ua902.064
University Archives
Collection ID: ua902.064
online content

Louis Ismay Papers, 1959-1977

Collection description

Summary

Creator:
Ismay, Louis F.
Abstract:
The papers of Lou Ismay document the history of the Environmental Forum at the University at Albany, SUNY, (State University of New York at Albany as it was then known) from 1969-1977, as well as the Environmental Studies Program. The collection contains information on the Environmental Forum, the Protect Your Environment Club, administrative files, student writings, subject files, correspondence, and publications. The student writings are from Ismay’s Environmental Forum classes from 1969-1977. This series is restricted from use, along with parts of the Environmental Forum and correspondence series. This course was held under different numbers during its existence, including A&S 201 and Env.250a and b. The strength of the collection lies not in the educational departments that are represented by the collection, but by the overall impression one can gather about the rise of environmental awareness among students at the university. Access to certain student material is restricted. Consult a staff member for details.
Extent:
29.14 cubic ft.
Language:
English and English
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Louis Ismay Papers, 1959-1977. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access unrestricted with exceptions to 10 folders labeled "personal student information" in Series 1, all of the student writings in Series 4, and 1 folder labeled "Student Mail, Personal" in Series 6. Consult a staff member for details.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The Louis Ismay Papers document the history of the Environmental Forum at the State University of New York at Albany (as the University at Albany, SUNY was then known) from 1970-1977, as well as the Environmental Studies Program. The collection contains information on the Environmental Forum, the Protect Your Environment Club (PYE), administrative files, student writings, subject files, correspondence, and publications. The student writings are from Ismay's Environmental Forum classes from 1970-1977. This series, along with parts of the Environmental Forum and correspondence series, is restricted from use. This course was held under different numbers during its existence, including A&S 201 and Env.250a and b.

Many environmental issues facing the Capital Region, as well as the nation between 1968 and 1977, are documented in the Ismay Papers. Recycling, pollution control, consumption reduction, and environmental awareness are all topics that can be found not only in the subject files of the papers, but also in each series. The Environmental Forum was created as a result of the environmental concern that swept through universities on a national level during this time. The purpose of the Forum was active involvement of environmentally concerned individuals with their community in an attempt to better the environment that they lived in. Some papers appear to be from environmental law classes and other related classes. This makes it seem that this collection includes papers from other professors in the Environmental Studies Program, including Rosemary Nichols, an instructor of the law classes.

The collection lacks biographical information of significance about Lou Ismay. Other than learning about a few of his interests, little personal information can be found in his papers. Many of the documents in the collection are damaged as a result of poor storage prior to arriving at the University at Albany. The strength of the collection lies not in the educational departments that are represented in the collection, but in the overall impression of the rise of environmental awareness among students at the University at Albany, which is one small link to understanding the rise in environmental concern on campuses throughout the United States during this period. This can be seen through national events such as Earth Day and Earth Week that were begun in this era (see Governor Malcolm Wilson executive order creating Earth Week in 1974 in series 2).

Biographical / Historical:

Louis Fletcher Ismay (commonly known as Lou Ismay) was born in Bronxville, New York on February 25, 1925. Ismay received a Bachelor of Education from the University of the State of New York at New Paltz in 1949, and a Master of Arts in education administration from Columbia University in 1958. Prior to finishing his education Ismay served in the military from September 1943 through June 1946. Ismay was selected to be the coordinator of the Environmental Forum course at the State University of New York at Albany (as the University at Albany, SUNY was then known) in 1970 because of his extensive history and experience in administrative, educational, as well as executive positions that required creative and visionary approaches to maximize resources. [Resume of Louis Ismay, undated. Series 1: Environmental Forum, Box 2, Folder 40].

The Environmental Forum course taught by Ismay was a part of the Environmental Studies Program at the University. Additional information about the Environmental Studies Program is available in the finding aid for the collection. Ismay taught the course from its inception in the spring of 1970, when the environmental ideals that this course was based on were spreading to campuses nationwide, until its demise in 1977 because of budget cuts. The themes of the course included new measures for waste management through recycling, strengthening pollution regulations, and reducing unnecessary consumption by individuals. Ismay taught students to take a proactive stance to their surroundings, both environmental and societal, which is reflected in the student projects in this collection. Ismay's students did not passively observe their surroundings, but went out armed with ideas and came back with environmental awareness that they then tried to share with others. Ismay currently lives in Altamont, New York.

Acquisition information:

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Louis Ismay in April 2005.

Processing information:

Processed in 2007 by Orson Kingsley; by Kevin Lawyer, February 2007.

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Restrictions:
Access unrestricted with exceptions to 10 folders labeled "personal student information" in Series 1, all of the student writings in Series 4, and 1 folder labeled "Student Mail, Personal" in Series 6. Consult a staff member for details.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Louis Ismay Papers, 1959-1977. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).