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Journalism - History of the Journalism Library

Historical timeline of the Missouri School of Journalism - Frank Lee Martin Library

The 30's and 40's


1933Dean Frank L. Martin was named by the Board of Curators on August 24, 1933 to succeed Dean Walter Williams.  


1935 - Dean Walter Willams dies on July 29, 1935.  Read more about him from the State Historical Society. To read a full biography of Walter Williams (as well as the chapters on Sara Lockwood Williams) read A Creed for My Profession: Walter Williams, Journalist to the World

1937 - The Journalism Library had approximately 4,708 volumes of books and received about 500 magazines and newspapers every year.  A special reading room in the general library was opened on the first floor in 1937.  Periodicals and indexes comprised most of that collection.  (taken from The History of the Library, University of Missouri -Columbia, 1928-1946 / by June LaFollette DeWeese. pg. 32)

1939 - Lucile Bluford applied to the University of Missouri School of Journalism to do graduate work. She was accepted into the program, but when she went to Columbia to enroll, she was turned away. University officials had not known that she was African American. Just the year before, Lloyd Gaines an honors student from Lincoln University, had sued the University of Missouri to be accepted into its School of Law. After his case went to the United States Supreme Court and the court ruled in his favor, Gaines disappeared. 

1940 - In 1940, it was determined that a higher percentage of titles in the Journalism Library were actively circulated than in any other library on campus.  In 1942, the library began a concerted effort to develop a nationally known and respected advertising collection.  (taken from The History of the Library, University of Missouri -Columbia, 1928-1946 / by June LaFollette DeWeese. pg. 49)

1941 - Library Displays Medal Won by Pierre J. Huss - The George R. Holmes Memorial Trophy, which was awarded in April 1941, Berlin Correspondent and central European manager of the International News Service, has been forwarded to the School of Journalism, where it will be placed in the Journalism Historical Library.  Huss was a former student of the school.  (Taken from The Missouri Alumnus, June 1941 p. 9)  Read his books: Red Spies in the UN The Foe We Face


1942 -  Frank L. Mott assumes duties as school's third dean.  He began his duties on August 1, 1942.  (taken from Earl English.  Journalism Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. You can find his papers at The State Historical Society of Missouri (Columbia).


1942 - Paul C. Jones of Kennett, Missouri, the president of the Journalism Alumni Association at the time, appointed a committee to commission a portrait of Martin to hang in the Library.  Painted by Wallace Bassford of St. Louis, the portrait was unveiled and the Journalism Library was formally dedicated on May 15, 1942.

1942-1961 - The Journalism library had closed book stacks from 1942-1961.  In 1961, the collection was "opened" for browsing and retrieving.

1943 - Journalism Library adds 400 Advertising Books - One of the finest and most complete collections of books on advertising in the world will soon be housed in the Frank L. Martin Memorial Library of the School of Journalism. (from The Missouri Alumnus May, 1943 pg. 3)

1944- Olive Lucille Crocker Rolston became the Journalism Librarian from 1944-1960 (The link is to her death certificate)

1944 - Cliff Edom - "First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition" contest.​

  POYi began as a photographic contest in the spring of 1944 in Columbia, Missouri, when the Missouri School of Journalism sponsored its "First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition" contest.

Established by University of Missouri photojournalism professor Cliff Edom and his wife Vi, the 50 print Exhibition attracted 223 picture entries from 60 photographers. Its stated purpose was, "to pay tribute to those press photographers and newspapers which, despite tremendous war-time difficulties, are doing a splendid job; to provide an opportunity for photographers of the nation to meet in open competition; and to compile and preserve…a collection of the best in current, home-front press pictures."  Read more about the history of POYi.

The entries for book submissions to the contest have been given to the Journalism Library since its beginning. In the early years, the collection was housed with the general collection.  When the Journalism library moved into RJI, the library started keeping the collection together.

The first POY or Fifty-Print Exhibition books have been digitized.  

1947 - Reception for the Missouri Honor Medalists were held in the Journalism Library.  The distinguished service awards went to Joseph Pulitzer Jr., Hal Boyle, William Laurence, George Yates and Mr. F.M. Flynn.  (taken from The Missouri Alumnus, May 1947 p. 3)

Museum and Library Collection - The collection was first located in the Council Room, on the first floor next to the journalism library in Neff Hall. In 1937, the journalism museum was moved to the Historical Room on the second floor of the newly constructed Journalism Archway/Walter Williams Tower. The exact dates of the journalism museum's existence are unknown, but on Jan. 9, 1948, the School of Journalism received a donation of $3,673.99 from Anna Belle Todd. The donation was given in the name of Ernest McClary Todd, whose name was henceforth attached to the museum. On June 1, 1951, several of the museum's documents were transferred to the School of Journalism Library and the University's main (Ellis) library.  Courtesy of MU Archives 

50's through the 70's

1951 -  Dean Earl English becomes new Dean of the School of Journalism. Photo taken from The J-School: Celebrating 100 Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication.  2008. 

 Journalism Library Circ Desk 1952 - Courtesy of University Archives C:20/08/06

Reading Room Walter Williams Hall 1952. 

April 1956 -  The Postman and the Printed Word in The Missouri Alumnus pg. 10


                   Branch Library Staff, 1959 - Courtesy of University Archives C:20/08/06


      1960Lena Grace Greenlaw became the Journalism Librarian and was the librarian until 1972.  Her papers are kept at the State Historical Society.  

Unlike Sara Lockwood-Williams, Lena Grace Greenlaw’s calling was not journalism, or the Journalism School that Sara watched over until her death in 1961. Greenlaw’s calling was instead, the peace movement, and she spent most of her life advocating for countries that were downtrodden by war and poverty, especially Vietnam. She wrote an essay called. “Do We Want Brinks or Bridges?” on the crisis in Cuba and wrote a letter to the Editor for the Missourian about the need for peace with Cuba and Russia (both marked 1950, folder 2). These writings were saved in her personal papers, along with a picture of the Dawson Five (add link here) and letters from all over the world from people who were part of other peace movements in Denmark, Austria, Japan, Italy, Norway, Greece, and elsewhere. She also saved newspapers and magazines, addressed to the Journalism Library, with stories on draft extensions and humanitarian crises. 

Lena Greenlaw may not have saved anything pertaining to the Journalism Library, and librarianship itself may not have been her calling, but she certainly understood the need for journalism and chose to work at a  place that she thought was aligned with her values.

      The library employed a closed stack book collection while in Walter Williams Hall from 1942 until 1961.   In 1961, the collection was "opened" for browsing and retrieving.

      In 1962, the Librarian would provide "Orientation Lectures," which were designed to instruct classes on how to use the resources available to them in the library.  This was important since the library had two shelving systems and a divided card catalog.  

     In the 1960's space was a huge problem for the Journalism Library.  Library annual reports listed the need for space a top priority.  In the 1966/67 report, the first paragraph says:

    At the end of the last semester we had piles of books with "no place to go".  We really felt the need for some "shelf stretchers" or "book shrinkers". 


                    Journalism Library, 1964 - Courtesy of University Archives C:20/08/06

1964 - Dean Mott dies on October 23, 1964.  He was Dean from 1942-1951.  

1964/65  - Space was a big issue for the Journalism Library and in May of 1965 an announcement was made (subject to funding) plans were being drawn for a Freedom of Information Center in which the Journalism Library will occupy the first floor.  Considerations were given to noise from the main lobby, a work area where mail could be received and sorted.  Use of the Journalism Library in the summer months decreased as more places that had air conditioning became available.  

