Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Radio, Television, and Film
Instruction in radio was begun at Northwestern during the 1931-32 academic year, when a course entitled “Radio Advertising Copy” was offered by the School of Journalism. The School of Speech entered the field of radio in the fall of 1935 with courses in radio acting and writing taught by Albert Crews, who received his M.A. from the School of Speech in 1937 and chaired its Department of Radio until 1943.
The Department began offering graduate degree programs in 1946, and added instruction in television in 1949, when its name was changed to the Department of Radio and Television. The first television courses were taught by Donley F. Fedderson. In 1956, instruction in film was added to the curriculum, under the direction of Jack C. Ellis; the Department's name was changed to the Department of Radio, Television, and Film in 1957.
Throughout most of its history, the Department's academic programs have been supplemented by practical experience in radio at the University radio station, WNUR-FM, which went on the air on May 8, 1950. Other Departmental activities include the Radio Playshop (1939-53), a workshop specializing in the production and broadcast of student-written scripts: the Radio Guild (1946-48), devoted to adaptations of literary classics; and a series of public service programs beginning in 1947, produced for various social service agencies and other non-profit groups in the Evanston/Chicago area.
As of the fall of 1983, the Department was organized in two divisions, Radio/Television and Film; offered degree programs at the bachelor's, masters', and doctoral levels; and listed approximately fifty courses and sixteen full- and part-time faculty members.
Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:
The Academic and Course Files of the Radio/Television/Film Department are arranged in 4 subseries: graduate program materials; course materials; student papers; and grade sheets. They include reading lists; copies of M.A. comprehensive and Ph.D. final examinations; correspondence with and concerning graduate students; reading lists; handouts; quizzes and examinations; and script excerpts used for classroom discussions or class projects.
This series consists of 15 bound volumes containing mimeographed or spirit-duplicated copies of scripts for Radio Playshop productions from the period 1939-53. The scripts are bound chronologically by broadcast date. There is one volume for each academic year, with the following exceptions: no volume exists for 1940-41; scripts for 1941-42 and 1942-43 occupy two volumes each. Many of the titles of the productions are listed in the finding aid for Series 20/32.
This series consists primarily of scripts and production reports for radio and television programs prepared by the Radio/Television/Film Department for broadcast over station WNUR and other broadcast outlets. It fills 23 boxes and spans the period 1937-1964, with the great majority of records dating between 1942 and 1958.