Free Speech Movement Archives (FSM-A)

Our patient labors -- oy, the meetings! -- have finally born fruit solid enough to announce:

(1) The incorporation of the Free Speech Movement Archives (FSM-A) as a not-for-profit California corporation has been completed. Our additional certification for 501(c)(3) status [tax-deductibility of contributions] will come later this year. For more about how FSM-A came to be, who's been involved so far, and what we're up to, see the separate message.

(2) FSM-A's web-site is Though still unpublicized, it's already receiving 50 visitors a day, and connecting with students and teachers who are looking for materials on our history. We have lots to put online and will be adding continually during coming weeks.

Please visit the site and tell people about it. We hope this preview will help you find ways to connect with the project:

-- We've put the first 17 chapters of Hal Draper's BERKELEY: THE NEW STUDENT REVOLT -- out of print since 1967 -- online, and need someone to help digitalize the rest.

-- Hurwitt, Avakian, and Rossman have already contributed personal memoirs. We're eager for more -- whether published (please secure necessary permissions if you can), or written on the spur of this occasion.

-- Along with a first batch of digitalized leaflets, we're presenting a comprehensive index of FSM documents. Of 264 identified so far, many are known only from preserved mimeo stencils, and many more only as faint and damaged copies; dozens more remain to be discovered. We hope for your help in gathering copies clear enough to put online.

-- We're seeking materials from movements leading up to and following from the FSM. Tom Weller and Barry Silverberg have contributed marvellous documents from the early days of VDC. We need someone to take on the task and pleasure of organizing SLATE material for the Web.The section named "STACKS" on our site has a detailed survey of materials we plan to develop.

-- FSM Veterans' affairs will be a growing section on the site. The list of people we've lost touch with has brought a dozen "lost lambs" into the fold so far. There's a full transcript of the memorable noon rally during the 20th anniversary reunion in 1984, linked to live audio on another web-site. (Transcripts of the historical panels will go on-line when someone digitalizes them.) Reports are online from the various memorials for Mario, and from the December dedication of Savio Steps.

-- A growing section of LINKS leads to other Web sites of related interests. A few FSM photos are online and more to come. Someone eager to tend these bases could have a ball.

-- We've hardly been able to explore ways of contacting teachers and students, but the site has enough to offer now that it's time to begin. Please help spread the word, give us strategic advice, and send us email addresses of faculty who may be interested.

-- Please sign up for the FSM-A News (by email) on the Web site, to be notified when new material is added.

FSM-A's Web site is a promise that we have something to offer the future, through the living record of our history and understanding; and that some of us have begun seriously to make this rhetoric concrete. It's a challenge in several senses -- for who are we to say what should be put forth publicly as the FSM's history? What we put online calls you to tell us what else should be be there. Already you will see a rich diversity of materials and views, and we count on you to make it richer. The site is a challenge to offer as much as usefully as we can, and an invitation to join in this project. If you care to, the field lies open; we'd welcome your company.


We are glad to announce that the university has received a major bequest ($3.5 million) from Stephen Silberstein, in honor of Mario and the FSM. Most of the funds will go toward creating a Free Speech Movement Cafe outside the undergraduate library, with a display dedicated to Mario's memory and historical FSM exhibits; and for a perpetual book fund.A generous chunk will go also to the Bancroft Library, to enable it to deal properly with the FSM materials it holds (largely donated by long-term FSM archivist Marston Schultz) and to make a large number of FSM documents available on the Bancroft Web site.

We welcome Bancroft's web-project whole-heartedly. As a scholarly archive, offering public access to original materials, the Bancroft is first-class. We have been in slow, friendly discussion with Bancroft for several months about the massive archives we still hold. Among our concerns are these: We hope to see as many documents as possible be put on-line in searchable text form (not just as images). We hope to see as wide a range as possible on-line, extending to the histories leading up to and following from the FSM. We hope to make original documents, especially A/V tapes, directly available to documentary producers.

We are optimistic that such concerns can be well-resolved. We have agreed with Bancroft to develop a working relationship re. Web presentation of materials it presently holds. We hope this will prepare the grounds of transfer of FSM-A's materials -- or much of these, for we may also place archives of duplicate material at other institutions. We'll add links to Bancroft's FSM-related Web pages from our own Web site as they develop. Register on our site if you want news of this.

********* Of course, there must be a fund pitch. We've got just about enough in the kitty to print and mail a substantial newsletter to the 90% on our list whom we can't reach by email. (I hope.) Even with volunteer labor, we're hobbled without financial help. Some money now will help us deliver on the promise to make this year's contributions tax-deductible. If you can send $25 or more, we'll use it gratefully to extend the work we're doing. But important as money is, we hope for your priceless help. Our small group has made a good beginning; with more involved we could move more quickly and fully to share our history with many.

Please be so kind as to relay this message to others who would be interested -- and especially to send print copies to those without email, who otherwise may be long in receiving it. By now, probably twice as many on our list are online, as the 190 to whom this is addressed. Please help us gather their email addresses; send them to our Listkeeper Barbara at All regular mail should be addressed c/o FSM Archives, 1741 Virginia St., Berkeley CA 94703. Please note the subject on the outside of the envelope.

We hope you're gladdened by what we've put on-line.

Michael Rossman, for the FSM-A Board and Web Committee


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Last updated 15 May 1998