Media & Journalism
The Special Collections Research Center collects and preserves materials relating to the history of broadcast media and journalism. This relatively new collecting program has already gathered rare or unique materials essential for a complete understanding of the role that the broadcast media and journalism have played not only in Washington, DC, but the nation as a whole.
Strengths of the Journalism Collections
The primary source materials related to media and journalism are in the form of the personal papers of reporters such as Jack Anderson and Richard C. Hottelet and the organizational records and audio archives of organizations such as the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Highlights of the personal and professional papers of prominent journalists include the Jack Anderson Papers, the Arthur Edson Papers, the Richard C. Hottelet Papers, the Frederick Kuh Papers, and the Samuel Shaffer Papers.
Jack Anderson (1922-2005), a pioneer of investigative journalism, was a hard-driving muckraker with unconventional research methods. By the time of Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate scoop, Anderson had amassed a list of his own journalistic coups, from exposes of corrupt officials to his discovery of a CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro. Anderson's collected papers document many of those important news stories.
The collection was processed by Archivist Sylvia Augusteijn, and is now available to researchers (see the finding aid for more details).
Arthur Edson graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism during the Depression. His first job was as a sports writer for an Oklahoma paper. He joined the Associated Press (AP) Kansas City Bureau in 1938. He moved to Washington, DC in the early 1940s and was, along with other top AP writers, instrumental in bringing the AP into the American Newspaper Guild. By 1948, he was a top feature writer for AP. He covered presidential politics for twenty-four years and did may feature stories for the AP. He moved to "US News and World Report" in 1968 and was due to take a top position there when his career was cut short by the discovery of cancer. Arthur Edson died in January 1969. The Arthur Edson Papers are available for use by researchers.
Richard C. Hottelet (Sep. 22, 1917-) was a Brooklyn-born American broadcast journalist for the latter half of the twentieth century. He continues to write and lecture. Hottelet is the last living journalist from the original World War II-era group of Murrow's Boys, journalists tutored and/or encouraged by Edward R. Murrow at CBS. The Hottelet Papers, while not fully processed, are currently available for research.
Frederick Robert Kuh (1895-1978) was a Chicago-born journalist best known for his coverage of World War II. He worked for Chicago newspapers throughout his career, serving as London correspondent for the "Chicago Sun" from 1942 to 1947 and as London and then Washington correspondent of the "Chicago Sun-Times" from 1947 until 1963. Kuh was often the recipient of confidential information from numerous government officials in London and Washington, DC. The Frederick Kuh Papers are fully processed and available for researchers to use.
The National Intelligencer Newspaper Collection, 1804-1844 contains 298 issues of The National Intelligencer, which reported and published Congressional debates, and gained a national reputation as one of the leading newspapers in the United States in the 19th century. Two of the men who owned the paper, Joseph Gales (1786-1860) and William Seaton (1785-1866), reported on important debates in Congress and both later served as mayor of Washington, DC in the 1820s and 1840s. See the for more details.
Samuel Shaffer (1910- ) received his bachelor of arts degree in 1931 from George Washington University, graduating cum laude. He pursued graduate study at the University of Michigan (1931) and at the University of Chicago (1932-1933). He began his journalist career as a reporter from 1936-42, working for the "Washington Herald," later the "Washington Times Herald." From 1942-45 he served as a combat correspondent in the US Marines Corps. For his military service in World War II, Shaffer received the Purple Heart, two battle stars, and the Presidential Unit Citation. After his military service, Shaffer was employed by "Newsweek" magazine as a reporter in New York city (1945-46) and in 1947 was promoted to Chief Congressional Correspondent, a position which he held until 1975. The Samuel Shaffer Papers are fully processed and available for use by researchers.
Strengths of the Broadcast Media Collections
Highlights of the broadcast media collections include the extensive audio archives of the Mutual Broadcasting System, Inc. and the Grace Cavalieri Papers, which include nearly 20 years of recordings of her weekly show "The Poet and The Poem."
The Mutual Broadcasting System, Inc. Records, 1958-2000 contain more than 40,000 sound recordings, primarily in audiocassette and reel-to-reel audiotape format, as well as scripts and other supporting documents generated by the various shows produced by the Mutual Broadcasting System from the 1950s through the 1990s, including:
Audiocassette recordings of testimony from the O.J. Simpson Trial, June 1995. (From MS2083, the Mutual Broadcasting System Records.)
- Jim Bohannon show, 1993-2000
- America this week, 1990-2000
- First light, 1990-2000
- Mike Walker show, 1990-1995
- The week in review, 1984-2000
- Seems like yesterday (SLY), 1987-1989
- Weekend headliners, 1987-1999
- Newsbreakers, 1985-1990
- America in the morning, 1984-2000
- The week in review, 1983-1992
- Larry King show, 1980-[199-?]
- Mutual Broadcasting series, 1980-1999
- NBC extra, 1980-1998
- Larry King show (Miami years), 1970-1979
- Mutual Radio theater/Zero hour, 1970-1979
- The World today, 1958-1982.
The collection also includes an extensive collection of phonographic recordings of music that had been played over the MBS, obituaries, and reports. The collection is not yet processed and access is somehwat restricted. If you would like to access any portion of it, please contact Special Collections.
Please visit our finding aid topic pages for more current collections relating to broadcast media and journalism in the following collecting areas: