Broadcast Collections

BAKER, JOHN C. (1909-1999). PAPERS, 1921-1980.
Extent: 13.08 linear feet.
Number: MS-546.
Description: Farm radio broadcaster and author. John C. Baker grew up on an apple orchard farm in Indiana and studied agriculture at Purdue University, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1930. He began broadcasting at Purdue the same year and continued in Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois. He worked as an information specialist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a public information officer with the U.S. Census Bureau until he retired in 1970. Collection includes farm radio directories, news clippings, correspondence, scripts of slide presentations, speeches, and materials assembled for his book, Farm Broadcasting: The First Sixty Years (1981), including drafts of the book. Correspondents include Dix Harper, Richard B. Hull, Lawrence F. Haeg, Forest A. Harness, Don Lerch, and E. B. Reid.
Status: Container listed.
Finding Aid: Online.


BENTLY, RONALD C. (1899- ). Papers, 1926-1933, 1937-1963.
Extent: 5.25 linear feet.
Number: RS 13/09/53.
Description: Farm broadcaster and extension marketing specialist. Ronald Bently was on the Iowa State University staff from 1927 to 1965. Collection includes correspondence, printed materials, news broadcasts, market research data, surveys, writings relating to market news broadcasting on WOI radio and television, market news analysis, and audience response. It also includes materials dealing with a trip taken by Iowans to Western Europe and the Soviet Union in 1958.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


DRIPS, WILLIAM E. (1890-1964). Papers, 1924-1964.
Extent: 2.08 linear feet.
Number: RS 13/13/53.
Description: Agricultural journalist and broadcaster. William E. Drips attended Iowa State University for one year and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in agriculture (1920). From 1920 to 1923 he was an instructor in journalism at Iowa State. Drips was credited with the first remote broadcast of a farm event from the field when he used the facilities of WOI Radio to broadcast a cornhusking contest held in 1923 at a farm in Story County, Iowa. In 1923 he joined the staff of Wallaces' Farmer as service bureau editor. He worked there until 1934, when he joined the National Broadcasting Company as director of agriculture, a position he held until retiring in 1950. He then moved to Welches, Oregon, where he worked as a farm broadcaster for KOIN-TV. Collection includes biographical information, photographs, radio scripts, television visual aids, news clippings, materials on the 25th anniversary of NBC's National Farm and Home Hour, correspondence, and two scrapbooks. Correspondents include Henry A. Wallace, Lauren Soth, and Henry Ford II.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


ELDER, CLARENCE RICHARD "DUTCH" (1907-1997). Papers, 1962-1997.
Extent: 0.21 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/2/11.
Description: Agricultural journalist. Clarence Richard “Dutch” Elder, 1907-1997, B.S. (1929) Iowa State College, in agricultural journalism.   In 1941 Elder came to Iowa State College as the associate extension editor and in 1942 became the editor in the Extension Service Department where his duties were to publicize the extension education department, to inform the public on the results of research of the program, and to aid with the activities of the agricultural teaching staff. In 1948 Elder was appointed director of information for the entire Iowa State College and continued in that position when ISC achieved university status in 1960.   As director of information services Elder planned and managed the 1955 visit of a Russian delegation to ISC to study agricultural methods in the state of Iowa.  He provided the group with a tour of Iowa, introducing members to Iowa farmers, Iowa farming, and American agricultural education at ISU. In 1962 he became the head of the ISU Information Service Department, responsible for editorial and publication services,visual education, service film production, and WOI TV and radio.   Elder assisted in developing the proposal that led to the establishment of WOI-TV and was a founder of C-A-R-D (Center for Agricultural and Economic Development). Records documenting the 1955 visit to Iowa State University of a Russian delegation of agriculturalists comprise the bulk of the collection and include memoranda, invitations, and itineraries for farm visits.  Biographical information and general professional correspondence is also included.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


HARL, NEIL. Arrogance and Power: The Saga of WOI-TV Appendices, 2002.
Extent: 0.62 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/6/10.
Description: Arrogance and Power: The Saga of WOI-TV (2001) was written and published by Neil Harl, Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of Economics. He compiled these records into four volumes of appendices. This collection contains the archival records from 1965-1992 that Harl used and referred to in writing Arrogance and Power: The Saga of WOI-TV.  Among the documents are reports, correspondence, flyers, depositions, legal documents and memoranda discussing the sale of WOI-TV, beginning with Harl’s concerns about programming decisions in the 1960s and 1970s and concluding with his final plea for Iowa Governor Branstad to intervene and stop the sale in 1994.  The contents are arranged in chronological order and a table of contents is available at the front of each appendix.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


HEYER, CLAIR B. (1910- ). Papers, ca. 1910-1990.
Extent: ca. 5 linear feet.
Number: MS-334.
Description: Radio advertising director, photographer, and local historian. Clair B. Heyer studied two years at the University of Northern Iowa (1926-1928), then began working in newspaper advertising in Freeport, Illinois, in 1929. He was in radio advertising from 1935-1940 in several Midwestern locations, including Waterloo, Iowa; Janesville, Wisconsin; York, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Rock Island, Illinois; and Davenport, Iowa. From 1940-1946, Heyer was with Armour & Company in Chicago as assistant advertising manager, radio advertising director, and assistant to Colonel Edward W. Wentworth, director of Armour's livestock bureau. In 1946, he went to Milledgeville, Illinois, where he established a small manufacturing company. He returned to college in 1961, earning a B.A. in history from Shimer College and an M.A. from the University of Northern Illinois. Heyer then taught school, was an archivist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, and worked at the University of Iowa until he retired in 1973. Collection includes scrapbooks of photographs from Heyer's radio advertising work and his work with Armour & Company; correspondence; files on Iowa rural history, including that of Tingley, Iowa; and numerous photographs spanning several decades.
Status: Unprocessed.
Finding Aid: Online.


IOWANS FOR WOI-TV, INC.  Records, 1991-1994. 
Extent: 4.62 linear ft.
Number: MS-584.
Description: Iowans for WOI-TV, Inc., was formed on 1 June 1992 by a group of citizens (primarily  Iowans) in opposition to the Iowa Board of Regents’ September 1991 decision to sell the university-owned station to a commercial interest.  Through WOI-TV, Iowa State was one of the first educational institutions to broadcast college-level courses, and the station’s pioneering use of television for educational purposes helped to stimulate support for similar initiatives throughout the United States. Founders of Iowans for WOI included Iowa State University Professor of Economics and Agriculture Neil E. Harl, who served as the group’s president; Ames attorney Donald R. Payer, secretary, and retired Iowa State University Professor of Journalism, John D. Shelley.  On 24 June 1992 Iowans for WOI-TV, Inc. filed a law suit against the Iowa Board of Regents, challenging the Regents’ right to sell the station. The trial culminated on 22 October 1992 in an eighty-four page opinion in favor of the plaintiffs. The district court decision was subsequently appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, which overruled the decision on 24 November 1993, and in March 1994 Iowa State University sold WOI-TV to Capital Cities Communications, Inc., the parent company of ABC Television. The collection contains materials documenting the founding and activities of Iowans for WOI, Inc., including memos, meeting minutes, correspondence, and press releases and papers concerning the sale of WOI-TV prepared by Neil Harl and other members for distribution and publication.   Also included are legal documents consisting of court exhibits prepared by the litigants for trial (including photographs and a videotape), depositions, oral arguments, transcripts, and pleadings.  Newspaper clippings document the activities of Iowans for WOI-TV, Inc., and the events of the two trials.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


