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Students for a Democratic Society Records

Identifier: WUA-05-wua00190

The collection contains Washington University Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) material, including information from conferences and meetings, newsclippings, publications, membership lists, minutes of meetings of St. Louis chapter, and unclassified letters, as well as various publications collected by Terry Koch.


  • 1956-1972


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


14.50 linear feet

Historical Information

The Washington University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society was formed in June 1965.  In their formation statement, the Society stated “We share with the national organization the definition of our organization as ‘an association of young people on the left, [seeking] to create a sustained community of educational and political concern; one bringing together liberals and radicals, activists and scholars, students and faculty.  We maintain a vision of a democratic society where at all levels the people have control of the decisions which affect them and the resources on which they are dependent.  We seek a relevance through continual focus on realities and on the programs necessary to effect change at the most basic levels of economic, political and social organization.  We feel the urgency to put forth a radical democratic program…’”  They also stated “we seek power for the students, education of them, and action by them, in order to establish a democratic society at Washington University.”

Membership in the Society was open to any student of Washington University and to any other person approved by the members.


The collection is divided into the following two series:

Series 01: Students for a Democratic Society Material (in original order)

Series 02: Publications Collected by Terry Koch and other Personal Materials

(Arranged by type of material, with publications described in a separate document.)

Series 02 is divided into eight sub-series:

Sub-Series 02.01 Publications: American (by title)

Sub-Series 02.02 Publications: United States (by title)

Sub-Series 02.03 Publications: St. Louis (by title)

Sub-Series 02.04 Publications: St. Louis (oversized)

Sub-Series 02.05 Publications: Washington University in St. Louis (by title)

Sub-Series 02.06 Publications: International (by country, then by title)

Sub-Series 02.07 Publications: Students for a Democratic Society, National (by title)

Sub-Series 02.08 Personal materials of Terry Koch

Method of Acquisition

Material in Series 01 was donated to the University Archives by Terry Koch, Washington University Students for a Democratic Society Treasurer on October 28, 1966 with additional material added in subsequent years.

Material in Series 02 was donated to the University Archives by Terry Koch on June 12, 2009.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are interfiled within the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Rachel Wigen-Toccalino, Adam Rothman, and Sonya Rooney in September 2008. Series 02 processing by Elizabeth Baldwin in April 2011 and Ashley Eckhardt in May 2011.

Students for a Democratic Society Records
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May 19: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495