George Hartwell Collection of Radical Publications

George Hartwell Collection of Radical Publications

February, 2019
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies

Heritage Resources’ holdings include rich documentation of student-led activist efforts to inspire and motivate for change. These resources include the newly-processed George Hartwell Collection of Radical Publications, which can now be accessed through the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

Born in Tacoma, George Hartwell graduated from Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University) in 1971, and went on to pursue a career in social work. During his undergraduate years, Hartwell was a founding member and chapter secretary of the Students for a Democratic Society, Western Washington State College chapter. He was among a group of eight students arrested in November 1968 for distributing anti-draft literature at Sehome High School. The case of the “Sehome Eight” was taken to the Supreme Court of the State of Washington in 1971.

The Hartwell Collection spans the period 1959-1971, and contains publications relating to radical thought and activism across the United States as well as at Western. While some are local in nature, the bulk were published by entities nationwide, including the New England Free Press, Students for a Democratic Society (National Office), and the Student Peace Union. 

The collection provides evidence of some the influences, concerns and activities of student activists at Western. Many of the materials pertain to the anti-war movement and focus on United States involvement in Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Researchers will also find publications about civil rights, the anti-capitalism movement, critiques of institutions (such as universities, the media, and big businesses), and containing calls for a justice revolution in America. Collection contents address issues of race, class and gender equity inside the U.S. and around the world.

Additional information about student activities at Western, including activism and protest, can be found in the Students for a Democratic Society records and other student club records (University Archives), Campus History Collection (Special Collections), and the online Western Front Historical Collection (link: ).

To access the George Hartwell Collection of Radical Publications, or for more information about campus history, including student activities, activism and protest, please contact CPNWS (email:; phone: (360) 650-7534).