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Seminar: American Civilization on the American Broadcasting Network records, 1952-1953.

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Seminar: American Civilization on the American Broadcasting Network records, 1952-1953.
Physical description:.42 linear ft. (1 MsB)
Language(s): Material is in English.


This collection is arranged in two series of scripts in order to easily distinguish between the first and second part of the semester


Scope and Content

Thirty-three transcripts from the network broadcast of Seminar in 1952-1953

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

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.

Preferred Citation

Seminar: American Civilization on the American Broadcasting Network, 1952-1953 University Archives, Columbia University in the City of New York.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 2012 Susan Hamson

Finding aid written 2012 Susan Hamson

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 26, 2012

Finding aid written in English.

    2012-09-26 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
American Broadcasting Company.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American civilization.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bigelow, Donald N. (Donald Nevius).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University in the City of New York.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

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.