    Organizing of the clipping and picture files for the Missourian were ongoing to make the files more useful.  Patrons complained about books being hard to find due to two different library classifications, the dewey decimal system and the LC call number system.  When the Freedom of Information Conference was held in November, 1965 and Journalism Week in May there were so many students that there was hardly room for the librarian.  There was one full time staff person, Mrs. Lorna Salmon's and several student assistants.  (taken from Lena Greenlaw's annual report 1965/66.

1966 - Freedom of Information Center and renovations to the Journalism Library approved by the Board of Curators. 

1967 - New York World Telegram - The School of Journalism acquired the newspaper clipping reference library as a gift when the New York-World-Journal-Tribune went out of business in 1967. - See more in 1982.

1969 -  Michael Pritchett, a graduate student in Journalism, took pictures and wrote an article about the Journalism Library for the Missouri Press News, March (47:3) 1969 p. 14-15, in which he lavishly praised our efforts to provide good library service in spite of our difficulties.  His words, even though exaggerated, were much appreciated. (taken from Journalism Library annual report 1968/69 by Lena Greenlaw.)


1971 - Roy M. Fisher, editor of the Chicago Daily News, has been appointed dean of the School of Journalism as of April 1, Photo taken from The J-School: Celebrating 100 Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication.  2008. 

1971  - Caroline Bird donates reference material. Read about Bird here.


1973 - Funds were made available to nearly double the floor space of the Journalism Library.  Additional funds provided central air-conditioning in the library and Walter Williams Hall. 


1973-1974 - Charles "Tom" Ladwig oversaw the Journalism Library. 

1974 - The Journalism Library was temporarily housed in Ellis Library rooms 103 and 104 so that much needed renovations could be done. Renovations included a spiral staircase connecting the first floor reading room to the stacks in the basement, carpet for the reading room, central air conditioning, new light fixtures, yellow paint and venetian blinds.  A new double-sided newspaper rack/divider was built so library workers could shelve the newspapers from the work side and readers could remove them from the reading room side.  New oak table and chairs provided seating for 72 along with 6 more chairs in the basement stack area.

1974- 1976 - Margaret Norman Martin became the new Journalism Librarian.  She died in 2009.  Here is a longer obit.

Remodeling of the Journalism Library was completed in October 1974, and all Journalism material which had been housed in rooms 103 and 104, Ellis Library, was returned to Walter Williams Hall.  Air conditioning, new carpet, new paint and "pigeon holes" for newspapers were added. The Journalism Library now contains 20,000 volumes of books, 200 periodicals and 150 newspapers from almost every state in the nation and many foreign countries.  

1975 - The Frank Lee Martin Library was re-dedicated on April 24, 1975 in conjunction with the first Earl F. English Lecture.  Refreshments were served to approximately one hundred people who attended the event.  

1975 From the J-Library, a new books list, was published every 5-6 weeks and distributed to the faculty.  

1976 - Margaret Martin resigned as librarian on April 20, 1976.  Her position of librarian for the Journalism Library did not get filled until July 12, 1976 by Robert Hahn.  Mr. Hahn was the Journalism Librarian from 1976-1984. 

1977 - The Journalism Index - The staff of the Journalism Library began producing a selective index to most of the current periodicals it received.  That list of indexed articles were distributed to the 66 members of the school's faculty every 10 days.  It became known as the Journalism Index and continued to be created until 1993.  You can find bound copies here.

80's and the 90's

1982 - Elmer Lower BJ '33, former ABC news president and journalism faculty member, is appointed the School's sixth dean for the 1982-1983 school year.  Photo and excerpt taken from The J-School: Celebrating 100 Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication.  2008. 

1982 - Talk of getting rid of the New York World Telegram clipping files.  (The Missouri Alumnus - November, 1982, pg. 44)

  • The story of the New York World Telegram - 

    The School of Journalism acquired the newspaper clipping reference library as a gift when the New York-World-Journal-Tribune went out of business in 1967.

