Subgroup I. Textual Records, 1923-2000 (52.7 linear feet)
This subgroup designation, which is designed to distinguish the format of the records, separates the photographs and sound recordings from the paper files. Records are comprised of the paper records created or received by the Office of Communications. The subgroup is subdivided into ten records: Series 1. Administrative Files; 2. Correspondence; 3. General File;4. Name Files; 5. Subject Files; 6. News Releases; 7. Newspaper Clippings; 8. The Observer; 9. Publications Files; 10. Special Events Files.
Series 1. Administrative Files, 1934-83 (1.70 linear feet)
Consists of an incomplete file of annual reports of the Office, 1934-71, and the administrative records of Jim Lubetkin, Director of College Relations, from 1971 to 1984. Included Lubetkin's records are his committee files, personnel files on his staff, and various subjects relating to College activities and media relations. His records from the College Investment Advisory Committee (CIAC), which he chaired, were transferred to the Record Group 33 (Committees). Arranged into two subseries: 1. Annual Reports, and 2. Administrative Files (Jim Lubetkin).
Series 2. Correspondence, 1952-57, 1964, 1968-70, 1984-88 (0.4 lin. ft.)
The correspondence contained within this records series represents a small portion of the correspondence carried out by the Public Relations Office. The series contains the outgoing correspondence of Don Molloy and Phil Tear for 1969-70, arranged chronologically by month. The correspondence mainly deals with advertising and College publications. Also found here is a file of Walter Reeve's personal correspondence for 1964 and 1968-69. Letters of reference, written by Paul Douglas between 1952-57 and Walter Reeves from 1968-69, attest to their efforts to place students in post-graduate programs. Additional correspondence is to be found throughout the subject files.
Series 3. General File, 1952-70 (0.4 linear feet)
Consisting primarily of correspondence, the general file contains a partial alphabet from A to W. The bulk of the files are from the early 1960s, but dates range from 1952 to 1970. Both incoming and outgoing correspondence with individuals, faculty members and other colleges are found in this series.
Series 4. Name Files, 1936-87 (0.4 linear feet)
Name files contain correspondence, clippings, and supporting documentation relating to campus visitors, faculty members, and graduates. Many of the files contain background information on individuals used to compile news releases. Notable names include Charles Martin Hall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Paul Robeson, Eldridge Snyder, Adlai Stevenson, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. The series is alphabetically arranged.
Series 5. Subject Files, 1930-89 (19.0 linear feet)
Containing the bulk of the textual records, this series is an alphabetical record of College and Conservatory events, activities, and organizations. The record series also serves as a historical file chronicling campus unrest in the 1960s and changing social rules and regulations. These files were largely created for the purpose of gathering information to prepare news releases. Typical files contain news releases in draft and final form, correspondence (incoming and outgoing), clippings, and printed material. Topics range from issues such as academic freedom and loyalty oaths to student organizations and campus and community events. The Conservatory of Music subject files contain documentation on advertising, choir tours, the Salzburg program as well as Willard Warch's 1967 manuscript on the centennial history of the Conservatory. The College's efforts to utilize radio broadcasts to promote the College is well documented here. These files serve to support the news releases in series 6.
Series 6. News Releases, 1955- (8.2 linear feet)
This chronological sequence of news releases represents the main product of this administrative office, copies of news releases sent to newspapers and organization throughout the country. The only significant gap is for the year 1959. No releases exist for that year. Although releases were prepared prior to 1958, they were not maintained chronologically until 1958. Earlier releases may be found in the subject files. News releases contain stories on appointments and resignations, campus events and subjects, frequently in a suggested format. A news release log beginning in 1955, reports the date, subject, release number, total copies sent, and running totals. The log is complete from 1955 to 1988, with the exception of 1973-76, which is unaccounted for. The log for 1980-88 is a photocopy of the record still held by the Office of Communications.
Series 7. Newspaper Clippings, 1923-2000 (16.2 linear feet)
This large file of newspaper clippings documents the efforts of the Office of Communications and its predecessor bodies to promote Oberlin College in the press. Primarily comprised of news clips compiled by external clipping services, the series offers a rich source of information on subjects and events which were significant in the life of the College. Particularly rich are the clippings reporting on student demonstrations and protests in the 1960s. Both original clippings and photocopied clippings are housed within this series. The series is organized into five subseries: 1. Alphabetical Clippings (Original), 1934-39; 2. Chronological Clippings (Photocopied); 3. Topical Clippings (Original and Photocopied); 4. Scrapbooks; 5. Clipbooks.
Series 8. The Observer, 1979-91 (1.6 linear feet)
Consists of printed editions of the Oberlin College faculty and staff newspaper the Observer, 1979-1992, and General Faculty meeting files maintained by Carol Ganzel, including copies of minutes, supporting documents, and notes (prepared from meetings in her hand), covering the period 1987-1990.
Series 9. Publications Files, 1939, 1952-81, 1984, 1992 (2.5 linear feet)
Documentation consists of records relating to the creation of College publications. Files contain the final printed copy, drafts and blue lines, as well as correspondence and fiscal records relating to cost and distribution of publications produced by Oberlin College. Publications range from brochures and fliers to commencement programs and course catalogs. The majority of the records date from the appointment of Walter Reeves as the first Director of Publications in 1963.
Series 10. Special Events Files, 1937, 1947, 1957-61 (2.5 lin. ft.)
This records series documents the public relations efforts in support of special events from 1937 to 1961. The majority of the records pertain to the massive public relations push to commemorate the Centennial of Coeducation in 1937. Included in these files is the correspondence written by William F. Bohn (1878-1947) and Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1880-1966) mainly covering invitations to the event. Other special events include the inaugurations of Presidents William E. Stevenson (1900-1985) and Robert Kenneth Carr (1908-1979), and the 75th anniversary of Charles Martin Hall's (1863-1914) discoveries in the aluminum field held in 1961. Records of building dedications are located in the subject file. Newspaper clippings contain additional coverage of many of these events.
Subgroup II. Non-Textual Records, 1950-87 (34.31 linear feet)
Arranged and described under subgroup II, are all non-paper records or media. Consisting of tape recordings, photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, and video, this subgroup mainly documents the work of the College Photographer. The tape recordings and photographs provide a graphic portrayal of campus life and events. Organized into two series: 1. Audio Recordings, and 2. Photographic Media.
Series 1. Audio Recordings, 1952-87 (27.61 linear feet)
Subseries 1. Reel-to-Reel Tapes
Divided into two subseries: 1. Reel-to-Reel Tapes, 2. Cassette Tapes. Over 700 reel-to-reel audiotapes located here broadly documents College life. Tapes record visiting speakers, commencement ceremonies, presentations given by faculty members and presidents, and debates and forums at Oberlin College between 1952 and 1987. The bulk of the recordings are from assemblies, and include addresses by Minoru Yamasaki, Ralphe Bunche, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Henry Kissinger, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, S.L.A. Marshall, Edwin O. Reischauer, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem, Alex Haley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, and Cesar Chavez. Tapes are arranged chronologically. An index on 3x5 cards lists speakers and symposiums alphabetically (although the index also contains recordings not housed in this record group). The majority of the tapes are wound tails out. Subseries 2., Cassette Tapes, contains cassette tape copies of reel-to-reel tapes found in subseries I. See also 37/4 for other cassette tapes.
Subseries 2. Cassette Tapes
Contains cassette tape copies of reel-to-reel tapes found in Subseries I.
Subseries 3. CD-Roms
Contains CD-Rom copies of reel-to-reel tapes found in Subseries I.
Series 2. Photographic Media, c.1950-92 (5.0 linear feet) *
Records primarily document the efforts of the college photographer to capture a sense of College life and to provide illustrations for publications and news releases. A large portion of the photographic work was handled by Arthur Princehorn (b.1904), College Photographer from 1931 until his retirement in 1969. Princehorn's work is intensely connected with the Public Relations Office, although his photographs and negatives are separately maintained. Princehorn's negatives (1917-1966) are filed in record group 32/6. Prints attributable to Princehorn appear throughout the photographic subject files in record group 32. This series is comprised of five subseries, generally designated by format: 1. Contact Sheets; 2. Negatives; 3. Photographs; 4. Slides; and 5. Video.
Subseries 1. Contact Sheets, 1959-73 (1.25 linear feet)
The contact sheets retained here represent a sampling of the work of various college photographers between 1959 and 1973. Photographers include Robert Williams (b.1916), Arthur Princehorn (b.1904), and Robert Stillwell (b.1945). The contact sheets provide evidential value of the photographic process in place at the time, as well as the photographer's perspective. The contact sheets, largely unidentified, are chronologically arranged.
Subseries 2. Negatives, c.1950-85 (1.25 linear feet)
Represented here are miscellaneous negatives in a variety of formats, including 35mm strip negatives, 2x2, 4x5, and 8x10. The negatives encompass a variety of people, events and subjects. A portion of the negatives from the 1970s and 1980s are entered in the Archives numbered negative file. The Princehorn negatives (32/6) should also be consulted.
* The volume figure given here only represents materials physically housed within this record group. Additional photographic records are described here, but housed elsewhere.
Subseries 3. Photographs (Prints), [c.1910-1988]
Although the photographs are described here, they are physically filed in Record Group 32. Photographs organized in record group 32 include buildings, subjects and miscellany. Photographs in these files have come from a number of sources, the primary source being the college photographer and Office of Communications. In a real sense these images represent the working files of the Office of Communications. Many of the photographs bear a stamp which notes either "News Bureau" or "Public Relations". Further information and more complete inventories appear in the Archives "Guide to Photographs."
Subseries 4. Slides, 1961-84 (2.0 linear feet)
These slides of campus and community scenes, and assorted faculty and staff members provides further evidence of the work of the college photographer and Office of Communications. The slides represent the efforts of Robert Stillwell (b.1945) and John Corveau. Of interest are the slides relating to the 1980 Winter Term project, "Rediscovery of the Underground Railroad."
Series 3. Videotapes, 1992 (0.2 linear feet)
Found here is a videotape produced by the Office of Communications. Titled, "Follow the Morning Star," the video documents Oberlin's commitment to African-American and minority students. The video, released in 1992, is narrated by Bill Cosby and includes several images from the Oberlin College Archives. See also Shurtleff house tour, 2001/013, RNG 42. Also includes the transcript (27 p.), written and produced by Betty Gabrielli.