MUNN, JOY RINGHAM. Papers, 1951-1953. 
Extent: 1.41 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/6/51.
Description: Joy Ringham was born in 1924 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She attended Iowa State University to study applied art (1950-1951, 1963, and 1991).  While at Iowa State, she became interested in the WOI Radio Workshop, where she was first introduced to television.  She started working for WOI-TV as an artist in the station’s art department.  Ringham was chosen to be host of "The Magic Window" by Dick Hartzell, after she assisted him in planning a handicraft section for a new program. "The Magic Window" was an educational children's program, which featured handicraft activities, news items, and birthday recognition for the children viewing the show.  Joy co-hosted the show with Craighton Knau for the first season (1951-1952), which was 30 minutes long and aired 3 times per week.  During the second season, she became the sole host of the program.  For that season, the show was 15 minutes long and aired 5 days per week.  She left the show in 1953. This collection consists of photocopies of correspondence, newsletters, program guides, and a scrapbook, which document Joy Ringham Munn's tenure as host (1951-1953) of the WOI Television Program, "The Magic Window."
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


PLAMBECK, HERBERT (1908- 2001). Papers, 1920-2001.
Extent: 26.57 linear feet.
Number: RS 21/07/42.
Description: Farm broadcaster and public official. Herb Plambeck was born in Davenport, Iowa, and attended Iowa State University as a two-year agriculture student. The program was cancelled and Plambeck was admitted as an undergraduate, but he did not receive a degree. Plambeck worked as a farm worker, youth leader, and extension agent before becoming farm editor of the Davenport Times-Democrat in 1935. In 1936, he became farm director for WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, a position he held until 1970. He then joined the U.S. Department of Agiculture as a public affairs assistant to Secretary Clifford Hardin and later to Secretary Earl Butz. Plambeck retired from the USDA in 1973. He returned to Iowa and to broadcasting, assisted in governing Living History Farms, and worked with the World Plowing Matches held in the Amanas in 1988. Collection includes correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and other papers concerning Plambeck's career as head of the farm department of WHO Radio. Other materials relate to his syndicated column on agriculture; trips to Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the U.S.S.R. with the U.S. farm exchange delegation (1955); and his activities in Kiwanis and with the national plowing matches.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online. (pdf file)


SHELLEY, JOHN D. "JACK" (1912-   ). Papers, 1944-1996.
Extent: 13.72 linear ft.
Number: RS 13/13/55.
Description: Broadcast journalist.  John D. "Jack" Shelley was born in Boone, Iowa, on March 8, 1912.  He graduated from Boone High School in 1929, and earned a Bachelor of Journalism Degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1935. In 1935, after a short stay with the Iowa Herald in Clinton, Iowa, Shelley went to work for WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa.  He was assistant news director for five years, then became news director for both radio and television until he left in 1965.  From 1944-45, Shelley was a war correspondent in Europe and the Pacific covering the Second World War.  In 1965 Mr. Shelley joined Iowa State University as an Associate Professor of Journalism.  He served as a Professor from 1969 until his retirement in May 1982. Jack Shelley helped found the Iowa Broadcast News Association, an organization that in 1971 honored him by establishing the Jack Shelley Award.   The materials from Shelley's time as a war correspondent in World War II comprise the majority of this collection.  It includes correspondence, news clippings, telegrams, radio broadcasts, broadcast schedules, and audio tapes.  It also contains a small biographical file and a videocassette VHS tape.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.


STEWART, RAY.  Papers, 1946-1955. 
Extent: 0.84 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/6/22.
Description: Ray Stewart was born in Princeton, West Virginia, sometime around 1919.   After the war, Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree from Denver University (speech/radio major, 1950) before going on to finish his Master’s at Syracuse University, graduating from the first Radio and Television Master’s degree sequence (1951).  Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Fund for Adult Education, Stewart was hired by WOI-TV as a television producer/director early in 1952. His first assignment was to serve as researcher, cinematographer, and narrator as well as film editor and scriptwriter for a production that was originally titled “Know Your State Institutions,” but was eventually broadcast under the name “In Our Care.” “In Our Care,” a 13-week series of documentaries filmed inside Iowa's mental hospitals, prisons and other institutions, which was awarded the National Sylvania Television Award for Production Excellence. In 1955, Stewart left WOI-TV to accept a position as public relations director of the Iowa Medical Society, where he worked on the first-ever filming of an open-heart surgery.   This collection consists of production notes, scripts, and set plans for two series produced by Ray Stewart for WOI-TV:  “In Our Care” and “The 11th Commandment.”  Both series looked at state and private institutions caring for disabled, physically or mentally ill individuals, convicted criminals, juvenile delinquents, and unwed expectant mothers.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.


