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Finding Aid for the Tolstoy College Records, 1969-1983


State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Phone: 716-645-2916
Fax: 716-645-3714
Email: lib-archives@buffalo.edu
URL: http://library.buffalo.edu/archives/

Finding aid prepared by Kerry Fender.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Kuniko Simon, October 2008.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:

© 2008. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.

Collection Overview

Title: Tolstoy College Records, 1969-1983
Creator: Tolstoy College
Extent: 6 boxes (4.0 linear feet)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Abstract: Records of Tolstoy College (also known as College F) from 1969-1983.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, 34/9/542, Tolstoy College Records, 1969-1983, University Archives, State University of New York at Buffalo.

See the Special Collections' preferred citations instructions for additional information.

Acquisition Information

The University Archives received a collection of materials from Charles Haynie, former Director of Tolstoy College, in 1985 (accession 85-026). The collection was processed by Archives staff at that time and assigned collection number 34/9/542.

An additional collection was received from Peter Murphy in 1988 (accession 88-043). In 2004 Kerry Fender began to process this collection under the supervision of Karen Walton. Materials directly related to Tolstoy College were integrated into collection 34/9/542, which was reprocessed by Fender. A large segment of radical and anarchist publications were separated from the accession and became a separate collection (MS 116).

Terms of Access

Tolstoy College Records, 1969-1983, are open for research.


University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Access to student and personnel records is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. See reference staff for details. No restrictions on access apply to published records. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Freedom of Information Act. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the archives' usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

The Mass Media Course folders (2.2-1.3) in Series 3: Courses contains a number of unpublished student papers which cannot be copied.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Kerry Fender, April 2004.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Historical Note

In 1968 President Martin Meyerson of the University of Buffalo announced that he would receive suggestions from the faculty for the experimental colleges that were to be set up as part of the new Amherst campus facility. The formation of College F, otherwise known as Tolstoy College, was first proposed by Charles Planck of the Political Science Department. Tolstoy College's theme was one of anarchism and emphasized the construction of small, decentralized communities, in response to Tolstoy's questions of "How to live?" and "What to live for?"

Planck offered Charles Haynie a position in the new college and organized course offerings from faculty in the Departments of Philosophy and Political Science.

From its inception in the fall of 1969, Tolstoy College fostered student activism in both university and social causes. Indeed, in May of 1977, most of Tolstoy College's staff formed a Buffalo affinity group and joined the occupation of the Seabrook, New Hampshire nuclear power plant. Along with roughly 3,000 other protestors, many of the college faculty and staff spent two weeks in jail. Tolstoy College courses instructed students on matters of living off the land, building environmentally sensitive dwellings, avoiding dependence on urban technology and a variety of courses focused on specific gender, socioeconomic class and ethnic experiences as well as gay rights and ageism.

In 1975, the College received a two-year contract with a review provision, attributed to the shift of Tolstoy College's theme from anarchism to one of the study of oppressed entities in American society. As other radically-oriented colleges failed or were terminated by the University, Tolstoy College picked up their subjects and themes. The college was conditionally rechartered through July 29, 1977 after review.

In 1980, a review subcommittee recommended a five-year charter, which was apparently granted in 1981. After the resignation and departure of the Dean of the Colleges and both assistant deans circa 1983, a proposal was drawn up suggesting the incorporation of Tolstoy into the Department of American Studies. The proposal was rejected by the Dean of Arts & Letters, James Bunn, on February 6, 1984 citing a Faculty-wide concern about appointing Haynie to a tenure-track position within Arts and Letters as a basis for the program’s rejection.

Tolstoy College was eliminated at the end of the 1984-1985 academic year during a reorganization of the college system wherein all remaining colleges were absorbed into existing academic and administrative units. Tolstoy itself was subsumed into the Faculty of Social Sciences and Charles Haynie was accepted into the Faculty's Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Program at that time.

Charles Planck was the first master of Tolstoy College, serving from 1968 to 1973. Upon his departure, Robert Newman served as master. In 1980 Charles Haynie took over as director of the College. He served in that capacity until the College was disbanded.

Scope and Content Note

This collection of Papers of Tolstoy College circa 1969-1983 contains materials documenting College administration and activities. Included is information on College courses, faculty committees, chartering, budget and funding, and events sponsored by college, as well as information about the other experimental colleges founded by the University in 1968.

Also included is information on areas of faculty, student, and College interest including the draft, nuclear energy and waste (Karen Silkwood, Seabrook nuclear power plant occupation, West Valley), solar energy, organic gardening, apartheid and South Africa, conservation, El Salvador, the US House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee, and homosexuals.

Types of materials included in the collection are clippings and articles; memos; minutes from staff and committee meetings; course descriptions and proposals; reports and self-evaluations; publicity materials; notes; newsletters; petitions; weather charts; surveys; booklists; staff vitae; and correspondence.

Container List

I.     Tolstoy College Administration, 1969-1984

Includes general information about the College and its administration between 1969 and 1983. Included are the College's chartering documents, information on faculty and staff, annual reports, staff meeting minutes, and information on the proposed merger with the Department of American Studies.

