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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Wilbur Schramm Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1936-1949
Creator: Schramm, Wilbur (1907-1987)
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0118
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: University of Iowa professor of journalism. First director of the Iowa Writers? Workshop and was instrumental in designing the first doctoral program in mass communication in the U.S.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Collection separated from the Schramm vertical file of clippings in 1997.

Preferred Citation: Wilbur Schramm Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

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.

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.
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 (RG06.0012.008)

Folder, "Schramm, Wilbur," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG01.0015.003). 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 (perhaps 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 Clippings 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

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1936-1945
  • Correspondence - 1946-1949
  • Correspondence with Harold Ober - 1943-1947
  • Series 2: MANUSCRIPTS
  • Box 1:
  • "Windwagon Smith"
    Galley proof
  • "Grandpa Hopewell Rides Again"
    Typescript with holographic emendations
  • "The Flying Coffin"
    First draft
  • "There Are No Ordinary Men in Iowa"
    First draft with worksheets
  • "Old Professors Never Die"
    Typescript and tear sheets from The Saturday Evening Post
  • "Blue Air Over Kansas"
    Published as "The Voice in the Earphones" in the Saturday Evening Post. 5 drafts and worksheets and discards
  • "Jed Humphrey and His Friends the Moose"
    First draft
  • "Freedom to Learn"
    Four drafts
  • History of American Literature
    Note of cover of folder: Published fall 1946