Special Collections and Archives

May 4th Collection -- Box 111

Special Collections and Archives

May 4th Collection -- Box 111

Important Notice: Due to a grant-sponsored project to digitize materials from the May 4 Collection, in-person use of the May 4 Collection is available by appointment only. Please help us serve you better by contacting us in advance to schedule an appointment for access to this collection.

Martin K. Nurmi, May 4 papers, 1970-71

May 4 Collection -- Box 111

Finding Aid

Prepared by Carolyn A. Svetz, August 5, 1995
1 half-size record storage box, .50 cubic foot, 12th floor

Biographical Note

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.

Related Materials

Please see also Martin Nurmi's faculty papers collection for additional information on his work and career at Kent State University.


  • Papers relating to Nurmi's Shakespeare II class, Spring Quarter, 1970
  • Faculty Senate Papers
  • Clippings
  • Papers relating to Kent in Exile at Oberlin and Case Western Reserve University
  • Papers of various May 4 Commissions
  • Ohio Faculty Senate Papers
  • Miscellaneous Papers

  • May 4 Collection -- Box 111

    Folder -- Contents

    Series 1--Papers relating to Nurmi's Shakespeare II class, Spring Quarter, 1970

    1. Class Roster
    2. Correspondence: Ombudsman to faculty: May 11, 1970
    3. Correspondence: Provost to faculty: May 12, 1970
    4. Correspondence: Nurmi to students: undated
    5. Correspondence: Nurmi to students: undated
    6. Correspondence: Nurmi to students: June 5, 1970
    7. Study questions for Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar: undated
    8. Final exam: undated
    9. Correspondence: Student Responses: Cooke, Marcia: [n.d]
    10. Correspondence: Student Responses: Eddy, Elizabeth: May 25, 1970
    11. Correspondence: Student Responses: Feeney, Martin P.: undated
    12. Correspondence: Student Responses: Hale, Robert: May 22, 1970
    13. Correspondence: Student Responses: Haseley, Kenneth: May 21, 1970, June 23, 1970
    14. Correspondence: Student Responses: Jacqmin, Deborah: undated
    15. Correspondence: Student Responses: Lash, Jeff: undated
    16. Correspondence: Student Responses: Patton, Lucy: June 24, 1970
    17. Correspondence: Student Responses: Rung, Pamela J.: May 20, 1970
    18. Correspondence: Student Responses: Schempp, Diane: June 11, 1970
    19. Correspondence: Student Responses: Schoenfeld, Jeff: May 24, 1970
    20. Correspondence: Student Responses: Sweeney, Don: undated
    21. Correspondence: Student Responses: Telk, Diana: May 21, 1970

    Series 2 -- Faculty Senate Papers

    1. Minutes: Faculty Senate regular and special meetings: 6 April 1970 to 25 June 1970
    2. Minutes: Faculty Senate regular and special meetings: July 6, 1970 to October 25, 1970 and February 1, 1971- February 9, 1971
    3. Minutes: Faculty Senate Executive Committee: June 4, 1970 and April 1, 1971 to May 6, 1971
    4. Resolutions: May 5, 1970 to May 14, 1970
    5. Report: June 25, 1970
    6. Correspondence: May 12, 1970 to October 30, 1970
    7. Correspondence: January 21, 1971 to May 25, 1971
    8. Faculty Senate Observers Papers: includes a schedule of events for April 30 to May 4, 1971, correspondence, and a phone call log from April 30 to May 5, 1971
    9. Miscellaneous papers: includes a membership roster, and information regarding the reopening of the university for the Fall 1970 quarter

    Series 3 -- Clippings

    1. Clippings: Includes clippings from the Ohio Report, The Militant, and the BG News

    Series 4 -- Papers relating to KSU in exile at Oberlin and Case Western Reserve University

    1. KSU in exile papers: includes proposals and demands made by KSU in exile, correspondence, and handwritten notes

    Series 5 -- Papers of various May 4 Commissions

    1. Reports: includes papers from the University Commission to Implement a Commitment to Non-violence, Commission on KSU Violence, and "Kent State University--9 weeks that followed May 4"

    Series 6 -- Ohio Faculty Senate Papers

    1. Correspondence and reports

    Series 7 -- Miscellaneous Papers

    1. Statement from Martin Nurmi regarding May 4, 1970: undated
    2. College of Arts and Sciences Position Paper on the ROTC: undated
    3. Flier: "Do It": undated
    4. Proposal for a KSU Life Center: November 1970
    5. Motion passed by the Blue Key Honor Fraternity: May 12, 1971
    6. Miscellaneous papers: includes President's Council minutes, a statement of intent, "Some readings on the literature of protest and the new left," and notes
    7. Miscellaneous papers : includes "Keeping Kent Open:" April 22, 1971, and a Faculty Code of Professional Ethics