WALLACES' FARMER. Editorial Records, 1950-1975.
Extent: 9.5 linear feet.
Number: MS-207.
Description: Iowa agricultural periodical edited from 1895-1916 by Henry Wallace, from 1916-1921 by Henry C. Wallace, and from 1921-1933 by Henry A. Wallace. The records in this collection are largely those of Richard E. Albrecht (1919- ), who served as editor (1957-1965) and later editor and assistant publisher (1965-1967) of Wallaces' Farmer. Collection contains correspondence, interoffice memoranda, and files on the Farm Progress Show, an annual farm field day. Correspondents include Robert K. Buck, Carl Hamilton, Francis Kutish, Charles B. Shuman, George M. Strayer, Carroll P. Streeter, Neal Smith, and Walter W. Wilcox. The interoffice memoranda files include memos written by Albrecht to staff of the Wallace-Homestead Company and also to staff at the associated Prairie Farmer Publishing Company. The Farm Progress Show materials contain correspondence, photographs, programs, and promotional files, and cover the shows held from 1958 to 1977.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Available in Special Collections.


WILLIAMS, VERDA LOUISE. Papers, 1981-2004.
Extent: 13.63 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/2/51.
Description: Filmmaker/producer. Verda Louise Williams (1944-  ) was born October 13, 1944 in Des Moines, Iowa. Williams was employed as a Communication Specialist in Iowa State University’s Extension Communication Services (1981-1997).  A filmmaker and producer, Williams wrote and produced in conjunction with WOI Television the 1985 documentary, “Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard.”  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio and Television from Drake University (1969) and a Master of Arts degree in General Graduate Studies from Iowa State University (1987). This collection documents the making of the hour-long PBS program “Black Des Moines:  Voices Seldom Heard,” by Verda Williams.  The materials include biographical information, publicity items such as brochures, newspaper advertisements, and posters, correspondence, script, tape descriptions, and scene descriptions, videotapes, still photographs, film footage, and research tapes.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.


WOI RADIO AND TELEVISION. Records, 1925-2006, undated.
Extent: 30.66 linear ft.
Number: RS 5/6/3.
Description: On April 28, 1922, with new call letters assigned by the Radio Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, WOI-AM went on the air with its first regular feature, market news.  In the 1930s and 1940s, the scope of the WOI program service broadened to encompass and extend to Iowans the entire range of the college’s activities.  Agricultural programs and programs for homemakers continued along with forums, lectures, and classical music.  WOI-FM, the first FM station in Iowa, aired on July 1, 1949, with stereo broadcasting coming in 1955.  WOI-TV was the first television station owned and operated by an institution of higher learning in the U.S., beginning in February,1950.  In 2004, the Board of Regents of the State of Iowa combined Iowa State's WOI Radio with the University of Iowa's WSUI-AM and KSUI-FM, and the University of Northern Iowa's KUNI-FM and KHKE-FM to create Iowa Public Radio. Iowa State University was one of the first educational institutions to broadcast college-level courses, using WOI-TV as its outlet. WOI-TV is also historically noteworthy for its early experiments in Kinescope recording techniques, which the station used to film and distribute its locally-produced programming to other stations. Iowa State University sold WOI-TV to Capital Cities Communications, Inc (parent company of ABC Television) during 1994.This collection contains reports, administrative files, programming records and photographs.  The records document the early development of WOI-TV, legal issues concerning its tax status, programming efforts for both radio and television, and demonstrate the growing role of television in education during the 1950s.  The collection also contains approxmiately 8,000 motion picture films and app. 1,000 videotapes.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online. (pdf file)
Listing of WOI-TV Films: Online. (pdf file) Some films are available on YouTube.
Listing of WOI-TV News Clips: Online. (pdf file)
Listing of WOI-TV Video Tapes: Online. (pdf file)
Listing of WOI Radio Audio Recordings: forthcoming