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M. Blair Hart Papers, 1925-1987

Articles, poetry, correspondence and photographs, 1925-1987

Manuscript Collection 913


M. Blair Hart was professor of Speech and Drama at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville from 1936-1975.  Born September 27, 1907 at Delovan, Minnesota, he died December 10, 1986 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  After graduating from Delavan High School, M. Blair Hart attended Macalester College, receiving a B.A. in Biology and English in 1932 and then an M.A. from the State University of Iowa in Theatre in 1936.  In 1951 he received a doctorate in education from the University of Denver in Speech Communication.  He also served in the Air Force from June 1942 to October 1945.  After returning from military service, he married Opal G. Munger who taught English in both the Siloam Springs and Fayetteville school systems until her retirement.

M. Blair Hart spent most of his professional career teaching at the University of Arkansas, 1936-1940, 1946-1975.  He served as chairman of the Speech and Dramatic Art Department from 1953-1968, received the Distinguished Award in Teaching in 1971, and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1975.  Professor Hart directed theatre productions; wrote about theatre, speech, and oral interpretation; wrote poetry; and was an active member of state and national professional organizations.  He was President of the National Collegiate Players, 1960-1966 and a charter member of the Arkansas Arts and Humanities Council.  After his retirement, the M. Blair Hart Scholarship in Speech and Dramatic Art was established in his honor.  From 1975 until his death in 1986 he devoted himself to gardening and writing about daylilies.


The papers contain materials from M. Blair Hart's university years as well as his four years in the Air Force.   Correspondence, theatre programs, material on Gaebale (a student festival), clippings, and photographs complete the collection.

Opal Hart of Fayetteville, Arkansas donated the papers of her husband, M. Blair Hart, to Special Collections in January 1989.

Processed by Norma Ortiz-Karp, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in February, 1989.


Box 1

 1. Macalester College, 1925-1932.
 2. Air Force, 1942-1945, 1966.
 3. University of Denver, c. 1949-1952.
 4. Correspondence, 1950-1987.
 5. Publication data sheets and speeches.
 6. Book reviews and poetry.
 7. Class handouts and report of off-campus duty assignment, 1959.
 8. Articles on speech and theatre.
 9. Articles on gardening and daylilies.
 10. Awards, M. Blair Hart scholarship fund, and memorial card and program.
 11. Gaebale materials including letter from Jobelle Holcomb.
 12. Theatre programs, 1947-1956.
 13. Clippings, Dec 29, 1940-Apr 10, 1987.

Box 2

  Photographs 1-12: c. 1920-1945.
  Photographs 12-18: c. 1950-1975.
  Photographs 19-24: c. 1975-1986.
  Photographs 25-35: theatre scenes.
  Negatives 1-7: scenes from "The Tempest" directed by M. Blair Hart in 1949.

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