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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Wilbur Schramm
RG 99.0118
Collection Dates: 1936-1949
0.25 ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: Collection processed by Earl M. Rogers in July 1997. Guide posted to the Internet 2000; updated January 2008.

Photographs: None









Scope and Contents

The papers concern creative writing, journalism education at Iowa, and Schramm’s own writings. Correspondents include Stuart Daggett, W. Earl Hall, Harry K. Newburn, Harold Ober (Schramm’s literary agent), Arthur M. Schlesinger, and Ray B. West.

Biographical Note

Wilbur Lang Schramm was born in Marietta, Ohio, August 5, 1907, and died in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 27, 1987. His degrees were A.B., Marietta College, 1928; A.M., Harvard University, 1930; and Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1932. Schramm taught English at Iowa, 1935-1943, also founding and editing American Prefaces, serving as the first director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and taking time to work for the publishing firm Harcourt Brace and to serve in federal war information agencies. He was director of the School of Journalism at Iowa, 1943-1947. Schramm then was dean or director of mass communication programs at the University of Illinois, Stanford University, and the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. He was a prolific author and editor in American literature and mass communication.

Related Materials

Cartier, Jacqueline Marie. “Wilbur Schramm and the Beginnings of American Communication Theory: A History of Ideas,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1988.

Chaffee, Steven H., ed. “Contributions of Wilbur Schramm to Mass Communication Research,” Journalism Monographs 36 (1974).

Glander, Timothy Richard Glander. “Education and the Mass Media: The Origins of Mass Communications Research in the United States, 1939-1955,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1990.

Oukrop, Carol Christensen. “A History of the University of Iowa School of Journalism, from Its Founding in 1924 under C.H. Weller, through the Tenure of Wilbur Schramm as Director, June 1947,” M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1965.

Rogers, Everett M. and Steven H. Chaffee, “Communication and Journalism from ‘Daddy’ Bleyer to Wilbur Schramm: A Palimpsest,” Journalism Monographs 148 (1994).

Stegner, Wallace E. “The Iowa Years,” in Communication Research: A Half-Century Appraisal, edited by Daniel Ferner and Lyle M. Nelson, p. 305-310 (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1977).

Records of the Iowa Writers' Workshop (RG 06.12.08)

Folder, "Schramm, Wilbur," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG 01.15.03). Contents include:

Appointment papers 1931-1946. Includes photograph of Schramm
Letters to people using the vertical file
Text of a speech given by Schramm in 1981
Text (by Schramm?) “Education for Journalism:  Vocational, General, or Professional?”
Text of a talk given by Schramm: “Communication After the War.” Filed 3/20/1945
“A Confidential and Shameless Biography of Wilbur Schramm”
Who’s Who in America  entry
“Iowa Professor Names ‘37 All Star Books.” The Des Moines Register, December 19, 1937
“The Cradle of PBS.” Illinois Quarterly
Letter of recommendation to President Hancher for Schramm to be Director of the School of  Journalism
Reprints of essays
                Reading and Listening Patterns of American University Students
                Realism and Contemporary American Literature
                The Campus Battalion
                What Should You Weigh?
                Radio Journalism: An Annotated Bibliography

Box Contents List

Box 1

General correspondence

1936 -- 1945

1946 -- 1949

Harold Ober correspondence, 1943 -- 1947

State University of Iowa Centennial broadcast, February 25, 1947