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Richard M. Kain Papers

Identifier: 1973_U094-UA

The Richard Morgan Kain Papers, 1937-1977, are professional in nature, documenting the development of his teaching and writing abilities and provide little information on Kain outside of his scholarly pursuits. The material is arranged topically, and arranged in series: personal papers, teaching papers, and administrative papers. The material includes teaching notes and lectures, professional and private correspondence, rough drafts of manuscripts, student papers, memoranda, newspaper clippings, and various academically related articles. Many documents in this collection are vague as to their original purpose, and may be either teaching notes or rough drafts.

The personal papers are divided into four groups: Kain's correspondence, his literary productions, his outside interests, and miscellaneous writings and articles. Kain's correspondence encompasses the years 1951-1977. They concern matters such as letters to the editor, contracts, literary advice, and personal mail. The second group contains rough drafts and notes from his various published essays and books, including The Workshop of Daedalus; Susan Mitchell; and Joyce, the Man, the Work, the Reputation. There are also extensive bibliographies on James Joyce and William Butler Yeats. The third group contains material illustrating his outside interests, including his interest in the library holdings and rare book collection at Ekstrom Library in Louisville and an extensive collection of materials concerning the Save the Parks drive from the early 1960's. The last group of material contains miscellaneous articles, letters and reprints.

The teaching papers are an accumulation of notes and lectures from 1937 up to 1972. The notes and lecture material are representative of topics included in literary survey courses, poetry, drama, writing and literature. Student papers, tests, and essays make up a second group of the teaching papers. The teaching notes, lectures and various student works document classes taught at the University of Louisville, and during his sundry visiting lectureships.

The administrative papers are divided into two categories. The first traces Dr. Kain's administrative duties during his tenure as chairman of the English department. It includes correspondence, minutes, graduate student recommendations, economic and academic reports and requests. The second group contains papers and documents on various university related administrative matters outside the english department.


  • 1937-1977


Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in the Richard M. Kain Papers have not been transferred to the University of Louisville.


19.63 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

Richard Morgan Kain was born on December 19, 1908 in York, Pennsylvania. He was educated at York Collegiate Institute and Swathmore College where he received his A.B. in 1930, graduating with highest honors. Other honors included election to Phi Beta Kappa and nomination for a Rhodes Scholarship. He attained his M.A. in 1931, and his Ph.D. in 1934 from the University of Chicago. Kain also studied at Harvard University.

Dr. Kain began teaching in 1933 at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and continued at Ohio Wesleyan University from 1934 to 1940. In 1940, he came to the University of Louisville as an associate professor and was tenured in 1947. He accepted visiting professorships at Northwestern in 1948, Harvard in 1950, the University of Colorado in 1959, was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Venice in 1961 and 1962, and was at the University of Massachusetts in 1963 as a Centennial lecturer. Other assignments include the University of Washington in 1966, and University College in Dublin in 1972. He accepted lectureships at the American Seminar in Rome in 1962; James Joyce Tower, Dublin, in 1962; the Yeats International Summer School in 1961 and 1967; and the Peter Rushton Lectureship at the University of Virginia in 1964. In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Kain was chosen Chairman of the Humanities Department in July of 1963 and maintained this position until 1969. In 1970, he was elected the first faculty member to serve on the Board of Overseers. He was active as a rare book collector and was a benefactor of the Rare Book Collection at Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.

Dr. Richard Morgan Kain had several works published, three of which are represented in these papers: Joyce, the Man, the Work, the Reputation; Susan Mitchell; and The Workshop of Daedalus. He wrote well over one hundred articles and reviews, a large number also contained in the collection. Dr. Kain is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, Personalities of the South, Who's Who in America, Dictionary of International Biography, International Scholars Directory, and the Authors and Writers Who's Who.

Dr. Kain was active in Louisville's community life. In 1958, he served as chairman of Save Our Parks, which opposed the routing of Interstate 64 through Cherokee and Seneca Parks. He was affiliated with the English Speaking Union, and the Harmony Landing Country Club. He died on April 4, 1990.

Richard M. Kain Papers
Archives Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752