The Observer Records, 1907 -- 1989


Title: The Observer Records
Dates: 1907 -- 1989
Bulk Dates: 1975 -- 1984
Creator: The Observer
Call Number: UA062
Size: 13.2 Linear Feet, 11 boxes, 64 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


The Observer collection contains photographs, negatives, and newspaper clippings from 1969-1988. It also contains research files of the Observer staff such as bulletins, brochures, correspondence, interviews, legal documents (e.g., findings of fact, depositions), memorandum, newsletters, pamphlets, planning documents, and reports. The collection represents the activities of student journalistic research, photography, and publication. The Observer staff organized material by subject headings.

This finding aid contains language that may be offensive or outdated. Because such language is in existing titles or direct transcription of materials, it has not been changed. Keeping this language intact provides the most accurate depiction of the creators' intent, and can potentially tell us important things about bigotry and bias on the part of the creators, or in a particular historical context. It can also preserve terms formerly applied by a group to self-identify that have since fallen out of common usage.


This collection is organized into four series: Photographs; Article files; Research files; and Negatives.

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. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection was processed by Jennifer Phillips, supervised by Susanne Belovari. In the original acquisition, there was a box of miscellaneous publications, which presumably were part of the Observer reference files. When these were duplicates of publications found in other collections, we disposed of them. These included: fundraising publications and pamphlets for the Campaign for Tufts; 2 commencement bulletins; a "Traditions at Tufts" pamphlet; the "Diversity report on women" (1972); an Annual report (1981); a "Section 504 Self-evaluation" (1979).

This collection is processed.

In Winter 2020 this finding aid was reviewed for offensive description by Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt.

Subjects and Genre Terms

Series Description

  1. Observer photographs, 1907 -- 1989

    This series contains the photographs that probably constituted the Observer's photographic library including images from other sources. Files may also contain related material, such as brochures, graphics, negatives, programs, and reports. Subject headings include campus facilities, issues and events, faculty and staff, students, sports, and speakers. Many of the photographs are undated, so date ranges are not inclusive.

  2. Observer article files, 1969 -- 1986

    This series contains newspaper clippings organized by subject headings. It also contains brochures, correspondence, reports, memoranda, minutes, promotional materials, newsletters, public statements, interviews, and articles published elsewhere. These article folders represent a partial collection of stories published by the Observer on select topics from 1970 to 1984. Topics include: academic issues, administrative issues, buildings, events, people, and student life. Some files include cross references to other topics.

    At the end of this series is a partial subject index to Observer articles from 1985-1986. Organization of the index is alphabetical, but "B" and "O" are missing. During processing this index was grouped with the series, Article files, since both articles and index probably served a research/reference function.

  3. Observer research files, 1968 -- 1982

    This series contains research files on topics including government agencies, university budget, legal disputes, people, student senate, student resources. Types of materials include: legal documents, newspaper clippings, planning documents, reports, copies of FBI materials available through the Freedom of Information Act. This series also contains organizational information about the Observer and graphics (cartoons) published by the Observer. Cartoons are organized by general topics, and individual cartoons are cross-referenced to particular article files.

  4. Observer negatives, 1972 -- 1989

    This series contains photo negatives and some contact sheets from the Observer. Subject headings include sites on and off campus, issues and events, faculty and staff, students, sports, and speakers.

View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized.