The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Archive: 17/02/2022

The UMass Amherst Libraries host “Daniel Ellsberg: A Life in Truth,” a physical and digital exhibit drawing from activist and truth teller Daniel Ellsberg’s vast collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts. The Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center acquired the collection in 2019. The exhibit is located in two locations in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library until September 2022. It begins on Floor 25 in theReading Room of the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (open M-F 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) and continues on the Lower Level in the Learning Commons (accessible whenever the Library is open).

The exhibit documents Ellsberg’s 90-year life as an academic, activist, defendant, government contractor, Marine, pianist, Vietnam observer, and whistleblower.  From his middle-class upbringing in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan in the 1930s, to his education at the Cranbrook School, Harvard University, and the Marines; his work as a nuclear analyst at RAND; research for the U.S. Defense Department in Vietnam; and transformation to full-time activist following his release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971; the exhibit illustrates the cinematic sweep of Ellsberg’s life in fine detail. 

Selected digitized versions of material from the exhibit are also available via the Ellsberg Archive Project website, where it will be accessible to the public beyond its physical exhibit space.