Language of Material:
2 Flat File Drawers
Scope and Content of Collection
The Diane Solomon button collection documents the diversity of social and political movements that emerged during the 1960s
and 1970s through a diverse collection of buttons that were used to support a variety of political positions and social movements.
The production of political buttons in the U.S. has a long history, dating back to the inauguration of George Washington.
By the late 1890s buttons, pins, fobs, and banners were used extensively in political campaigns. The creation of buttons to
promote political candidates has extended into social movements and culture. From the 1960s to the present, political buttons
are no longer an ephemeral publicity tool, but are avidly collected.
The buttons in the collection represent many of the social and political movements of the 1960's and 1970's, including: Civil
Rights Movement, Anti-war movement in Vietnam, feminism and women’s rights, the war on poverty, immigrant and farm labor,
gay rights, and the counterculture movement in San Francisco. Images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Seal, Angela Davis,
Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X, Richard Nixon, Cesar Chavez, are well represented. As are some of the most important
movements of the era that include the Black Panther Party, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) and the National Organization of Women (NOW), and
many others. A small collection of newspapers documenting San Jose State University and Martin Luther King Jr. are included.
This series has been arranged topically by specific the political and social movements and placed into archival trays. The
organization of the buttons in each tray is based on the arrangement of the donor.