Guide to the Mary Ann Weston (1940- ) Papers

Collection Title: Mary Ann Weston (1940- ) Papers
Dates: 1974-2004
Identification: 16/18
Creator: Weston, Mary Ann
Extent: 4 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Northwestern journalism professor Mary Ann (Damme) Weston earned both her bachelor’s (1962) and master’s (1963) degrees at the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The Mary Ann Weston Papers fill four boxes and span the years 1974 to 2004. The papers mainly document the later years of Weston’s career at Northwestern (1980s through 1990s), with the bulk of the materials comprising records of Weston’s work on Medill and University committees, and her teaching files.
Acquisition Information: Mary Ann Weston donated her papers to the University Archives on August 17, 2005, as Accession No. 05-80.
Processing Information: Ami Kawamura and Janet Olson, Winter 2008.
Separated Materials: A few inches of duplicate and extraneous materials were separated and discarded. Several reports and other Northwestern-related items were transferred to the appropriate files in the University Archives’ General Files.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Journalism professor Mary Ann (Damme) Weston earned both her bachelor’s (1962) and master’s (1963) degrees at the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Weston taught two courses at Medill in 1974-1975, then returned to Medill in 1987 to teach for 18 years, until 2005. In 1997 and 2003, she was the faculty member in charge of the Global Journalism program, and from 1998 to 2001 she served as Medill’s Associate Dean.  Her research focused on minorities and women in the news, 20th-century Chicago journalism, newspaper comic strips, and the portrayal of women in newspaper editorials. She retired from full-time teaching in 2005 and was appointed Associate Professor Emeritus.

Weston served on a number of important committees both within Medill and University-wide. As the Medill representative to the General Faculty Committee (GFC) in the mid-1990s, she worked on changes to the University’s summer benefits policies. From 1996 to 1999, she was a member of the Inquiry, a committee focused on analyzing and improving Medill’s graduate programs. She chaired the GFC’s sub-committee on Faculty Development: Women and Minorities, which included work on the University’s policies for dealing with Sexual Harassment, and comments on the University’s First Report of the Task Force on Underrepresented Minorities in 1997. In addition, she served on Northwestern’s Martin Luther King Day Coordinating Committee from its formation in 1999 (the first campus-wide celebration took place in January, 2000) through 2001.

Her teaching work included both undergraduate and graduate courses, many of which were team-taught or involved participation from visiting faculty or journalists. She also taught summer course for high-school students as part of Northwestern’s National High School Institute, and a course for teachers of journalism at the high-school level. In 1999 she successfully applied for a grant from the Alumnae of Northwestern University to introduce a course on Reporting across Race and Culture.

Weston wrote Native Americans in the News: Images of American Indians in the Twentieth Century (Greenwood Press, 1996).  She also co-edited and co-authored U.S. News Coverage of Racial Minorities: A Sourcebook, 1934-1996 (Greenwood Press, 1997), and contributed a chapter, "Post 9/11 Arab American Coverage Avoids Stereotypes" in Media in an American Crisis: Studies of September 11, 2001 (University Press of America, 2005).  She contributed to a number of publications including the Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, the Dictionary of American Biography, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography; in addition, she wrote numerous articles and book reviews that have appeared in Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, and the Newspaper Research Journal. 

After her retirement from Medill, Professor Weston continued to conduct research regarding the representation of minorities and women in the news.

Scope and Content

The Mary Ann Weston Papers fill four boxes and span the years 1974 to 2004. The papers mainly document the later years of Weston’s career at Northwestern (1980s through 1990s), with the bulk of the materials comprising records of Weston’s work on Medill and University committees, and her teaching files. A few presentations and a grant proposal are also included. Throughout, whether in terms of curriculum development or committee work, the papers reflect Weston’s concern to include and address the issues of women and minorities, and to ensure that journalism students learned how to incorporate these issues into their reporting.

Biographical information is limited to Weston’s page on the Medill School of Journalism web site.

Committee files, spanning the years 1995 to 2001, typically include the charge to the committee, communication among committee members, meeting agendas, draft reports, and comments from non-committee members. Materials are organized by committee name, and within the folders are in rough chronological order.

Papers and presentations include two papers presented or submitted to the American Journalism Historians Association and a speech Weston delivered at a Northwestern event, “Rock against Bigotry” (held at the Northwestern landmark known as “the Rock” in 1996). Also included is the proposal, drafts, supporting paperwork (such as examples from earlier years), and correspondence relating to the proposal to the Alumnae of Northwestern in 1998.

Teaching files begin with files on courses taught outside the regular Medill curriculum—a course for high school journalism teachers, National High Institute summer courses—and a file on the development of the “History and Society” curriculum. Files for Medill courses are organized by course number and date. And typically contain opening remarks, syllabi, handouts (including a few examples of coursepacks), exams, lecture notes, curriculum plans, and assignments. Since a number of courses involved guest lecturers and lab instructors, or were team-taught to some extent, material relating to or created by other faculty may be included. Materials in the folders are in rough chronological order.


Personal Name

Weston, Mary Ann


Indians of North America

Jounalism--United States--History--20th century

Journalism--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States

Container List / Contents

  • Committees
    • General Faculty Committee (GFC): Medill Representative, 1995-1996Box 1, Folder 2
    • Inquiry (Medill Graduate Program), 1996-1999Box 1, Folder 3
    • GFC Committee on Faculty Development: Women and Minorities, 1997-1998Box 1, Folder 4
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Planning Committee, 1999-2001Box 1, Folder 5
  • Speeches, Papers and Proposals
    • Chicago’s Tabloid Times: Jazz Journalism in the Windy City (American Journalism Historians Association [AJHA])Box 1, Folder 6
    • Rock Against Bigotry, 1996Box 1, Folder 7
    • Alumnae of Northwestern: Curriculum Development Grant Proposal: “Reporting Across Race and Culture”, 1998Box 1, Folder 8
    • Innovative Ways of Teaching Journalism History (AJHA), 1999Box 1, Folder 9
  • Teaching Files
    • Journalism and Society curriculum development, 1998-2001Box 1, Folder 10
    • Teaching High School Journalists, 1992-1994Box 1, Folder 11
    • Journalism National High School Institute, 1992-1994, 1997, 2002Box 1, Folder 12
    • 325-B01-0 Basic Writing, Fall 1987Box 2, Folder 1
    • 325-B01-0 Basic Writing, Winter 1988Box 2, Folder 2
    • 325-B01-0 Basic Writing, Spring 1988Box 2, Folder 3
    • 325-B01-0 Basic Writing, 1991-1996Box 2, Folder 4
    • 325-B01-0 Basic Writing, UndatedBox 2, Folder 5
    • 325-B02-0 History & Issues of Journalism Course Pack, Winter 1988Box 2, Folder 6
    • 325-B02-0 History & Issues of Journalism, 1995, 1997-2001, 2004Box 2, Folder 7
    • 325-C02-0 History of Mass Communications, 1989-1990, 1992-1993Box 2, Folder 8
    • 325-B02-0 History of Mass Communications Course Pack, Fall 1995Box 3, Folder 1
    • 325-B02-0 History of Mass Communications, Winter, Spring 1997Box 3, Folder 2
    • 325-C20-1 News Writing, 1974-1975Box 3, Folder 3
    • 325-C20-1 News Writing, 1987-1988Box 3, Folder 4
    • 325-C20-1 News Writing, 1990Box 3, Folder 5
    • 325-C20-1 News Writing, Fall 1991Box 3, Folder 6
    • 325-C20-2 Reporting, 1974-1975Box 3, Folder 7
    • 325-C80-7 Women and the Media, Winter 1992Box 3, Folder 8
    • 325 D-35 Introduction to Graduate Study, 1984-1987Box 4, Folder 1
    • 325 D-35 Introduction to Graduate Study, 1989-1990 (Summer)Box 4, Folder 2
    • 325-D91 Reporting of Public Affairs, Fall 1987Box 4, Folder 3
    • 325-D91 Reporting of Public Affairs, Winter 1988Box 4, Folder 4
  • Biographical, 2001Box 1, Folder 1