From LeClair to Low Library: Barnard's Spring of 1968

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From LeClair to Low Library: Barnard's Spring of 1968

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In spring 1968, Columbia's campus seethed with student protest, mostly centered on the Vietnam war, but also on the university's treatment of students and student opinion. At Barnard, that debate was realized most fully in the "LeClair Affair" over the college's housing rules. This exhibit includes images before, during, and after the LeClair incident, charting some of the changes that the spring of 1968 wrought.

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Barnard College Archives

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Items in the From LeClair to Low Library: Barnard's Spring of 1968 Collection

Lounging in the Dorms
Three friends lounging in the dorms ca. 1968. New, expanded, parietal rules in March 1968 allowed male visitors from 6PM to 12AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1PM to 6PM on Sundays. Photograph by Joseph Gazdak, Courtesy of Barnard College…

Quiz Bowl Team
Celebrations for the College Bowl team of 1968, pictured with their trophy. They won $19,000 in scholarship money. President Martha Peterson receiving silver bowl from General Electric Vice President John A. Spencer, while Prof. Richard Norman…

Chariot Race
Chariot race, Greek Games, Barnard Gymnasium, April 24, 1965. The Games focused on poetry, athleticism and stylized movement – embodied in the spectacular chariot race as four “horses” drew charioteers around the gym. Photograph by V.…

Freshman Chariot Practice
Freshman Chariot, Greek Games practice, 1965. Photograph by Jack Mitchell, Courtesy of Barnard College Archives

Signing Out
Student signing out for the night at front desk, as her date looks on, Brooks Hall, ca. 1960.
The housing rules defined. All residents had to fill out a slip letting college officials know where they were going and when they would be returning. …

New York Times Article
The article that started it all, from The New York Times, March 4, 1968.

Daily News Article
One of many news articles about the “affair,” New York Daily News, March 12, 1968.
Linda and her boyfriend, Peter Behr, are pictured at left.

A Critical Letter
Scathing letters came to Martha Peterson, denouncing Leclair, the college and student behavior.

Supportive Letter
There were some who supported LeClair, however.

Daily News Photo
Linda and her boyfriend, Peter Behr in one of many news articles about the “affair,” New York Daily News, March 12, 1968.