From the Archives

To help introduce the collections to the campus community, 
the Center for History, Politics and Policy will select from
various material in the collection that will be featured on the
archives website

Students and faculty interested in making an appointment to
view the collections should contact Archivist Erin

The Dress Code

posted Mar 9, 2017, 10:47 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Mar 9, 2017, 10:57 AM ]

By late 1945, the United States was finally out of the Great Depression and out of a state of war. The country began a change back to normalcy, and college enrollment numbers soared as veterans took advantage of the GI Bill. With this, a change in thinking arose, and some people began to question what was considered ‘usual’.  

The student newspaper, The Reflector, was used as an outlet to display student opinions on the possibilities of changes, such as the dress code. On December 19, 1945, the student body was questioned, “Do you think we should be allowed to wear slacks in school during the winter months?” Of course, not everyone believed that this was a good idea as many respondents stated the absurdity of women being allowed to wear pants as opposed to the requirement of a skirt. The war had brought changes in thinking, however, most people still believed that women wearing slacks to school was ridiculous.

It was not until May 1965 that the college decided to run a trial period where they rescinded the dress code policy, trusting the attire choices of the students. The rest is history!

To read the last student handbook that stated a dress code, click below:
(coming soon!)


posted Oct 22, 2015, 10:11 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:28 AM ]

Interested in learning more about the start of our Football Team, Homecoming, or the Cougar mascot?  Take a look at the following issues of the student newspaper:
17 October 1970 issue 
O'Donnell, Tom. "Football at N.S.C.?" Independent [Union] 17 Oct. 1970: 11. Print.
O'Donnell, Tom. "Squires Prepare for Fall Football Debut." Independent [Union] 17 Oct. 1970: 11. Print.
"Soulful Weekend Slated for Oct." Independent [Union] 17 Oct. 1970: 9-10. Print.
Burkhardt, Bob. "Paterson State Nips NSC.....10-5." Independent [Union] 22 Oct. 1970: 15. Print.
Fixler, Eugene. "Gifted and Black Presented." Independent [Union] 22 Oct. 1970: 3. Print.
Graf, Ken. "Squires Lose Two Down Monmouth." Independent [Union] 22 Oct. 1970: 15. Print.
Rockin' Bob. "Chambers Brothers, Factory Perform in TPA." Independent [Union] 22 Oct. 1970: 1. Print.
White, Ina. "Homecoming, Soulful Weekend Celebrated." Independent [Union] 22 Oct. 1970: 1. Print.

21 February 1985

Good, Wendy.
 "Squires Change Name to Cougars." Independent [Union] 21 Feb. 1985: 12. Print.

Also in the collection is the following student paper:
Bowley, John E., Jr. "An Analysis of the Protracted, Successful Battle for a Football Team at Kean (1962-1970)." Term Paper. Kean College of New Jersey, 1979. Print.

Picking a Name

posted Sep 10, 2015, 6:51 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:28 AM ]

September’s Document of the Month highlights the resolution changing the name of Newark State College to Kean College of New Jersey. Previous names have included Newark Normal School, New Jersey State Teachers College, and Newark State College. The resolution and meeting minutes for the Name Change Committee, including pages with name recommendations, can be found in the University Archives Collection.

Click on the following links to see the to see a selection of names that didn't make the cut, the resolution, and an article announcing the name change from the Linden Leader newspaper. 

Send the archivist a selfie with one of the real signs featured in the image:  The first 2 will each win a $5 gift card to Starbucks!

Lincoln's Day of Thanksgiving

posted May 12, 2015, 6:43 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:29 AM ]

As the nation wraps up commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the Kean University Archives and Special Collections takes a look at a special service of thanksgiving celebrated in the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth during the war. 

President Lincoln called for a day of prayer and thanksgiving on August 6, 1863, in the aftermath of Union victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and on the Mississippi River. To read his proclamation click hereOn that day of reflection, the Rev. David Magie of Second Presbyterian delivered a sermon which so impressed listeners that they published it in booklet form. Rev. Magie noted that the war had shown Americans the true nature of slavery, and he predicted with confidence that a “repentant” South would soon return to the Union. 

