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Keith W. Mielke papers

 Collection 0174-MMC-NPBA

Keith W. Mielke (1933- ) became the executive director of research for the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in 1977. Over the next twenty years, Mielke held various positions in the research department, including executive director for 3-2-1 Contact, vice-president for research, and senior research fellow. At CTW, Mielke helped develop the Program Evaluation Analysis Computer (PEAC) system, which utilized a wireless response unit for moment-by-moment responses to test material with automated data analysis. He also commissioned Sesame Street's first comprehensive evaluations since the Educational Testing Service first reviewed the show from 1969 to 1971.

The collection deals with the policies and goals of CTW, corporate reports evaluating the effectiveness of shows, research into educational television, and reports to outside organizations on work done at CTW.


  • 1968-1995, and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1977

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research use.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials page for more information. Queries regarding publicatioght status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


3.50 Linear Feet


Born on November 15, 1933 in Perry, Oklahoma, Keith W. Mielke is best known for his influential research in children's television and for his role in Children's Television Workshop's planning activities. Mielke began his college education at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma where he received his undergraduate degree in 1956. He went on to Syracuse University where he earned his Masters in Television and Radio and to Michigan State where he earned a Ph.D. in Communications.

Mielke began his professional career in 1964 at Indiana University where he was hired as a lecturer in the Department of Radio-Television. In February 1965 he became an assistant professor in that department. Over the next twelve years Mielke moved to various posts eventually becoming a full professor in 1973 in the Department of Telecommunications. At Indiana Mielke held various positions including chairman of the Department of Radio-Television from July 1970 to May 1973. He was also the Chairman of the Mass Communications Program from July 1966 to August 1971. He served on posts outside the university as a research consultant for the Center for Research on Children's Television at Harvard University and with the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in New York.

In June 1977, Mielke moved to CTW as Executive Director of Research. Over the next twenty years Mielke held various positions in the research department including executive director for 3-2-1 Contact, vice-president for research, and senior research fellow. At CTW Mielke helped develop the Program Evaluation Analysis Computer (PEAC) system which utilized a wireless response unit for moment-by-moment responses to test material with automated analysis of data. He also commissioned the first comprehensive evaluations of Sesame Street since the Educational Testing Service first reviewed the show from 1969 to 1971. Mielke also served as Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee for CTW's production of Feeling Good from 1974 to 1975.

During his thirty year career at Indiana and CTW Mielke was bestowed with numerous honors highlighting his achievements in children's television. In 1975 he received the Annual Book Award from the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Michigan State University and Phillips University honored their former graduate with distinguished alumni awards in 1987 and 1985 respectively. In 1991, Mielke was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).

Throughout his professional career Mielke remained active with various organizations that supported the research and funding of children's television. He led various workshops on research in children's television and was a consultant for industry periodicals such as the AV Communication Review and the Journal of Broadcasting. Mielke served as a research consultant with many projects of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute of Education.

Mielke's writings have appeared in numerous publications including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Public Telecommunications Review, and Educational Broadcasting Review. He has also contributed to seven book-length works on children's and instructional television including "G" is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street, and Learning from Television: Psychological and Educational Research.


Organized as four series.

  1. Series 1: CTW - Administrative Files
  2. Series 2: Children's Television Workshop Programming
  3. Series 3: Children's Television Programming: Articles, Reports and Studies
  4. Series 4: Audio Recordings

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Keith W. Mielke papers were donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Keith W. Mielke in July of 1999.

Related Material

Related documents to Mielke's work on The Federal Role in Funding Children's Television Programming including correspondence and interview transcripts are located in Box 2 of the Archives of the Children's Television Workshop.

Guide to the Keith W. Mielke papers
Processed by Mark Baxter and Karen E. King, October 2002.
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

  • 2007-04-15: EAD markup checked and verified using JEdit software by Karen E. King.
  • 2008-09-18: EAD revised by Karen E. King.
  • 2017-11-05: Finding aid reviewed and edited by Rebecca Thayer.
  • 2019-01-16: Finding aid reviewed and minor edits made by Duncan Griffin.
  • 2021-08-20: Jim Baxter re-wrote the collection abstract.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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