Box-folder Contents
1.1 Anarchism Conference- Planning and Correspondence, 1979
1.2 Annual Report, 1969, 1973-1976
1.3 Annual Report, 1978-1980
1.4-1.7 Budget, 1969-1981
1.8 Budget and Planning Documents,
Chartering Documents, 1974-1981; includes Revisions.
1.15 College F Planning, 1969
Oversize Contents
6+.1 Events Sponsored or Co-sponsored by Tolstoy College, Posters circa 1982-1984, undated
Box-folder Contents
1.16 Correspondence- Outgoing, 1979-1980
1.17 General Education, 1978-1979, 1981
1.18 Proposed Merger with American Studies, 1983
1.19-1.24 Staff Meetings, 1974-1976, 1978-1981
1.25-1.26 Staff Vitae, 1981
1.27 Summer Session Evaluation
1.28 Tolstoy College General, 1970-1983, undated
II.     Tolstoy Courses,

Includes information about the College's curriculum, as well as specific courses offered between 1969 and 1982. The Mass Media Course folders (2.2-2.3) contains a number of unpublished student papers which cannot be copied.

Box-folder Contents
1.29-1.43 Course Descriptions, 1969-1983
1.44-1.45 Course Proposals, 1969-1970, 1976-1977
1.46-1.54 DUE Approved Courses, 1970-1983
1.55 Industrial Unionism in the United States Study Guide, undated
2.1 Labor Studies Course, 1979-1980; includes correspondence from Mark Pettitt.
2.2-2.3 Mass Media Course, 1977, 1980
III.     Colleges,

Contains information about all of the six colleges organized by the University in 1968. Included are meeting minutes and notes from the Affirmative Action, Long Range Planning, Program Evaluation, and Curriculum committees.

Box-folder Contents
2.4 Academic Planning Committee of the Colleges, 1975
2.5 Affirmative Action Committee of the Colleges, 1975, 1977-1980
2.6-2.13 Budget, 1969-1981
2.14 C.P. Snow College, 1971-1972
2.15 Clippings, 1980
2.16 College A, 1971-1972
2.17 College of Urban Studies, 1978
2.18 Colleges Annual Report, 1970-1971
2.19-2.20 Colleges General, 1969-1977, 1981, undated.
2.21 Committees-- General, undated.
2.22-2.23 Cora P. Maloney College Rechartering, 1975-1978
2.24 Curriculum Committee, 1974-1981
2.25 Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Catalog, 1979
2.26 Long-range Planning Committee of the Colleges, 1976-1979
2.27 Prospectus for the Colleges, 1969-1978
2.28 Women’s Studies College Chartering, 1974
2.29 Women’s Studies College-- B.A. Proposal, 1980
2.30 Miscellaneous, 1970-1984
IV.     Issues and Organizations,

Focuses on the issues with which individuals associated with Tolstoy College concerned themselves. These include nuclear and solar power, the draft, racism, the Grey and Black Panthers, and the Farm City Collective.

Box-folder Contents
2.31 Abortion, 1973, 1979
2.32 Anti-Rape Task Force, undated
2.33 Arms Race / Nuclear Disarmament, 1978-1979
3.1-3.3 Draft, 1970-1980
3.4 El Salvador, 1981
3.5-3.6 Farm City Collective, 1979, undated
3.7-3.8 Gay Liberation, 1970-1984
3.9 Gray Panthers, 1980
3.10 Nuclear Power, 1976-1980
3.11 Conservation
3.12 Nuclear Waste
3.13 Nuclear Waste--West Valley
3.14 Reactor Safety
3.15-3.16 Opposition to
3.17 Seabrook
3.18 Silkwood, Karen
3.19 Publications, 1977-1981, undated
3.20-3.22 Solar Power, 1974-1982, undated
4.1 Alternative Power
4.2 Announcements
4.3 Barriers to
4.4 Conservation
4.5 Directories: Education, Federal, Consumer, Official
4.6 Grant Information
4.7 People’s Power Coalition, 1976-1979
4.8 Support of
4.9-5.2 South Africa / Apartheid, 1978-1979
[4 folders]
5.3 Racism, 1978-1980

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog:


Haynie, Charles A.
State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Tolstoy College


Planck, Charles.
Activists New York (State)--New York--1960-1970
Anarchism--Study and teaching
Haynie, Charles A.
Nuclear power
Nuclear power plants--Environmental aspects--New Hampshire--Seabrook
Radicalism--Study and teaching
Solar energy--Environmental aspects
Solar energy--United States
State University of New York at Buffalo--Archives
State University of New York at Buffalo--Students--Political activity--History--20th century
Student activism
Tolstoy College
Tolstoy College--Administration
Tolstoy College--Curricula
Tolstoy College--Records and correspondence


Lists, book
Press clippings

Associated Material

Related Resources

03/7/00-26, The Colleges, Course Catalogs, 1969-1996
34/1/556, Director of the Collegiate Assembly Records, 1968-1976
34/1/660, Colleges Records, 1968-1983
34/1/694, Colleges Records, 1974-1984
34/3/152, Tolstoy and Social Sciences College Review, 1976
34/3/158, Faculty Senate Committee on the Colleges Evaluation Reports, 1973
34/3/329, College Chartering Committee Records, 1974
34/3/389, The Colleges Chartering Documents, 1974-1975
34/9/230, Charles Planck Papers, 1968-1973
34/9/1071 , Charles Haynie Papers, circa 1963-2000
34/9/1092 , Tolstoy College records, 1974-1983