Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Radio, Television, and Film

 Organization

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 6 Collections and/or Records:

Charles Francis Hunter (1913-1975) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 20/15
Abstract The Charles Francis Hunter Papers are comprised of biographical and teaching materials, as well as items related to committee and administrative activities at Northwestern. The biographical materials consist primarily of news releases and clippings. The teaching materials include assignment sheets, exam questions, and other items related directly or indirectly to Hunter's courses. A few student papers are also included. The committee and administrative materials relate to radio,...

Radio/Television/Film Department Academic and Course Files

 Collection
Identifier: 20/31
Abstract 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.

Radio/Television/Film Department Departmental Administrative Records

 Collection
Identifier: 20/30
Abstract This series fills twelve boxes and is arranged in four major subseries: general files; financial records; records relating to the Summer Radio and Television Institute (1942-1958); and records relating to the summer National Defense Education Act Media Specialist Institutes (1965 and 1967). The general files occupy two boxes and span the period 1939-1968. They include correspondence and other materials related to a variety of topics including the establishment of radio station WNUR; the...

Radio/Television/Film Department Radio Guild Scripts

 Collection
Identifier: 20/34
Abstract About The Radio Guild: The Radio Guild was begun in 1946 to provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in radio production. Guild productions were adaptations of literary classics and were broadcast over Chicago station WBBM.About The Collection: This series consists of two bound volumes, one each for the academic years 1946-47 and 1947-48, containing mimeographed or spirit-duplicated copies of Radio Guild scripts. See also: Marked production copies of scripts...

Radio/Television/Film Department Radio Playshop

 Collection
Identifier: 20/33
Abstract 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.

Radio/Television/Film Department Scripts and Production Reports

 Collection
Identifier: 20/32
Abstract 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.