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George Wolkind papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Native Delawarean George Wolkind (born 1945) was active in Newark and Wilmington, Delaware, counterculture and music scenes in the 1960s and 1970s.

While attending the University of Delaware, Wolkind was a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which caused controversy for actively protesting University policies regarding censorship and compulsory service for males in the Reserve Office Training Course (ROTC). He served as a coordinator for the 1967 anti-Vietnam movement at the university and edited the national leftist newspaper, Heterodoxical Voice. Wolkind was among the many protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1969, Wolkind joined Weatherman, a radical faction of the SDS known for its violent measures aimed at overthrowing the government. Wolkind left the group in early 1970, citing disagreement with the organization’s methods.

Wolkind was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He worked to support the campaigns of African Americans seeking office in Wilmington and traveled the country to join protests.

When Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters visited Newark to empower the youth community in 1972, Wolkind was nominated to run for mayor; however, he was disqualified since he did not own property. At that time, the Newark City Charter required candidates running for municipal offices be property owners. Over the next year, the Charter was amended to allow non-property owners to apply for candidacy for office; the term of residency required for voting was also shortened. Both of the reforms were significant in enfranchising new groups, including students. Wokind ran again for mayor in 1973. His campaign focused on issues of downtown revitalization and the availability of low-cost medical care.

Wolkind was also active in Newark’s music scene in the 1970s. A long-time fan of Snakegrinder, Wolkind joined the band in 1973, although it dissolved two years later.

Wolkind was a member of the Newark Extraterrestrial (ET) Contact Support Group, which formed in May 1993.

Biographical material derived from the collection.

The George Wolkind papers document the involvement of native Delaware activist George Wolkind (born 1945) in the Newark and Wilmington, Delaware, counterculture and music scenes in the 1960s and 1970s.

The collection includes clippings, notes, photographs, letters, and media pertaining to Wolkind’s student movements on the University of Delaware campus, including the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and his bid for mayor of the city of Newark in 1973. Also included is a photograph of local Newark band Snakegrinder from 1974, recordings of the band’s performances, and materials detailing Wolkind’s extraterrestrial experiences in the 1970s and 1990s.

  1. Boxes 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
  2. Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)
  3. Removals: Shelved in SPEC oversize mapcases
  4. Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Videocassettes
  5. Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Discs

Gift of George Wolkind, 2009-2010, 2014.

Processed and encoded by Maureen Cech, September 2014.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2014 September 24
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Personal, 2011 and undated.
Box 1 Folder F1
Political activities, 1966 and undated.
Box 1 Folder F2
Student activities, undated.
Box 1 Folder F3
Mayoral run, 1973 and undated.
Box 1 Folder F4
Ruth Kolber memorial, circa 2009-2010, undated.
Box 1 Folder F5
Reclaiming the Sixties, Fall 2010.
Box 1 Folder F6
Snakegrinder, 1974-2010 and undated.
Box 1 Folder F7
Extra terrestrial and UFO organizations, 1993-1997 and undated.
Box 1 Folder F8

Print, Suggest