Alert: Your Libraries are here for you. Learn more about library services during the pandemic.
Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Oscar Katz papers

 Collection 0538-MMC
This collection documents the career of CBS and Desilu Productions television executive Oscar Katz (1913-1996). The material dates from 1938 to 1996 with the bulk of materials from the 1960s and 1970s.


  • 1938-1996
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1979

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


3.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Oscar Katz papers include documents, clipping and photographs related to his career, from 1938 until his death in 1996. These include: a broadcast of the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow, hosted by Mary Tyler Moore; the CBS network's 50th Anniversary in 1978; his work in program development at Desilu; and articles and reports based on his research and experience. The collection also includes photographs and audio recordings.

Biographical / Historical

Oscar Katz (1913-1996) was a veteran television executive for the CBS Television Network who, later in his career, spent time in Hollywood as a studio executive and as an agent. He joined the research department of CBS in 1938, eventually becoming director. In 1956, he became vice-president in charge of daytime programs for the network. Within three years he was named head of the CBS programming department.

In 1963, he left the network to join Desilu Productions, Inc., where he worked on such series as Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. After three years he became a packaging agent for General Artists Corp. In 1972, he rejoined CBS as a vice-president of programming. Among other projects he was involved in the creation and broadcast of "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," for which he received the Southern Christian Leadership Award in 1974.

Katz retired from CBS in 1978 and spent his later years as an at-large television program consultant working for 20th Century Fox Television and CBS Entertainment, among others.


Materials are arranged in the original order by date and format.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains audiovisual materials. Items that cannot be used in the Special Collections reading room or are too fragile for researchers require that a digital copy be made prior to use. If you would like to access these materials, please contact us prior to your visit.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to the University of Maryland Libraries by Oscar Katz's daughter, Joan Slottow, in October 2014.

Processing Information

This collection has been moderately processed. The collection came to the Libraries largely in chronological order by decade and the processing archivists maintained that chronological order. Materials are grouped by format. The entire collection was re-boxed.

The original folders were replaced with acid-free folders which were assigned labels. A portion of the photos were rehoused in archival sleeves. A backlit photo display was dismantled and its transparency was removed. One photograph was removed. Memorabilia such as awards were rehoused in an oversize box.

Newspaper clippings dated through the 1970s were copied onto acid-free paper and removed. Duplicate articles were removed. Articles authored by Oscar Katz were clipped form magazines and re-foldered. Other magazine articles arrived as clippings with corresponding magazine covers; these covers were removed unless they were directly relevant to the articles. Plastic spiral binders and covers were removed from some reports.

The University of Maryland Libraries received an item level list of the content of this collection from the Katz family. This inventory has been included as part of the finding aid and can be found under the Inventories/Additional Information section. Some material has been removed as indicated above.
Guide to the Oscar Katz papers
Finding aid created by Jen Wachtel and Jim Baxter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-04: Item level inventory added and folder headings enhanced by Joanne Archer

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742