MsC 240

  Manuscript Register



Collection Dates: 1949 --
(Bulk Dates: Mid-sixties)
400 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Addenda: 1978

Acquisition Note: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries over a period of years by Nicholas Johnson.

Access and Restrictions: The Johnson Papers remain Mr. Johnson's property while placed on deposit with the University of Iowa Libraries. Although they are available for research, Mr. Johnson has stated that consent to use the papers is required from him during his lifetime.

Photographs: Box 3 (part I), Box 8 Maritime, Box 27 Maritime, Box 605 FCC, Box 613 FCC, Box 617 FCC, Box 655 FCC, Box 704 Post-FCC(slides), Box 705 Post-FCC, Box 731 Post-FCC, Box N Post-FCC

Film/Video: Box 7 Maritime (a and b), Boxes 241 -- 243, Box 438, Box 682 Post-FCC, Box 708 Post-FCC

Audio Material: Box 7 Maritime, Box 62 Maritime, Box 78 Maritime, Boxes 199 -- 241 FCC, Box 250 FCC, Box 590 FCC, Box 610 FCC, Box 649 -- 651 FCC, Box 657 FCC, Boxes 708 -- 712 Post-FCC

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.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Nicholas Johnson was born in Iowa City in 1934. His father, Wendell Johnson, a leading speech pathologist and world expert on stuttering, was a faculty member at the University of Iowa. Johnson finished high school in Iowa City and went on to the University of Texas at Austin for both undergraduate and law degrees. He clerked with Chief Justice Hugo Black, taught law at Berkeley, and worked briefly for the Washington firm of Covington & Burling. In 1964, he was appointed Maritime Administrator in the Department of Commerce and served in that position until 1966. He was then appointed a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, serving until 1973. Much of his later career as lecturer, professor of law, and writer has stemmed from his work with television and radio policy at the FCC. His entry in Who's Who is reproduced below. Vastly more biographical and other information can be found at Johnson's website, <>.

The following is an excerpt from Who's Who in America.

JOHNSON, NICHOLAS, writer, lawyer, lecturer; b. Iowa City, Sept. 23, 1934; s. Wendell A.L. and Edna (Bockwoldt) J.; m. Karen Mary Chapman, 1952 (div. 1972); children: Julie, Sherman, Gregory; m. Mary Eleanor Vasey, 1991. B.A., U. Tex., 1956, LL.B., 1958; L.H.D., Windham Coll., 1971. Bar: Tex. 1958, D.C. 1963, U.S. Supreme Ct. 1963, Iowa 1974; lic. radio amateur. Law clk. to judge John R. Brown, U.S. 5th Circuit Ct. Appeals, 1958-59; law clk. to U.S. Supreme Ct. Justice Hugo L. Black, 1959-60; acting assoc. prof. law U. Calif. at Berkeley, 1960-63; assoc. Covington & Burling, Washington, 1963-64; adminstr. Maritime Adminstrn., chmn. Maritime Subsidy Bd. U.S. Dept. Commerce, 1964-66; commr. FCC, 1966-73; adj. prof. law Georgetown U., 1971-73; Poynter fellow Yale U., 1971; vis. prof. U. Ill., Champaign-Urbana, 1976, U. Okla., Norman, 1978, Ill. State U., Normal, 1979, U. Wis., Madison, 1980, Newhouse Sch., Syracuse U., 1980, U. Iowa Coll. Law, 1981-; vis. prof. dept. communications studies U. Iowa, 1982-85; vis. prof. Western Behavioral Scis. Inst., U. Calif., San Diego, 1986-91; vis. prof. Calif. State U., Los Angeles, 1986; co-dir. U. Iowa Inst. for Health, Behavior and Environ. Policy, 1990-93; chmn., dir. Nat. Citizens Comm. Lobby, 1975--, Nat. Citizens Com. for Broadcasting, 1974-78; pub. access, 1975-77; commentator Nat. Pub. Radio, 1975-77, 83-86, Sta. WRC-AM, Washington, 1977, Sta. WSUI, Iowa City, 1982-87; presdl. advisor White House Conf. on Libraries and Info. Services, 1979; exec. com. World Acad. Art and Sci., 1993-97. Author: Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law, 1962, How to Talk Back to Your Television Set, 1970, Japanese transl., 1971, Life Before Death in the Corporate State. 1971, Test Pattern for Living, 1972, Broadcasting in America, 1973, Cases and Materials on Communications Law and Policy, 1981, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, Readings for Law of Electronic Media, 1993-94, (with David Loundy) Law of Electronic Media in a Cyberspace Age, 1996; syndicated columnist: Gannett News Service, 1982-84, Register and Tribune Syndicate, 1984, Cowles Syndicate, 1985-86, King Features Syndicate, 1986; contbr. to legal, gen., internal. publs.; contbg. editor, host PBS The New Tech Times, 1983-84. Dem. candidate for U.S. Ho. of Reps. from 3d Iowa Dist., 1974; bd. dirs. Internat. Soc. Gen. Semantics, Iowa City [Iowa] Community School District, Vols. in Tech. Assistance (VITA); mem. adv. bd. Ctr. for Media Edn., Cultural Environ. Movement, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Inst. for Public Accuracy, Planet Ctrl. TV, Hightower and Assocs., Project Censored, War and Peace Found., Working Assets Long Distance; mem. Broadband and Telecom. Commn., Iowa City, 1981-87. Named One of 10 Outstanding Young Men in U.S., U.S. Jaycees, 1967, recipient New Republic Pub. Defender award, 1970, Civil Liberties Award Ga. ACLU, 1972, DeWitt Carter Reddick award U. Tex., 1977, George Stoney award Nat. Fedn. Local Cable Programmers, 1987; fellow World Acad. Art and Sci., 1991-

Scope and Contents

Johnson's papers document in detail his long and complex career. They are currently housed in more than 750 document boxes, span some 400 linear feet, and have been arranged in roughly chronological order. The inventory in electronic form runs over 300K and is presented here in three parts so they will load more quickly.


I: 1949 -- 1966

II: 1966 -- 1973

III: Post -- 1973

Please note, however, that the chronological division is not fully realized and that earlier materials are sometimes found later in the sequence -- i.e., while the bulk of materials relating to the Maritime Administration are described in section II, some will be found in section III; and FCC materials, which primarily constitute section II, are also found in section III.



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