Kennedy Convocation Collection
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, press releases, news clippings, photographs and other materials documenting President John F. Kennedy's visit to Amherst College on October 26, 1963 for a special convocation at which he and poet Archibald MacLeish were awarded honorary degrees, and for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Frost Library.
- Amherst College (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
There is no restriction on access to the Kennedy Convocation Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests for permission to publish material from the Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Video recordings of Kennedy acquired from WGBH and NBC are available for viewing in the Archives; Amherst College holds no rights to these recordings and requests for copies of these videos should be directed to WGBH and NBC.
Biographical / Historical
U.S. President John F. Kennedy visited Amherst College on October 26, 1963 for the groundbreaking of the Robert Frost Library. The groundbreaking was part of a special alumni weekend that also included a convocation at which President Kennedy and poet Archibald MacLeish were awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees. Both Kennedy and MacLeish spoke at the convocation and Kennedy also spoke later that afternoon at the groundbreaking. On both occasions Kennedy addressed the significance of Robert Frost and of the arts.
The event was one of President Kennedy's last public appearances before he was assassinated in November 1963. An estimated 10,000 people were on campus that day to witness the events.
The Robert Frost Library was formally dedicated on October 24, 1965.
The college community regularly celebrates Kennedy's visit with major anniversary celebrations in 1993, 2003, and 2013. Several additions to this collection were prompted by anniversary celebrations, including the acquisition of copies of videos from WGBH and NBC in advance of the 2003 celebration.
2.25 Linear feet (4 archives boxes, 1 half archives box)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, press releases, news clippings, photographs and other materials documenting President John F. Kennedy's visit to Amherst College on October 26, 1963 for a special convocation at which he and poet Archibald MacLeish were awarded honorary degrees, and for a ground breaking ceremony for the Robert Frost Library.
This collection is organized into seven series:
- Series 1: Preparations
- Series 2: Speeches
- Series 3: Photographs, Audio, and Video Recordings
- Series 4: Press Coverage
- Series 5: Scrapbooks
- Series 6: Post-Event Correspondence
- Series 7: Retrospectives
- American poetry Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Amherst College
- Amherst College -- Buildings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Amherst College. Library
- Frost, Robert, 1874-1963
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
- MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982
- Photographs Subject Source: Library Of Congress Genre/Form Terms
- Annie Rutledge; revised by Mike Kelly, 2017
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description