Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Dick Dorrance papers

 Collection 0039-MMC-LAB

Dick Dorrance (1914-1999), an advertising and promotion copywriter, was head of promotion for CBS's owned stations and, later, the Mutual Broadcasting System. In between, he was the principal of Dorrance and Company, a trade promotion and advertising firm. He was also promotion director and general manager of FM Broadcaster Inc., an early FM trade association (later merged with the National Association of Broadcasters). During the war, he was with the Office of War Information and led the Broadcasters' Victory Council.

The Dorrance papers document the rise of FM broadcasting and the role that broadcasters and radio could play in the war effort. The collection covers the years 1940 to 1945, and the bulk of the collection dates from April 1940 to January 1944. The collection contains FMBI newsletters, BVC newsletters, an information guide published by the OWI, and various speeches and memos written by Dorrance.


  • 1940-1945
  • Majority of material found within April 1940-January 1944

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use.

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.


4.75 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Dick Dorrance papers cover the years 1940 to 1945. The bulk of the collection dates from April 1940 to January 1944. It documents the work he did for FM Broadcasters, Inc., the Office of War Information, and the Broadcasters' Victory Council. Types of documents in the collection include FMBI newsletters, BVC newsletters, Radio Background Material and an Information Guide published by the OWI, and various speeches and memos written by Dorrance. The bulk of the material relates to the rise of FM broadcasting and the role broadcasters and radio could play in the war effort.


Dick Dorrance worked in the New York office of FM Broadcasters, Inc. until April 1942 when that office was closed because of American involvement in World War II. He worked out of his New York City home until October 1942 when he moved to Washington to work as assistant chief of the Office of War Information Radio Bureau. He continued to work for FMBI and the Office of War Information until January 1944 when he left Washington to become Director of Promotion for the CBS-owned stations in New York.

From about February 1942 until his move to Washington in October of that year, Dorrance commuted from New York to D.C. once a week to write the Broadcasters' Victory Council newsletter. From around October 1942 until January 1944, he worked as assistant chief of the OWI Radio Bureau under William B. Lewis (former Program Vice President of CBS) who was Deputy Director of the OWI Domestic Division at the time. It was under Lewis's direction that Dorrance compiled the War Information Guide to answer media queries about the war. He also wrote various speeches for Lewis who became Chief of the Radio Bureau, OWI.


The collection consists of five series.

  1. Series 1: Newsletters
  2. Series 2: Office of War Information materials
  3. Series 3: FM Broadcasters, Inc. materials
  4. Series 4: Miscellaneous
  5. Series 5: Newspapers

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Dorrance donated his papers to the Broadcast Pioneers Library in 1977.

Processing Information

The Dick Dorrance papers were organized into four series, then further broken down into subseries as noted. Paper clips, staples, rubber bands, and plastic ring bindings were removed and replaced with plastic clips where needed. During processing, all items were removed from boxes and placed in acid-free folders. Duplicates were discarded. Once the folders were labeled, they were placed in acid-free boxes.

Guide to the Dick Dorrance papers
Processed by Amy Masciola, June 1, 1995.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2012-08-20: Tagged with relevant subject headings- Chuck Howell.
  • 2017-11-05: Finding aid reviewed and edited by Rebecca Thayer.
  • 2019-01-16: Finding aid reviewed and minor edits made by Duncan Griffin.
  • 2021-10-1: Jim Baxter re-wrote the collection abstract; Sam O’Donnell updated gendered language.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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