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American Journalism Historians Association records

Identifier: MSS 2138

Scope and Contents

Contains papers, correspondence, minutes, and other materials associated with the administration and function of the American Journalism Historians Association. Also found within the collection are a number of theses dealing with themes of journalism throughout history. These theses were submitted for a competition sponsored by the association. Dated 1982 to 2017.

Notable presidents- Alf Pratte (1994-1995), Barbara Cloud (1984-1985), Maurine Beasley (1988-1989), and Carole Sue Humphrey (1993-1994)


  • 1981-2019


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Administrative History

Officially begun in 1982 on the Southern Methodist University campus, the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) is an organization committed to advancing education and research in mass communication history and recognizing achievement in teaching and research of journalism and mass communication history. Its founding members included Donald Avery (who became the organization's first president), Maurine Beasley, Michael Buchholz, Lloyd Chiasson, Sidney Kobre, Frank Krompak, Robert Lance, Michael Murray, Darwin Payne, Alf Pratte, and William David Sloan. The AJHA carries out its mission through research, scholarly publications, awards, annual meetings, and regional colloquia. It began sending out a newsletter called Something Old/Something New in 1984, later changed to The Intelligencer in 1986. In the summer of 1983, the AJHA published the first edition of their scholarly quarterly journal, American Journalism. Various committees and task forces on membership, publications, education, research, conventions, and other ad hoc committees have driven the organization's mission over time. The AJHA recognizes achievements in media history studies through the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History and the Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize.

Biographical History

Sidney Kobre was born in 1907 in North Carolina. In 1927, he earned his bachelor's degree in English from the Johns Hopkins University, and his in 1932 he earned a a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He also obtained a PhD in sociology from Columbia in 1944. Kobre worked as a reporter, and editor for various newspapers in Baltimore and New Jersey. He helped establish the Community College of Baltimore in 1947. From 1949 to 1964 he taught journalism at Florida State University, where he developed new methods of teaching journalism history. He later became the University's director of the Bureau of Media Research from 1949 to 1964, before returning to the Community College of Baltimore to teach until he retired in 1972. In 1986, he received the Sidney Kobre Award from the American Journalism Historians Association for distinguished service to the field of journalism history. Kobre was married to author Reva Hoppenstein for 55 years. He died in 1995.


15 cartons (15 linear ft.)

3 folders (0.03 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. American Journalism Historians Association administrative records, 1981-2019. 2. American Journalism Historians Association paper submissions, 1986-2014. 3. American Journalism Historians Association publications, 1983-2019. 4. American Journalism Historians Association records on Sidney Kobre, 1981-1995.

Custodial History

Donated by Paul Alfred Pratte in 1997, 1999 to 2000, 2002. Donated by the American Journalism Historians Association in 1999, 2001, 2003 to 2005, 2008, and 2017. Donated by the American Journalism Historians Association via Mike Sweeney in 2007. Donated by the American Journalism Historians Association via Dale Cressman in 2011. Donated by Carol Sue Humphrey in 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Paul Alfred Pratte; 1997, 1999-2000, 2002.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; American Journalism Historians Association; 1999, 2001, 2003-2005, 2008, 2017

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; American Journalism Historians Association via Mike Sweeney; 2007.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; American Journalism Historians Association via Dale Cressman; 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Carol Sue Humphrey; 2016.


Academic organizations and related theses (Arts and Communications Collecting Policy).

Processing Information

Processed; James V. D'Arc and John N. Gillespie; 1997.

Processing Information

Processed; Deven Hunsaker, Blaise Meyers, Karen Glenn; 2021. Arranged in series with some file-level inventory. Materials kept together within folders and folder titles maintained where noted.

  • Personal and faculty papers of Alf Pratte, including teaching materials and resources, student papers and accompanying evaluations, clippings, church programs, communication department materials, publications he authored unrelated to AJHA, publications he annotated, vita, correspondence regarding placement of BYU interns, BYU ephemera, greeting cards, receipts, and notes related to organizations other than AJHA or related to his faculty position. AJHA election ballots, advertisements, receipts, tax records, bank statements, check stubs, fragments of AHJHA publications, tourist materials, fliers, advertisements, and programs from other journalism related societies, dissertation submissions on CD, fragments of dissertations, membership rosters (including index cards with names and renewal information), membership directories of journalists published by various journalism schools, second and third versions (some annotated) of Kobre manuscripts, and an unawarded plaque from 1995. Duplicates: Conference programs, convention handbook, agenda, by-laws, constitution, clippings, paper submissions, questionnaires, fliers, advertisements, letterhead and stationary, and other documents.
Register of the American Journalism Historians Association records
James V. D'Arc and John N. Gillespie
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States