ties to the military, which had both been a frequent source of criticism from Tufts activists.

Student activism began to decline after the 1971-72 academic year, as the U.S.'s involvement in the Vietnam War drew to a close. Student activism on other issues has continued up to the present.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Preferred Citation

Metcalf Hall Protest Posters and Resident Life Records, 1969-1976. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Collection History

Processing Notes

Processing was completed by Leah Edelman and Alejandra Garcia in 2018. Materials were placed in archival boxes and folders where needed, and posters were arranged alphabetically by title. An item-level inventory and series-level descriptions were created, and the finding aid was created at the time of processing.


Transferred by Vikram Krishnamakari and Chloe Amouyal, residents of Metcalf Hall, 2018, accession UA-2018-054.

Custodial History

These materials were discovered in a storage closet at Metcalf Hall by First Year Advisor Vikram Krishnamakari and resident Chloe Amouyal, who then contacted DCA. They were retrieved by Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt, Archives and Research Assistant Rose Koven, and Public Services and Outreach Archivist Pam Hopkins in April 2018.

Subjects and Genre Terms

Series Description

  1. Protest posters, circa 1969 -- 1976

    This series contains protest posters addressing a variety of topics such as the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, capitalism, and workers' rights. It includes several posters related to Kent State which likely date from spring and summer 1970. It also contains an undated silkscreen advertising an original musical, "Hasty Prophets," found with the protest posters in Metcalf Hall.

  2. Resident Life records, 1976

    This series contains checkout binders for three residence halls at Tufts University.