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Harry F. Harrington (1882-1935) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 16/8
The Harry F. Harrington Papers fill three boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speeches, and publications. There are as well a few files relating to Harrington's college education.

The biographical materials include a number of newspaper clippings, five of which report on the aborted program in journalism at Western Reserve University. Many others deal with Harrington's appointment at Medill and with his speeches and professional activities. A few clippings are based on letters Harrington wrote to the Chicago Evening Post while he and his wife were on their tour of Europe.

Of considerable interest is a journal, entitled “Notes & Bits of Observation,” kept by Harrington from March 1, 1908 into September, 1909. The journal contains many entries illuminating Harrington's life in Ohio, his graduate study at Columbia, and his early teaching at Ohio Wesleyan. Also entered here are notes, anecdotes, and clippings for possible use in stories. The section on New York includes material pertinent to some of Harrington's teachers, such as Brander Matthews, and to contemporary events in the city.

The correspondence relates primarily to Harrington's professional career, especially his teaching, writing, and speaking engagements. Harrington attended the inauguration of U.S. President William Howard Taft and wrote home a two-page account of his trip to Washington and of the time he and a friend spent in the capitol (letter dated March 7, 1909; Box 1, Folder 10). In April, 1930, Frank P. Stockbridge, editor of The American Press, wrote Harrington for his comments on the educational role of schools of journalism. Harrington replied (April 24, 1930; Box 1, Folder 13) with a five-page statement making a strong case for academic training in journalism. In response to a request from Charles W. Ward, executive secretary of Northwestern University's general alumni association, Harrington wrote a three-page account of the Medill School's current state and most pressing needs (April 25, 1930; Box 1, Folder 13).

Shorter letters of some interest were written to Harrington by Westbrook Pegler (November 29, 1933; Box 1, Folder 14) responding to Harrington's request for information on Pegler's method of writing; by Col. Robert R. McCormick (June 10, 1921; Box 1, Folder 12) briefly referring to Joseph Medill; and by Wright A. Patterson (March 23, 1917; Box 1, Folder 11). Patterson's was a two-and-a-half page letter outlining services provided by the Western Newspaper Union. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order.

The teaching files include a number of notebooks in which Harrington wrote in longhand his lectures for various courses. Notebooks containing his lectures at the Ohio State University also include material on great newspapers and their editors. Those compiled at the University of Kansas relate to the newspaper, the short story, the history of American journalism, and the first English newspapers. Notebooks from his lectures at the University of Illinois relate to the making of a country newspaper as well as to newspaper and editorial problems and policies. These lecture notebooks offer a view of Harrington's teaching style; in verbal presentation they probably were embroidered with the flashes of humor for which he was so well known. Teaching files are arranged first according to the institution at which Harrington taught and thereafter by topic.

Harrington made frequent public addresses, mostly before journalism groups. His speech files include drafts and finished texts on a broad variety of subjects. Speeches are foldered alphabetically by title.

Little material pertaining to Harrington's books is found here. Most of the publication files are comprised of drafts and printed versions of articles along with related correspondence. Included is a parody by Harrington of a political speech by Al Smith (Box 3, Folder 8). Major articles or collections or brief writings include the editorials Harrington wrote for the Christian Science Monitor (Box 3, Folder 12), the well-known “Prayer for a Writer” (Box 3, Folder 31), and a volume entitled “Essays and Sketches” (Box 3, Folder 14). The last of these is in a large notebook containing typed and printed work by Harrington on a variety of subjects. Folders pertaining to a few of Harrington's major works are filed together and are followed by articles foldered alphabetically by title.

The small amount of educational material consists of a zoology notebook from his undergraduate studies and a paper, “Dickens' Relationship to the Stage,” from his graduate work.

Dates

  • 1899-1967

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at archives@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3136 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Extent

3.00 Boxes

Abstract

The Harry F. Harrington Papers fill three boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speeches, and publications. There are as well a few files relating to Harrington's college education.
The biographical materials include a number of newspaper clippings, five of which report on the aborted program in journalism at Western Reserve University. Many others deal with Harrington's appointment at Medill and with his speeches and professional activities. A few clippings are based on letters Harrington wrote to the Chicago Evening Post while he and his wife were on their tour of Europe.
Of considerable interest is a journal, entitled “Notes & Bits of Observation,” kept by Harrington from March 1, 1908 into September, 1909. The journal contains many entries illuminating Harrington's life in Ohio, his graduate study at Columbia, and his early teaching at Ohio Wesleyan. Also entered here are notes, anecdotes, and clippings for possible use in stories. The section on New York includes material pertinent to some of Harrington's teachers, such as Brander Matthews, and to contemporary events in the city.
The correspondence relates primarily to Harrington's professional career, especially his teaching, writing, and speaking engagements. Harrington attended the inauguration of U.S. President William Howard Taft and wrote home a two-page account of his trip to Washington and of the time he and a friend spent in the capitol (letter dated March 7, 1909; Box 1, Folder 10). In April, 1930, Frank P. Stockbridge, editor of The American Press, wrote Harrington for his comments on the educational role of schools of journalism.

Arrangement Note

The Harry F. Harrington Papers fill three boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speeches, and publications. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order. Teaching files are arranged first according to the institution at which Harrington taught and thereafter by topic. Speeches are foldered alphabetically by title. Folders pertaining to a few of Harrington's major works are filed together and are followed by articles foldered alphabetically by title.

Method of Acquisition

The University Archives acquired the Harrington Papers on June 13, 1988 (Accession #88-123).

Separated Materials

One 6×9″ black and white photograph of a cartoon was transferred to the University Archives' photograph collection. Small amounts of duplicate and extraneous materials were discarded.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty; October-November, 1988.
Title
Guide to the Harry F. Harrington (1882-1935) Papers
Author
William K. Beatty
Date
01/10/1988
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3354