The Records of Dean Ira W. Cole fill 15 boxes and span the period 1957 to 2002. The papers are divided into four categories: approximately one-half box of biographical material, three and one-half boxes of general correspondence, ten and one-half boxes of administrative subject files and one-half box of publications and speeches. All folders within these categories are arranged alphabetically by subject headings while the papers in each folder are arranged chronologically unless otherwise noted.
The biographical materials are divided into three folders: clippings and press releases, general biographical information and obituaries. The clippings and press releases span Cole’s appointment as dean in 1957 to his resignation in 1983. Two articles that appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business in 1983 highlight the successes and controversies of Cole’s career. The general folder contains resumes, surveys and other biographical items of Dean Cole.
Most of the correspondence files are letters to and from Cole’s professional colleagues outside of Medill. There are miscellaneous files for each letter of the alphabet for items that did not merit their own folder, arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Items within folders on individuals or institutions, on the other hand, are arranged chronologically. The files also contain exchanges with Northwestern’s Provost Raymond Mack and University President Robert Strotz.
Administrative subject files cover a wide variety of topics from Cole’s tenure as dean of Medill and director of Northwestern’s Gannett Urban Journalism Center. There is an extensive collection of files on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism, mostly pre-visit reports from accrediting sessions in 1961, 1968 and 1975. There is little information from the 1982 visit, whose premature end resulted in a loss of accreditation of Medill’s program. The Gannett Urban Journalism Center files include correspondence, proposals, and general files on the center as a whole and on individual programs within the center. The professional organizations section details some of Cole’s work outside Medill, including his membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Finally, the collection includes a small sample of publications and speeches by Cole. There are folders of miscellaneous articles and speeches arranged chronologically when a date is known.
Individual files cover a speech to the Financial Public Relations Board, an appearance at a Harte- Hanks Management Meeting, an essay entitled “Journalism Education” that appeared in the 1969 Federal Commission on the Mass Media and Violence, and a speech to the Northwestern University Planning and Development Task Force.