Published: Nov. 3, 2023

At CU Boulder, the university's student-run newspaper captured the campus's history with anti-war activism. Available in the CU Digital Library and the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection, digitized issues of The Colorado Daily tell the story of campus-led activism and protests against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War from the point of view of CU Boulder students. 
 
The newspaper first hit the printing press in the late 1890s under the name The Silver and Gold and, apart from holidays and exam weeks, was published four days a week. The name changed to The Colorado Daily in the early 1950s, a period when interest in activism and campus events was growing among the student population. With no social media or internet, the newspaper was the centralized form of communication to keep students informed of on-campus events. From underrepresented students advocating for improved conditions to peace protests in the ’60s and environmental issues in the ’70s, The Colorado Daily was one of the best resources on campus for information on official events, speaker visits, and student-run protests. 
 
Before the project to digitize The Colorado Daily began, the Libraries observed many student organizations turning to the newspaper for research only to discover that the paper wasn’t easily researchable. There were too many issues and pages to flip through and no keywords to accelerate the process. As a result, it would take a long time for students and researchers to find the desired information for their projects.
 
To remedy this problem, the Libraries’ Rare and Distinctive Collections (RaD) moved to digitize The Colorado Daily, focusing on issues related to student activism from 1966 to 1975. They received support from Project STAND, a community that includes archivists, memory workers, student organizers and independent scholars dedicated to a movement that centers the voices and stories of historically marginalized student organizers.
 
“Receiving the grant from Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) allowed us to digitize a portion of the newspapers to make them more accessible,” said Ashlyn Velte, archivist for the University Libraries. “We chose the 1960s and 1970s because of the amount of student participation in activism at that time, including the anti-war movement. We were happy to partner with Project STAND because of their mission to develop ethical practices while documenting student movements around the country.” 
 
RaD’s Collections Management and Stewardship Section sent microfilm of the newspaper to the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, a service of the Colorado State Library that digitizes newspapers published across the state. Once the Libraries received digital copies of the newspaper from CHNC along with the original microfilm, the Libraries’ metadata team worked to upload the paper to the CU Digital Library. 

From sit-ins in the administration building, protests on Norlin Quad to walkouts and professors holding teach-ins discussing peace in Vietnam, you can learn more about Boulder’s reputation as an activist campus and the role students played in advocating for causes like the anti-war movement, the environment, and financial aid for students from diverse backgrounds, and spreading the word to others.