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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in two series of scripts in order to easily distinguish between the first and second part of the semester.
Thirty-three transcripts from the network broadcast of Seminar in 1952-1953.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the American Broadcasting Company. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Seminar: American Civilization on the American Broadcasting Network records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
No additions are expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Susan Hamson 2012.
Finding aid written Susan Hamson 2012.
2012-09-26 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
In 1952, the Communications Materials Center of Columbia University Press and the American Broadcasting Network collaborated on a public service series that was one of 300 television classes offered to the general public. Franklin Dunham, Chief of Radio of the U.S. Department of Education, spearheaded the effort which included 80 colleges and universities, and 30 public and parochial schools throughout the United State of America. Seminar was patterned on the American Civilization course which studied the factors contributing to American civilization through the reading of great books. Viewers purchased a syllabus from Columbia University's School of General Studies for twenty-five cents and, over the course of semester, followed Professor Bigelow and his students as they discussed specific topics each week. Over three hundred students wrote for the booklet for the course that ran from October 1952 through May 1953. Though no credit was given to television viewers for the course, participants did have the option of requesting an exam--which would be graded free of charge. Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio estimated that television-taught students scored 20%- 25 % higher than matriculated seminar participants. There are no statistics for the Columbia course.