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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.
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.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
16.00 Linear Feet
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.
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."
"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."
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 www.merrill.umd.edu/.
The records have been divided into the following series and subseries:
The College of Journalism records were transferred by the college to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in 1977.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives