Records, 1912-1993

University of Pennsylvania University Relations News and Public Affairs


150 Cubic ft.
The collection has been organized into three series: I. Subject Files, 1912-1993; II. Biographical Files, 1925-1989; III. Photographs and Audio-video Records, 1940-1992 Each series has been arranged alphabetically.
The collection documents all aspects of the University of Pennsylvania for over half a century from the 1920s to the late 1980s and conists of administrative papers including correspondence and miscellaneous attached documents; news releases produced by the News Bureau on subjects involving public interest; and clippings gathered from all major national newspapers and other publications concerning the University.
The Subject series provides a panorama of the life on campus during the period. It contains files concerning the University's major administrative functions such as faculty appointments; student admission, enrollment, and financial aid; operations of all schools, centers, departments, including various academic support offices and teaching hospitals; academic programs and conferences sponsored by the University; financial reports of the University; the activities of the University Trustees, etc.
Also included are major activities on campus which include commencement exercises, dedication of new buildings, athletic programs, social functions of fraternities and sororities, publishing of numerous University magazines and journals, women and minority activities, miscellaneous events such as student riots and demonstrations, union strikes, wartime Army-Navy training programs, and special projects such as ENIAC, the University City project, and University-sponsored Industrial Research.
There is information on the University's relationship with outside organizations and its alumni throughout the United States. External organizations associated with the University include hundreds of national, international and local institutions, as well as relevant Pennsylvania State and Federal agencies. Alumni records document class reunions and activities held by alumni in all major cities for fund-raising or other purposes.
The Biographical Files include University Trustees, faculty, students, and alumni who were active on campus in the past decades, including Mark W. Allam, Walter H. Annenberg, Baruch S. Blumberg, Britton Chance, Robert E. Davies, Loren C. Eiseley, Thomas S. Gates, Sheldon Hackney, Gaylord P. Harnwell, Louis I. Kahn, Lawrence R. Klein, Martin Meyerson, Donald T. Regan, Jonathan E. Rhoads, J. Robert Schrieffer, Louis B. Schwartz, Harold E. Stassen and Marvin E. Wolfgang. Also included are well-known figures outside the University that were invited to University activities on various occasions or were historically or intellectually related to the University interest. Among persons in this category are Franklin Benjamin, Sir Edmund P. Hillary, Richard M. Nixon, Kwame Nkrumah, I.M. Pei, Pope John Paul II, Rockefeller family (David and Nelson), Dean Rusk, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Shah of Iran, U Thant, Arnold J. Toynbee, George Wallace, Walt Whitman, and George Washington.
Campus scenes and University architecture predominate the Photograph section. The University architecture includes buildings, libraries, museum, arboretum, sculptures and statues. The videotapes feature TV channel interviews with faculty members, Penn football 1984, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), animal treatments at the Veterinary School and other University highlights for promotional purposes.
The University of Pennsylvania appointed a publicity agent in 1919. In 1925, the institution was expanded into an office called the Bureau of Publicity and a manager was appointed. The Bureau was absorbed into the Department of Public Affairs in 1947 and renamed as News Bureau in 1950. In 1954, the Department of Public Relations expanded its work to include two new units, Motion Picture Services and the Office of Radio and Television. In 1978, all the units under the Department of Public Relations were combined with those of the Department of Publications to form the Department of Communications Services. Within two years, the Motion Picture Services and the Office of Radio-TV were phased out. In 1984, the Department of Communications Services was renamed as the Office of University Relations. The present Office of University Relations, after losing the Department of Publications in 1989, oversees the former News Bureau, which was renamed as News and Public Affairs in 1990, and the campus newspaper the Compass.
Material of earlier accessions from the News Bureau is to be found in Info Files, Alumni Records Collection, and Photo Collection corresponding to the three series of this collection.
Unpublished inventory available from the repository.

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