A large group of people gather in a field near a stage. There’s a white building in the background.

Staff with the Humber College Archives have been digging through thousands upon thousands of photographs from the College’s past that range in date from Humber’s beginnings in 1967 up to the early 2000s.   

One of the more recent rediscoveries the Archives team made was a series of slides from May 1970 that document an important moment in the history of Humber’s students. These photographs are from a brief experiment in alternative education, Liberation College, which was located behind the North Campus near where the Humber Arboretum is now.  

A pickup truck sits in a field with farm machinery behind it. A large number of people are gathered nearby.

Liberation College was a protest movement founded by Student Union President John McCarthy to challenge traditional education. A group of several dozen Humber students set up tents and created their own curriculum, inviting speakers from the community to lecture on progressive topics.  

A field filled with people as well as tents and vehicles.

Then-Humber President Gordon Wragg took a conciliatory approach towards these protestors and spent time talking to them, delivering them food, and even brought his chainsaw to help them secure firewood.   

The photographs the Archives have rediscovered are from the last days of Liberation College when it hosted a free music festival that brought in 2,500 students and visitors. Shortly after, the tents were packed up and Liberation College was mostly forgotten about - until now.  

A group of people gathered around a stage that’s in the middle of a field.

These newly digitized photographs give a real glimpse of the vibrant student life in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  

People wearing robes and carrying a drum stand among a group of people.

To learn more about this student movement, or to explore the Archives’ photograph collection, connect via email at archives@humber.ca.