Collection Spotlight: Philip Legler Papers

Prior to my graduate studies in Library Science, I was an undergraduate student studying literature (and in particular poetry) at Ball State University. The NMU Archives has many collections which focus on the talents of local authors, but I wanted to focus on one individual in particular – Philip Legler.

During his tenure as an English professor at NMU, Legler established himself as an internationally acclaimed academic and poet. In addition to being listed in prominent academic directories, Legler’s poems were widely published in anthologies, poetry magazines, and newspapers such as the “New York Times.” Legler joined NMU in 1968, earning a Distinguished Faculty Merit Award in 1984, and continued to teach and publish until his death in 1992.


Collection of poetry published in 1964.

The collection includes Legler’s publication A Change of View, assorted literary magazines in which Legler’s poetry was published, and articles which feature Legler and his work. However, of most interest to literary scholars and students of poetry is Legler’s unpublished manuscript titled Earthbound. The manuscript documents poetry written towards the end of Legler’s life, and serves as the culmination of Legler’s work and maturation in the field. The unpublished manuscript includes a draft with extensive notes and comments regarding revision.


A page from Earthbound.

If you are interested in the papers of other authors from the Central Upper Peninsula, please see the NMU Archives’ additional holdings here. For more on the Philip Legler Papers, (MSS-327) please check out the resource record.


During the holidays, the NMU Archives will be open Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. We will be closed December 24th to January 3rd, but will resume services on Monday, January 4th. For more, please see our website.

Post written by Sara Kiszka.




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