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

College of Journalism records

 Collection 0054-UA

Established in 1949 as the Department of Journalism and Public Relations in the College of Business and Public Administration, the department changed its name in 1966 to Department of Journalism and in 1972 became the College of Journalism. The college's records, including administrative files, course materials, construction planning records, and lecture series tapes, document the evolution of the journalism program on the College Park campus. They also chronicle the connection between the Department/College of Journalism and the campus radio and television stations and several campus publications.


  • 1949-1974

Use and Access to Collection

This collection contains restricted material, please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

This collection also 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, so we may determine the proper steps to be taken.

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.


16.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The College of Journalism records span the period from 1949 to 1974 with most of the collection covering the 1950s and 1960s. The collection consists of administrative correspondence, course descriptions, scholarship information, minutes of faculty meetings, committee meetings, job openings, records of honorary societies and audiotapes. Also included are various reports, such as annual departmental reports, accreditation reports, and faculty teaching reports. In addition, correspondence and floor plans relating to the construction of the Journalism building are included.

Other topics of interest covered include the program for the inauguration of a new university president and administrative papers pertaining to the Diamondback. Among the correspondents represented in the collection are: department heads, such Alfred A. Crowell and Ray Hiebert; deans, such as Donald W. O'Connell; and former university president, Wilson H. Elkins.

Administrative History

The College of Journalism of the University of Maryland at College Park can trace its origin to 1919 when the Maryland State College first offered a major in journalism. The journalism program, as described in the 1919-20 college catalog, provides

"the student an excelled knowledge of English and subjects coincident with general education, but provides courses wherein direct application of such knowledge is shown in actual publication of the modern newspaper. Besides taking up in a general way practically all phases of newspaper work, some courses in the curriculum are designed to give the student a knowledge of the specific conditions that apply to the development of trade journals, periodicals, and the weekly country paper."

There were also plans to install a newspaper laboratory for journalism majors. However, after the creation of the University of Maryland in 1920, President Albert F. Woods reorganized the university to make it more academic and scholarly and to make it less a vocational training center. By the 1921-22 school year, while journalism was no longer a major at the University of Maryland, interested students could still enroll in journalism courses as part of the English and Literature curriculum However, by 1923, no journalism courses were offered at the university.

In 1947 the study of journalism was revived as part of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations of the College of Business and Public Administration. The mission of the department, which graduated its first four students in 1949, was to provide
"training for students who wish to enter the fields of newspaper reporting or editing, magazine writing or editing, public information service, commercial service, government correspondence, publicity, public relations, publications management, and the teaching of journalism."

Dr. Jack Y. Bryan, formerly of the English Department, served as the first head of the Journalism and Public Relations department from 1947 to 1949.

Professor Alfred A. Crowell followed Dr. Bryan as head of the department from 1950-1966. During his tenure the department was accredited by the American Council on Education for Journalism and for nearly thirty years the University of Maryland had the only accredited undergraduate journalism program in the Middle Atlantic region. Also during Crowell's tenure, a new four story building was constructed in 1957 to house the Department of Journalism and Public Relations. Crowell resigned as department head in 1966, the same year the department was renamed the Department of Journalism. Dr. Carter R. Bryan served as acting department head from July 1966 to December 1967 until Dr. Ray E. Hiebert was named head of the Department of Journalism in 1968.

During Hiebert's tenure as department head in the early 1970s, the university was reorganized and the College of Journalism was established in 1972. Dr. Hiebert was appointed the first dean of the college in January 1973 and served until 1979. The mission of the new College of Journalism was:

  1. "(1) to provide professional development, including training in skills and techniques necessary for effective communication.
  2. (2) to insure a liberal education for journalists and mass communicators.
  3. (3) to increase public understanding of journalism and mass communication.
  4. (4) to advance knowledge through research and publication.
  5. (5) to raise the quality of journalism through critical examination and study.
  6. (6) to provoide a continuing relationship with professional journalists and their societies."

During its first decade, the College experienced many changes and challenges. In 1972-73, the College of Journalism first offered a Master's degree. Two years later Public Relations Review: A Journal of Research and Comments, with Dr. Hiebert as editor, began operating out of the College of Journalism; he remains the editor in 2009. During the late 1970s, the university administration considered relocating the College of Journalism to the Catonsville Campus of the University of Maryland (UMBC) in an effort to evenly distribute academic opportunities throughout the University of Maryland system; however, the College of Journalism remained at College Park for several resons, one being the importance of College's close contact with the national media sources in Washington, DC. The end of the decade was an extremely busy time for the college. In 1979-80 the College of Journalism, in association with the Department of Communication and Theatre, first offered a Ph.D. in Public Communication. And after Dr. Hiebert resigned as dean, Dr. L. John Martin served as acting dean from 1979 until 1980, followed by Benjamin F. Holman as acting dean until Reese Cleghorn was appointed dean on July 1, 1981. By the end of the first decade, the college offered two advanced degrees, the enrollment exceeded 1,000 and a new publication operated out of the college.

Since its inception the Department/College of Journalism had been responsible for several campus publications, including the Diamondback, the campus newspaper, and the Terrapin, the yearbook. Journalism students gained practical experience working on campus newspapers, magazines, and handbooks. However, in 1974 all campus publications were consolidated under the management of Maryland Media, Inc. Although no longer part of the College of Journalism, the campus publications still provide many journalism students the opportunity to gain experience in writing and production. In adddition, in 1987 Jessica and Henry Catto gave their magazine, Washington Journalism Review, to the College of Journalism of the University of Maryland at College Park. The College still produces the bi-monthly review, now titled the American Journalism Review; it monitors press performance, raises questions about media coverage, and celebrates journalism's accomplishments and individuals. In addition to the American Journalism Review and campus publications, journalism students can gain experience by working on the campus radio station or the campus television station.

Outstanding journalism students and student publications are recognized by several national honorary societies with chapters at the University of Maryland.

The College of Journalism, once a small department on campus is now an independent college within the University of Maryland at College Park with its own board of visitors. In 2001, the college was renamed for Philip Merrill, publisher and owner of The Capital daily newspaper in Annapolis and Washingtonian magazine, in recognition of his $10 million gift to the University of Maryland College of Journalism. The journalism program at the university continues to change and develop, reflecting the changes in the field. For more information about Philip Merrill College of Journalism, visit its website at


The records have been divided into the following series and subseries:

Series 1
Department/College of Journalism
Series 2
College of Business and Public Administration
Series 3
Audio Tapes

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The College of Journalism records were transferred by the college to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in 1977.

Related Material

Materials related to this collection and the study of journalism at the university may be found in the University Publications collection, cataloged under J3, J4, and J12. They include reports, journals, conference proceedings, and alumni news.

The Guide to the College of Business and Public Administration records, Collection Number 0026-UA, documents the academic predecessor to the journalism program.

Guide to the College of Journalism records
Guide created by Charlotte B. Brown.
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.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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