Yale offered more papers on Kent State
Register Metro Editor
-NEW HAVEN — The widow of the former president of Kent State
University, who served in the aftermath of the 1970 fatal shootings by
National Guard troops, would like his final papers to go to Yale
University's archives. Eva Olds, who lives in Sherwood, Ore., said she prefers
that the collection, on which Glenn A. Olds based his memoirs, go to
the school where he earned a doctorate, rather than the one enshrouded
in controversy after four students were shot dead.
"I've talked with the children and believe
that Yale is really the only proper place for my husband's papers," she
said. "I wouldn't want to divide it up."
Glenn Olds died in March 2006 at age 85.
serving at Kent State in Ohio, he had served as president of Alaska
Pacific University in Anchorage. Earlier, he consulted on forming the
Peace Corps and served at the United Nations under President Nixon.
Yale and Kent State have extensive May 4, 1970, collections, and Kent
State holds Olds' presidential papers. The final destination for his
remaining archives grew uncertain because Yale had closed its Kent
State collection to new donors.
Paul D. Keane, one of the
founders of the Yale collection, has been representing Eva Olds and
believes her husband's papers would be safer at Yale.
Keane attended both schools.
and author Peter Davies originally donated their Kent State-related
papers to Yale because Kent State "refused to guarantee Peter Davies
that his papers would be preserved as evidence in the civil trial,"
In response to e-mails from Keane asking him to
intervene, Yale President Richard C. Levin said the university would
consider taking Glenn Olds' papers if his widow made the request.
is customary to keep papers such as those of Dr. Olds in the place
where scholars would expect to find them, and where the surrounding
context is relevant, in this case, Kent State University," Levin wrote.
said that Yale archives would need to know how much of Olds' career his
papers document. "We have not heard directly from Mrs. Olds regarding
her late husband's papers ... so we cannot make any determination as to
whether Mr. Olds' larger archive, as opposed to those papers relating
solely to his time at Kent State, would be suitable for Yale."
Eva Olds, who has been dealing with personal and family health issues in the last year, said she isn't planning to call Yale.
"I'm not going to do anything. If anyone is interested, they can contact me," she said.
Gilgenbach, head of special collections and archives at the Kent State
Library, said the 37 cubic feet of Olds presidential papers are the
most important holding for Kent State, and it's common for scholars to
have to go to more than one location to research their subject.
person had a long, diverse career. As long as you know that the papers
are basically at a professionally run repository, it's very easy to
refer people to that place."
Gilgenbach said she would be
willing to talk to Eva Olds about her husband's papers but she wouldn't
initiate contact. "That might be seen as actively trying to stir up
controversy, and we're not interested in doing that," she said.
Kent State collection was in the media spotlight this spring when one
of nine students wounded in the shootings released an audiotape that he
said included a National Guard officer's order to fire on students. The
tape had been donated to Yale in 1989.
Ed Stannard can be reached at email@example.com or 789-5743.
©New Haven Register 2007