    The well-organized collection from the libraries of three longtime newspapers were contained in 256 three-tier steel cabinets and 500 storage boxes. The collection was first stored in an abandoned underground ammunition dump in the Busch gardens east of St. Louis to await future housing. There they were inaccessible, and Eastern area researchers who were accustomed to using them while they were still in New York were turned away.

    Later the library was moved to the limestone caves north of Kansas City where the University had rented extensive storage facilities. Some of the contents in the storage were removed to the Columbia campus where a building had been erected for archival purposes. In as much as the building had been built by one department, storage charges were accessed to other divisions seeking the service. It was determined that the rate was too high to store the library.

    In March of 1982 a faculty committee "World-Telegram Morgue Committee 1982-1983." made up of history professors appointed by President Olson determined that the newspaper file collection was of doubtful value. It was decided to destroy the collection.

    University of Missouri-Columbia archives has this record -​Sub-Series Five includes records from the World-Telegram Morgue Committee. This ad hoc committee was created to appraise the value of a large newspaper clipping collection, the New York World-Telegram and Sun morgue, acquired by the University's Journalism School. The Sub-Series includes a report from the Western Historical Manuscripts Collections Policy Committee, descriptions of the collection, committee agenda's, memoranda and correspondence, and a draft of the committee's report. 

    The South Carolina University College of Journalism learned of the pending action to dump the collection in a land fill and asked that it be given to that institution. South Carolina Journalism Dean A. T. Scroggins says the library will provide a valuable tool in several academic areas including the history, English, political science and journalism. The Hearst Foundation has made a grant to South Carolina University to convert the collection from paper to more durable film. A building has been provided which will make the collection available to the entire university.

    The South Carolina University College of Journalism disposed of the collection soon after and the collection no longer exists.

  • No paper collection nor an article index exists for the New York World-Telegram and Sun newspaper. It is available only on microfilm.  The photos are online through the Library of Congress 

1983 - Jim Atwater named seventh dean.  Previously, Atwater was a senior editor for Time Magazine, as well as a writer for The Saturday Evening Post and Reader's Digest.  A 1950 graduate of Yale, Atwater also served as a consultant for the Nixon administration.  Photo and excerpt taken from The J-School: Celebrating 100 Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication.  2008. 

1983 - (from the Journalism Library Annual Reports)

  • A security detection system was installed.  Theft had been a huge issue from the very beginning of the library.

  • A terminal for automated database searching was installed

  • A LUMIN terminal was selected. LUMIN stands for Missouri Libraries Information Network.  The first online catalog for finding books. 


1984 - The Journalism Library collection of underground newspapers was evaluated to be microfilmed. Read more about them here.



1985 - Photo above from the J-School's publication "Journalism" 1985 pg. 8

1985 - Photo above from the J-School's publication "Journalism" 1985 pg. 4.  International students were able to read newspapers from their home country.  

1985 - The bust of Benjamin Franklin sat on a pedestal outside the entrance to the Journalism Library in 117 Walter Williams Hall.  Some years before 1985 it was stolen.  It was replaced in 1985 only to be stolen again.  

1986 - Above Spiral staircase in the Journalism Library in Walter Williams Hall.  The one online library catalog "Lumin" was now available to search for books online.


1986 - Brian and Phil Brooks worked with IBM to get the J-School and the library computers.

1989 - Dean Rilla Mills becomes the eight dean of the School of Journalism.  He was dean from 1989-2015.  Photo taken from The J-School: Celebrating 100 Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication.  2008. 

1990's - Mary Allcorn (Grigsby) was the Journalism Librarian from 1984-1990.  That year the MU libraries did a staff photo book.  The Journalism Library had three full time staff, Mary Allcorn, librarian, Steve Clayton and Sue Schuermann. Also included was the Missourian Newspaper Librarian, Rhonda Glazier and the staff of the Freedom of Information Center, Simin Jalali and Kathleen Edwards.  


