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Finding the Visual History of the 1960s

This guide was created as a supplement to the 2014 library exhibition Conflict and Counterculture: Finding the Visual History of the Sixties.

Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War

Vietnam television

The Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War Collection is housed in the Department of Special Collections in the Connelly Library.  It is the largest collection of literary and creative works on the Vietnam War in the world; comprising over 20,000 books of fiction and poetry together with more than 2,000 films and documentaries, and over 1,000 non-print items including music and artwork. 

The Vietnam Collection has been growing for over twenty-five years under the curative direction of John S. Baky, University Librarian Emeritus.

Strengths of the Collection include:

Films and documentaries 

Protest poetry and literature

Music and the Vietnam War

Magazines and newspapers from the era

Printed ephemera, posters and realia

For more information please contact:

Sarah Seraphin, Special Collections Librarian


Video Highlight

Rebels with a cause [videorecording]


Uses archival footage and interviews with activists involved to trace the history of Students for a Democratic Society through the 1960's. Growing out of student involvement with the black civil rights movement in the South, SDS grew quickly with the escalation of the war in Vietnam. 


Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.) -- History -- 20th century

Student movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century

Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements -- United States

Peace movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century

Philadelphia Area Special Collections

La Salle's Connelly Library is a proud member of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries  (PACSCL). Our world-class collection of material related to the the Vietnam War is uniquely focused on creative works. The Vietnam Collection contains many interesting examples of such works created during the Vietnam War era (1961-1975). These materials afford us the opportunity to examine that primary source material in relation to the larger body of literature, music, and artwork that was created after that time period. Thus, the mission of our special collection here at La Salle, is not to document the entire history of the Vietnam War, or the events of the 1960s. Researchers seeking historic material related to the topics that this exhibit explores may wish to contact one of our partner libraries in the Philadelphia region. A few of these local libraries are detailed below...

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Albert M. Greenfield Center for 20th-Century History

“These rich collections, dating up through the late 20th century, have both a regional and national scope. They document the greater Philadelphia area, national figures and organizations, as well as individuals and associations that had a nationwide impact. The experiences of diverse segments of society, including African Americans, women, and various ethnic and immigrant groups, are well represented.” ~ HSP website

Swarthmore College, Peace Collection

“The mission of the SCPC is to gather, preserve, and make accessible material that documents non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolution between peoples and nations.” ~ SCPC website

Temple University, Special Collections Resource Center, Urban Archives 

“Established in 1967, Temple University’s Urban Archives document the social, economic, political, and physical development of the greater Philadelphia region throughout the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.” ~ Temple University website