Prepared by Carolyn A. Svetz, August 5, 1995
1 half-size record storage box, .50 cubic foot, 12th floor
Martin Nurmi was a Professor of English at Kent State University
from 1955 until his retirement in 1984. He received his doctoral degree in English from
the University of Minnesota in 1954. While at Kent, Professor Nurmi
also served as chairman of the English department, was a member of the
Faculty Senate, serving as its chairman in 1970-71, and also served as
the head of the graduate school for four years. He has held visiting professorships at
the University of Washington, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, the University of
British Columbia and Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is the author
of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell: A Critical Study (1957), A Blake Bibliography
(1964), Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology (1967) and William Blake (1975).
Scope and Content
The Martin K. Nurmi May 4th papers include items relating to
both his teaching activities in the English department and his
non-teaching activities with the University's Faculty Senate. During
the Spring quarter of 1970, Nurmi was teaching the Shakespeare II
course. After the shootings on May 4, 1970, the University was closed
by a court injunction and arrangements were made between professors and
their students to complete the course work as best as possible. Dr.
Nurmi corresponded with his students several times during May and June,
1970, and he held some review sessions at his home. The first series of
this collection includes copies of the letters he sent to his students
and their responses.
The other major series in this collection relates to Nurmi's
activities with the Faculty Senate. This series includes minutes of
regular, special, and executive meetings, correspondence, and items
relating to the faculty observers program in May 1971. The
correspondence consists of letters sent to all faculty, personal memos
and letters between Nurmi and President White, and copies of
correspondence that were forwarded to Nurmi, in his capacity as chairman
of the Faculty Senate. Of particular interest to researchers are the
papers relating to the faculty observers program; these include a phone
log kept by one of the information centers established during the first
remembrance of the shootings.
Other items of interest in the collection to researchers
include various newspaper clippings relating to the shootings, notes on
the Kent in Exile demands, reports submitted by various May 4th
commissions, and numerous miscellaneous proposals and statements
relating to May 4th.
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