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NO.69 SPRING 2006
BENE LEGERE
NEWSLETTER OF THE
LIBRARY ASSOCIATES

The Library Associates

Join more than 6,000 other friends, book lovers, alumni, and faculty who recognize that the influence of a great research library reaches beyond the university it serves to the many communities of which it is a part.

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The H. K. Yuen Social Movement Archive

Ethnic Studies and Bancroft Libraries

frog

Frog in the Well, an Asian folk tale describing H.K. Yuen's motivation for his work.
There was a complacent frog who observed the world from the bottom of a deep well. The frog knew everything about his immediate surroundings, yet hadn't a clue about the vast possibilities that lay just beyond his view. What the frog saw and experienced at the bottom of the well shaped its perspective on the world and how it interpreted what it couldn't see. Original image by H.K. Yuen, digitized and colorized by Lincoln Cushing.

One could say that this archive represents a return to the Bancroft's roots. Just like Hubert Howe Bancroft, who collected contemporary political documents (including the original records of the various vigilante committees in San Francisco), H.K. Yuen was an amateur in the field moved by circumstances to take on a massive labor of love.
--Lincoln Cushing, Bancroft’s Cataloging and Electronic Outreach Librarian

Bettina Aptheker , Sproul Plaza rally recorded live June 1967: "It's very interesting going to jail being six months pregnant. I think it's going to be the first kid that ever served his sentence before he sat in."

This multi-media record of the social and political movements of the 1960s and 1970s includes 30,000 hours of audio recordings documenting rallies, speeches, marches and other activities, most of which occurred on the UC Berkeley campus. It also holds fliers, underground newspapers, photographs, posters and film, a wealth of primary materials that directly convey the tumult and excitement of the times. They were collected by H.K Yuen, a Berkeley alumnus (B.A. and M.A. in physics), who coupled the new technology of portable tape recording with his scientific understanding of the value of empiricism, and a keen sense of the whirlwind of social change.

Scholars on American political history, including battles over sexual freedom, race relations, conditions of labor, Democratic party composition and politics of war and anti-war, will find a wealth of research possibilities in the collection once it is cataloged. Berkeley history professor Waldo Martin and UCLA graduate student Joshua Bloom have already used the collection for a 2006 book, Black Against the Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Black Panther Party. The book draws upon newly archived letters and papers to shed new light on the reasons behind the rapid rise and fall of the Black Panther Party.

Bettina Aptheker , Sproul Plaza rally recorded live June 1967: "It's very interesting going to jail being six months pregnant. I think it's going to be the first kid that ever served his sentence before he sat in."


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Originally published Spring 2006. Server manager: contact