Guerdon David Nichols Papers

MC 1370

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Lee Flowers, 2017.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Nichols, Guerdon David
Guerdon David Nichols Papers
Inclusive Dates
MC 1370
0.5 linear feet (1 box and 1 folder)
Materials are in English.
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The papers of Guerdon David Nichols were donated by Jane Nichols Steele of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on June 26, 1926.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd E. Lewis, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in August 1997.

Preferred Form of Citation

Guerdon David Nichols Papers MC 1370, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

Guerdon David Nichols (June 12, 1900-October 28, 1988) was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Educated as a mathematician, he joined the University of Arkansas's faculty as a mathematics instructor in 1927. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nebraska in 1933, and in 1945 he was made a full professor in the University of Arkansas's Mathematics Department. In 1946 he became dean of the university's College of Arts and Sciences. Accomplishments during his tenure as dean included a rapid growth in the enrollment in the college, an expansion of its facilities, and the creation of an honors program.

Nichols was an outspoken member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). In the late 1940s he supported the admission of African-American students to the then whites-only University of Arkansas. He entered the national spotlight in April, 1959, for speaking out against Act No. 10, a bill adopted by the Arkansas General Assembly in August, 1958. The act required teachers employed in Arkansas state-supported schools to divulge the names of all organizations to which they had either belonged or made contributions to in the preceding five years. This reactionary act, passed during the turmoil of the Little Rock school desegregation crisis, was intended to weed out pro-desegregation educators belonging to "communist-front" organizations; the act was later declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. In honor of his stand against Act No. 10, Nichols received the AAUP's Alexander Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom in 1960. He resigned his position of dean in 1964 and resumed his duties as a teacher. He retired from full-time teaching in 1967.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains correspondence, speeches, photographs and other items primarily dating from Nichols' tenure as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Much of the material relates to his opposition to Act No. 10, his involvement with the AAUP, and his reception of the Meiklejohn Award. The many curious items in this collection include propaganda materials from the American Nazi Party and broadsides accusing the University of Arkansas of harboring communists.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection:

Box 1

Box 1 Folder 1

Act No. 10--Correspondence, 1957-May 1959

Box 1 Folder 2

Act No. 10--Correspondence, June-December 1959

Box 1 Folder 3

Act No. 10--Court Documents, n.d.

Box 1 Folder 4

Act No. 10--American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and the Meiklejohn Award--Speeches and other Materials, 1958-1960

Box 1 Folder 5

AAUP and the Meiklejohn Award--Correspondence, 1960

Box 1 Folder 6

AAUP and the Meiklejohn Award--Correspondence, 1961-1966

Box 1 Folder 7

AAUP and Guerdon Nichols--Attacks in Right Wing Materials, n.d.

Box 1 Folder 8

Certificates, n.d.

Box 1 Folder 9

Conference of Mississippi Valley Deans of State Universities, April 22-24, 1959

Box 1 Folder 10

General Correspondence, 1938-1959

Box 1 Folder 11

General Correspondence, 1960-1964

Box 1 Folder 12

General Correspondence, 1967-1974

Box 1 Folder 13

Miscellaneous Printed Materials, n.d.

Box 1 Folder 14

Photographs, April 22-24, 1959

Box 1 Folder 14 Item 1

Conference of Mississippi Valley Deans of State Universities, April 22-24, 1959, University of Arkansas, April 22-24, 1960

Box 1 Folder 14 Item 2-3

Du Pont Conference, 1959, Penns Grove, New Jersey, April 22-24, 1961

Box 1 Folder 14 Item 4-6

Unidentified Conference Group Photos, April 22-24, 1962

Box 1 Folder 15

Press Clippings, n.d.

Box 1 Folder 16

Speeches, Petitions, and Miscellaneous Materials, 1944-1957

Box 1 Folder 17

Speeches, Petitions, and Miscellaneous Materials, 1958-1970

Broadsides OV Folder MC 1370 Item 1

"The University -- the Collective State on the Campus", n.d.

Broadsides OV Folder MC 1370 Item 2

"The Northwest Arkansas Times refuses to give both sides of the issue...", n.d.


University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
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