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Wilbur Schramm Papers

Identifier: RG99.0118

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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.


  • Creation: 1936-1949


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

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.


0.50 Linear Feet


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.

Physical Access Requirements

The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, usecoll Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials

Method of Acquisition

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

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 (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

Earl M. Rogers, July 1997. Guide posted to the Internet 2000; updated January 2008.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242