Jay Cassidy photograph collection: 1967-1970
Summary Information
Title: Jay Cassidy photograph collection
Creator: Cassidy, Jay.
Dates: 1967-1970
Extent: 2.5 linear feet (in 10 boxes), 4882 digital images, 1 oversize folder
Jay Cassidy was a student photographer for The Michigan Daily from 1967 to 1970. The collection contains an inventory, background notes, negatives, a printed catalogue containing an image thumbnail and metadata for each image in the collection, and 4,882 digitized images of Cassidy's photography while at the University of Michigan. Subjects include student protests and anti-war demonstrations in Ann Arbor, Poor Peoples March/Resurrection City in Washington, D.C., Democratic primary campaigns of Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy and George Wallace, 1968 Democratic Party National Convention, 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and a wide variety of campus activities. Cassidy digitized the images and created the printed catalogue in 2010.
Call number: 2011003 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Alexis A. Antracoli, 2011

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Jay Cassidy (Donor No. 9847) in July 2010

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Alternate Format:

Digitized versions of Cassidy's original negatives are available online through the Bentley Library and Board in Control of Student Publication sponsored Michigan Daily Alumni Photographers Project.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Jay Cassidy photograph collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Jay Lash Cassidy, a student from Rockville, Maryland, enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1967 and graduated in 1970. At the University of Michigan he was active as a photographer for the campus yearbook Michiganensian and the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Cassidy was the Daily photo editor during the winter 1970 semester. His photography during this period captured subjects as diverse as the 1968 presidential campaign, a 1967 homecoming concert featuring the Doors, and scenes of anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in Ann Arbor. Cassidy also took photos off campus. His off campus photography covered events such as the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the 1969 March on Washington, Richard Nixon's inauguration, and the 1968 campaigns of Robert F. Kennedy and George Wallace for President.

Cassidy began his career as a film editor in the 1970s working on documentaries and political advertisements. Over the course of his professional career, Cassidy has edited more than 40 films, including Tuck Everlasting and An Inconvenient Truth (2006). He has also formed a close working relationship with Sean Penn, editing all of the films that Penn has directed. He has been nominated for several Academy Awards and won the Best Documentary Editing Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth. An Inconvenient Truth also won the award for Best Documentary Feature. Cassidy's professional accomplishments also include election to the American Film Editors society.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jay Cassidy photograph collection covers Cassidy's student days at the University of Michigan (1967-1970). The collection consists of approximately 5000 original 35mm negatives and 4,882 digitized copies of the negatives. The images in the collection were taken while Cassidy was a photographer for the student publications The Michigan Daily and Michiganensian.

Cassidy took the original images on Kodak 35mm black and white film. The scanned images are black and white 5904 by 4000 resolution uncompressed tiff files. Cassidy catalogued each roll of film by subject and gave each frame a unique identifier, which is a combination of the category, date, roll number, and the scan number. The category abbreviations are as follows:

MD -- Assignments for the The Michigan Daily, 1968-1970

RFK -- Robert Kennedy Campaign, 1968

DNC --Democratic National Convention in Chicago, 1968

DC -- Inauguration and March on Washington, 1969

MNCN -- Photographs taken for Michiganensian, 1967-1968

Initially, the Bentley Historical Library asked Cassidy to consider donating a selection of the images he took from 1967 to 1970. Instead of selecting only a portion of images, however, Cassidy donated all of his negatives from 1967 to 1970. He digitally scanned the majority of the negatives. The bulk of these images have never been printed, and, according to Cassidy, were "barely examined by myself or another photo editor as we raced to get the daily paper out."[1] Only one or two of each sequence of photographs was used in The Michigan Daily. This collection, therefore, contains a series of images previously unavailable to researchers.

Cassidy's photographs for the campus yearbook, the Michiganensian, cover 1967 and 1968 and include images of homecoming parades, football, rugby, intramural sports, and campus groups such as Wyvern and Scabbard and Blade. He also photographed Engineering Council meetings discussing Vietnam War research and protests at a Dow Chemical Company stock holders meeting. Note: Most of the Michiganensian photos were not scanned and exist only as negatives.

His work for The Michigan Daily included diverse subjects. Among the most prominent were photographs of musical performances and visiting celebrities, politics, and campus unrest. Musical acts include concerts by Joan Baez, the Doors, MC5, Ramsey Lewis, Buffy Sainte Marie, and the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. A 1967 Johnny Carson Show at Hill Auditorium (negatives only) is covered as is an appearance by author Kurt Vonnegut at Canterbury House and film director Sam Fuller.