The booklet can be found in the University’s newly rediscovered New Jersey Historical Documents Collection.

Robert Winthrop Kean Congressional Papers

posted Apr 6, 2015, 11:04 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:29 AM ]

Robert Winthrop Kean, the father of former Governor Thomas Kean and grandfather of state Senator Thomas Kean Jr., was a prominent New Jersey politician who served in the House of Representatives from 1939 to 1959.  His career on Capitol Hill spanned two critical decades in 20th Century American history.  

The Congressional Papers of Robert Winthrop Kean include 114 linear feet of papers. They include financial and legal papers, printed material, spreadsheets, drafts, notes, correspondence, and other written material documenting Kean's career as a member of Congress, his campaign for Senator in 1958, as well as family and personal accounts.

The finding aid for the collection is available on the Collections page, or select: Robert Winthrop Kean Congressional Papers.

The following letters about the lacrosse incident were filed under Subgroup 1: Administrative Assistant Files, 1941, Race Prejudice:
Letter from Congressman Robert Winthrop Kean to Admiral Russell Willson: Click here.
Reply from Admiral Willson to Congressman Kean: Click here.

Florence P. Dwyer

posted Feb 27, 2015, 8:49 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:30 AM ]

Actress Patricia Arquette’s passionate speech on behalf of equal pay for women at last month’s Academy Awards captured a great deal of attention. So did another speech on the same topic, given 58 years ago this month. On March 25, 1957, New Jersey Congresswoman Florence Dwyer introduced a bill calling for the federal government to mandate equal pay for equal work for women. President John Kennedy signed the bill into law in 1963. Congresswoman Dwyer’s speech is this month’s featured Document of the Month from the Kean University Archives and Special Collections. The speech can be found in the Papers of Florence Dwyer, housed in the Nancy Thompson Library. To read her speech, click here.

Florence Price Dwyer was the second woman – and first Republican woman – elected to Congress from New Jersey.  She served in the House from 1957 to 1973.  She was a staunch advocate for women’s rights, and was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War. Her collection includes over 400 cubic feet of correspondence, bills, speeches, photographs, radio broadcast transcriptions, campaign records, and memorabilia.  For more information on the Florence Dwyer collection, click here.

Kean University students taking 3336 Women’s History and 4990 Senior Seminar in History are conducting original historical research with the collection for their course work.  The students will highlight Dwyer’s accomplishments at the State House in Trenton on March 5th and a Senate Resolution in her honor will be announced. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

posted Feb 3, 2015, 1:43 PM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:30 AM ]

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Newark State College, now Kean University, on February 9, 1961, as part of the college's M. Ernest Townsend Memorial Lecture Series. He signed the college's guest book and posed for a picture with Eugene G. Wilkins, President of Newark State and Donald R. Raichle, a Professor of History. Dr. King told his audience that they should meet injustice with non-violence, saying that "the first-class citizen must never resort to second-class methods ... We will persuade you with words ... we will endure all suffering you inflict on us and still love you. We will enter with humble smiles into your jails and still love you."

For more about Dr. King's visit, check out the following resources in the archives: 
  • M. Ernest Townsend Memorial Lecture Series Guest Book and photograph 
  • 1961 Memorabilia yearbook page with a photograph and description of the lecture series
  • Issues of the student newspaper, Reflector, scanned by the Kean University Library: 
"King, Lerner, Webster, Douglas to Speak Here in '61." Reflector [Union] 11 Oct. 1960: 1. Print.  Click here
"Rev. King Arrested." Reflector [Union]  1 Nov. 1960: 1. Print.  Click here
"Calendar." Reflector [Union] 10 Jan. 1961: 2. Print. Click here
"Martin Luther King." Reflector [Union] 7 Feb. 1961: 1. Print. Click here
Lello, Andrea. "We Will Win Our Freedom Says Martin Luther King." Reflector [Union] 21 Feb. 1961: 1. Print. Click here

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