1990-1993 - The libraries including the Journalism Library only had printed indexes and print bibliographies except for some CD-Rom stations.  The Journalism Library had the InfoTrac CD-Rom station which we charged patrons per article to print.  The library staff had access to Dialog and Lexis/Nexis and Burelle's to do individual searching for patrons for their research.  

InfoTrac CD-Rom Station

1991 - Patricia Timberlake assumed the Head, Journalism Librarian position.  She was the librarian from 1991-2003.  

Below photos of Journalism Library in the 90's in 117 Walter Williams Hall (Now the J-Cafe)


Entrance in Walter Williams Hall                                                                      Circulation Desk and Security Gate - Walter Williams Hall


Reading Room and Database terminals Walter Williams Hall                              Database computers and Current Daily Newspapers


            Reading room and New Books and Display                                                                   Reading Room and New Book Display


         Reference books and Library Display                                                         Library computers, Spiral Staircase and Current Periodicals


        Spiral Staircase to the lower level and stacks                                                        Groups study together in the reading room 


Lower Level Bound Journals                                        

                                                     Lower Level copy machine, Dissertations, Theses on the left

                                                             and Dewey Decimal books on right.                                                           


1995 - Lee Hills Hall dedicated - New home of the Columbia Missourian, the Missourian Newspaper Library, the Photojournalism department and the Magazine department are housed.  Ground breaking and other building info. 

1998 - During the fall semester the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Accreditation team visited the Journalism School.  The final summary report recommended reaccredidation and cited among other strengths "excellent library resources in the Journalism Library and Freedom of Information Center" and praised excellent library staff.  That same report strongly stated that "facility for the library was in desperate need of expansion and renovation" and this weakness needed to be corrected before the next accreditation visit in 2004.  Work to obtain funding became a high priority to fix this before their next visit. 

1999 - Dean Earl English in the Journalism Library for dedication ceremony of the Earl English Graduate Studies Center.  

1999 - Dean Roy Fisher dies


April 1999 - Sue Schuermann wins the Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award in the Technical/Paraprofessional category.  

1999 - Joint Bachelor's and Master's degree program launched at the Journalism School.   The graduate program initiates a master's degree that can be earned in one year instead of the usual two by advertising students who complete their undergraduate studies in journalism at the School.  The plan is eventually implemented by the other sequences.   Taken from "Celebrating One Hundred Years in Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication" 2008. 


April 11, 2000 -  Dean Earl F. English dies.  He was 95. 

2000 - The Journalism School recognizes staff each year with a $500 check and a plaque.  The tribute, formerly the Pat-on-the-Back Award, was renamed this year (2009) in honor Amy Lenk, who will retire after 35 years of service with the Missouri School of Journalism.

2000-2001 - The Journalism Library taught database use to every journalism student enrolled in J-105 News and kept folder topic subject materials for the J-200 Principles of American Journalism for them to write their papers.  Hands on database instruction was also offered to all new MA and beginning Doctoral students.   The Journalism Library had a small teaching lab in 26A Walter Williams.  The library was rewired during the year and a networked printer was installed.  In January of 2001 the library launched our first electronic reserve system.  Library staff scanned articles and chapters of books for classes.  

July 2000 - the Freedom of Information Center was transferred back from under the MU Libraries to the Journalism School.  Charles Davis was selected to direct the Center.  

August 2001 - First online master's degree in Media Management limited to 25 students.  

September 11, 2001 - The Journalism Library had a TV and VCR for students to watch VHS tapes. (Pictured above)  The morning of Sept. 11, 2001 at around 9:00 a.m. students coming in the library had told the staff what was happening with the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The TV was turned on for everyone who came in to watch what was unfolding.   Pat Timberlake decided that we should save every newspaper and magazine that published that day and the week after the attacks and they are now held in the Special Collections at Ellis Library. 

Go to next section  "2003 - 2008 - Moving, Mold and Moving again and New Home"