Off campus events photographed by Cassidy for The Michigan Daily include the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago (including police intervention in street protests), Richard Nixon's inauguration, March on Washington, Resurrection City and the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D. C., and 1968 political campaign stops in Indianapolis and Detroit by Robert F. Kennedy, George Wallace campaigning in Lansing, Eugene McCarthy in South Bend, Indiana, and a protest at Eastern Michigan University.

Other campus subjects include SDS meetings, the White Panther Party, Ann Arbor's police chief, a campus murder at University Towers, Welfare Mothers demonstration, the South University riot, the Ann Arbor Moratorium (Vietnam War protest), Army ROTC protests and a bombing of the campus ROTC building, a student rent strike, and Black Action Movement demonstrations.

The collection is organized as it was received. It consists of five series: Background Information, Digital Images, Original 35mm Camera Negatives, 1967-1970, Printed Catalogue of Digital Scans, 1967-1970, and Original 35mm Contact Sheets, 1967-1970. The strength of the collection lies in its documentation of student life and American politics in the late 1960s, an era of unrest on college campuses.



1. Jay Cassidy, Letter to Nancy Bartlett and Brian Williams, July 31, 2010, Jay Cassidy Photograph Collection, Box 1, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Michigan daily.
  • Michiganensian.
  • Homecomings -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Music festivals -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Poor People's Campaign.
  • Presidential elections -- United States -- 1968.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.)
  • Chicago (Ill.)
  • Indianapolis (Ind.)
  • Washington (D.C.)
  • Photographs.
  • Digital files.
  • Cassidy, Jay.
  • Fleming, R. W. (Robben Wright), 1916-2010.
  • Fuller, Samuel, 1916-2005.
  • Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978.
  • Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968.
  • King, B. B.
  • McCarthy, Eugene J., 1916-2005.
  • Waters, Muddy, 1915-1983.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt.
  • Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-1998.
  • Black Action Movement (University of Michigan)
  • Doors (Musical group)
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Political activity.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1961-1970.
  • Ann Arbor Blues Festival.
  • Democratic National Convention (1968 : Chicago, Ill.)
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Background Information [series]

Background Information consists of an inventory and Cassidy's background notes on the collection. The inventory describes the collection at the box level and also provides descriptive information for each roll of film. The background notes give an overview of the collection, identify The Michigan Daily stories with which the photographs are associated, describe Cassidy's organizational schema, and explain his approach to scanning and selecting the images. The inventory also matches contact sheets (if extant) and DVDs to the film rolls.

Box   1  
Box   1  
Background notes
Digital Images [series]

Digital Images, the second series, contains 37 DVDs with the scanned images of Cassidy's photographs and a corresponding online collection of 4,882 digital images. The DVDs are identified by year and disc number and contain a notation about which sequence is on a particular disc (e.g., "9168-15 DNC_68018-68023"). High resolution versions of Cassidy's scanned negatives are available in a searchable database hosted by the university's Digital Library Production Services unit. The online Cassidy collection is the foundation of a larger project of the Bentley Library and The Daily to create Michigan Daily Alumni Photographers website.

Box   1  
Data DVDs of Digitized Negatives (37 optical discs (DVDs))
Digital Images (4882 items) [view /search images]
Box   2  
Original 35mm Camera Negatives 1967-1970 [series]

The third series, Original 35mm Camera Negatives, 1967-1970, consists of Cassidy's original film negatives arranged by his personal cataloging system. The negatives are stored in box binders in Print File negative preserver pages with descriptive information at the top of each sheet. Cassidy's inventory sheets are included at the front of each box binder.

Box   2  
Box   2  
Box   2  
Box   3  
Box   3  
Box   3  
Box   3  
Box   3  
Box   4  
Printed Catalogue of Digital Scans 1967-1970 [series]

Printed Catalogue of Digital Scans, 1967-1970, the fourth series, is a printed catalogue of thumbnail images of each photograph in the collection. Each thumbnail contains the unique identifier, the date created, city and state, keywords, and source (original film roll).

Box   4  
Box   4  
Box   5  
Box   5  
Box   6  
Box   7  
Box   8  
Box   9  
Box   9  
Original 35mm Contact Sheets 1967-1970 [series]

The fifth and final series is Original 35mm Contact Sheets, 1967-1970. This series contains original contact sheets for the negatives in the collection. It is not comprehensive and contains only a selection of the original images.

Box   10  
Various 1967-1970

(see inventory in Box 1)

Oversize Folder   UAl  
"Chicago " 1968
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Material

Additional photographs from the same era, including some additional images by Jay Cassidy may be found in the Michigan Daily records (also held by the Bentley Historical Library).

Cassidy's photographs may also be viewed in the context of original news stories in the Michigan Daily Digital Archive.