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Department of Communications records

Identifier: UA 1215

Scope and Contents

Contains records relating to the Department of Communications, including records on the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) as well as building project records and meeting minutes. Also contains course materials, correspondence, and records on faculty members, 1920-1999.


  • 1920-1999


Conditions Governing Access

Restricted. Closed for 35 years from the date of creation of the records, and thereafter open to the public in accordance with the University Archives Policy.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Department of Communications records must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Administrative History

The Department of Communications (1963-) is responsible for communications courses under the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University.

The Department of Communications at Brigham Young University was established in 1963. Functioning under the College of Fine Arts and Communications, it is responsible for teaching public relations, advertising, marketing, journalism, and communications. Previously, communications courses were part of the Department of Journalism in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The organization functions to provide a professional program in communications which includes a broad base of general education, thorough orientation in the processes, functions and responsibilities of mass communication, and the development of skills in fact finding, analysis, and communication through the mass media. The department also seeks to provide service courses to help students from other departments develop desired communication skills.

Department chairs have included: Oliver R. Smith (1964-1966), J. Morris Richards (1966-1972), Edwin O. Haroldsen (1972-1975), M. Dallas Burnett (1975-1980); Brent D. Peterson (1980-1983), J. LaVar Bateman (1983-1986), Ralph D. Barney (1986-1987), Gordon Whiting (1987-1991), David P. Forsyth (1991-1996), Leonard L. Bartlett (1996-1998), Laurie J. Wilson (1998-2002), Michael K. Perkins (2002-2004), Edward E. Adams (2004-2008), and Bradley L. Rawlins (2008- ).

Administrative History

The Department of Journalism (1941-1964) oversaw journalism courses at Brigham Young University.

The Department of Journalism was established and placed in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1941. In 1954 the department was transferred to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The department was integrated into the newly formed Department of Communications in the College of Fine Arts and Communications in 1964. The Dept. of Journalism was responsible for teaching: introduction to journalism, ethics of journalism, problems of citizenship, campus reporting, commercial art, news and news writing, editing and makeup, photography, news photography, editorials and editorial writing, special features articles, book reviewing, short story writing, radio broadcasting, advertising, problems of the Weekly Paper, publicity, and city reporting. By 1954 the department was also teaching: typography, mass communications, magazine writing, motion picture photography, and polls and surveys. Department chairs of the Department of Journalism included Harrison R. Merrill (1936-1938), Carlton Culmsee (1939-1944), T. Earl Pardoe (1945-1946), and Oliver R. Smith (1950-1961), and Jean R. Paulson (1961-1964).

Administrative History

The College of Arts and Sciences (1921-1954) administered over various liberal education departments at Brigham Young University .

The College of Arts and Sciences, previously known as the School of Arts and Sciences, was established in 1921 to provide a broad liberal education for students. The college also provided specialized studies in engineering, medicine, law, religion, politics, and social leadership. In 1925, some of its departments were transferred into the newly-established College of Fine Arts. The College of Arts and Sciences continued to operate until 1954 when it split into three separate colleges: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Physical and Engineering Sciences, and the College of Biological and Agricultural Sciences. Between 1921 and 1954 the deans of the college were Martin P. Henderson, Carl F. Eyring, and George H. Hansen.

Administrative History

The Brigham Young University School of Arts and Sciences (1920-1921) was the administrative body over various departments of Brigham Young University.

The School of Arts and Sciences was established in 1920 with Martin P. Henderson as Dean. The purpose of the school was to give students a broad education in a variety a courses in selected fields. The students then were prepared for specialized study in their chosen profession or for specific work in the fields of industry. The organization administrated over the following departments: Agriculture, Art, Biology, Business Education, Chemistry, Economics and Sociology, English, Foreign Language, Geology and Geography, History and Political Science, Home Economics, Mathematics and Physics, Mechanics, Music, Physical Education, Public Speaking, Psychology, and Theology and Religion. The School of Arts and Sciences was abolished in 1921 and became the College of Arts and Sciences.


88 boxes (44 linear ft.)

4 cartons (4 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in seven series: 1. Department of Communications records on American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1920-1995. 2. Department of Communications Building project records, 1920-1999. 3. Department of Communications minutes, 1967-1999. 4. Department of Communications records, 1938-1998. 5. Department of Communications course materials, 1962-1982. 6. Department of Communications correspondence, 1956-1999. 7. Department of Communications faculty records, 1953-1973.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Transferred from Records Management in September 2005.

Found in the Stacks September 2005.

Transferred from Records Management in 2012.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred; Records Management; September 2005.

Found; Amanda Jo Lindell; September 2005.

Transferred; Records Management; 2012.


Departmental records (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

Processing Information

Processed; Amanda Jo Lindell; December 2005.

Processing Information

Revised; Elizabeth West; November 2008.

Processing Information

Processed; Dani Peterson; April 2012.

Register of Department of Communications records
Elizabeth West
2008 November
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.

Revision Statements

  • 2012 April 20: Materials added by Dani Peterson, descriptions revised.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US