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Laurence Campbell Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1976-014

Scope and Contents

The Laurence Campbell Papers document the professional career of a working news reporter, professor of journalism, educator, writer, and lecturer in the field of journalism education. The materials include correspondence, memoranda, minutes, budgets, newsletters, photographs, speeches and articles, and other publications created by Campbell or his colleagues prior to, during, and after his tenure as Dean of the Florida State University (FSU) School of Journalism. There are a variety of reference materials Campbell collected covering related topics such as advertising, Berry College, careers in journalism, high school journalism, journalism instruction, newspapers, newsprint and paper technology, newsprint, student literary publications, stylebooks and handbooks (many published by state scholastic press associations and schools of journalism), and television journalism. There is an extensive collection of journals, such as Communication: Journalism Education Today, Photolith; ESSPA: Journal of the Empire State School Press Association; the Florida Scholastic Press Association News (Campbell was its Executive Editor); Quill and Scroll, Scholastic Editor, School Activities (Campbell served as its Assistant Editor for Colleges), and School Press Review. In addition to serving as advisory editor of several of these journals, he published articles in many of them.

Topics include Campbell's English teaching activities at Maryville Union High School, summer teaching at Cornell University, work at the Denver Post, letters from former students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, conference materials from national high school journalism institutes, graduate study at Northwestern University, scholastic press association activities, his tenure as acting dean of the Syracuse University School of Journalism and as instructor for many years at the Syracuse School Press Institute. Particular strengths in the collection include materials documenting his work as founder of the FSU Southern School Press Institute and Quill and Scroll Society activities, such as the Quill and Scroll Queries and Quill and Scroll Studies. The Records of the Florida Scholastic Press Association are very extensive. The collection documents the School of Journalism's closing by the Florida Board of Control in April 1958, to "eliminate duplication and save money" as well as the fact-finding inquiry into the dismissal in the late 1950s of FSU School of Journalism Professor Earl Vance, who, according to President Doak S. Campbell, was "dismissed for lack of cooperation." Vance, however, who headed the journalism department from 1930 until 1949, charged he had been fired because of his belief in "a more serious type of education in journalism instead of the trade school type of training." He was reinstated to FSU's teaching staff in September 1957, but was assigned to the Social Science department.


  • created: 1870-1975
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1976


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

To request permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from the archives, please contact Heritage & University Archives, Florida State University Libraries, Tallahassee, Florida. Researchers must obtain separate permission from the copyright holders of material held within University Archives collections for which the institution does not hold copyright.

Biographical or Historical Information

Laurence Campbell was a very active educator and contributor to the field of scholastic journalism. Born March 1, 1903 in Batavia, Iowa, he was educated in the public schools of Washington (state) and Colorado. He received his B.A. in 1926 from San Jose State Teacher's College (now State University), his M.S. from Northwestern University in 1931, and his Ph.D. from that institution in 1939. He also attended the University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of Colorado.

Campbell was extensively involved in teaching in public and nonpublic high schools, as well as at colleges and universities. He was a high school teacher in San Francisco (1926-1928) and Menlo, CA (1928-1933). In addition, he taught English at the Yuba County Junior College, Marysville, CA, and was Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1939-1941) and the University of California (1942-1943); Associate Professor in Journalism at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (1944-1945); Professor of English at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (1945-1947); Professor of English, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR (1947-1950); Professor of English, (1950-1959), Professor of Education (1960-1961), and Professor of English Education (1968-1973), all at Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, FL, and adjunct professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee. His administration work in higher education included acting Dean of the School of Journalism, University of Oregon (1947-1950), Dean of the Florida State University School of Journalism (1950-1959), and head of the Department of Educational Foundations, Florida State University (1961-1963). According to the Florida Board of Control, the FSU School of Journalism was abolished in 1959 as an economy measure. Campbell had a very active professional career. He was News Editor of the San Francisco Edition of the Wall Street Journal (1943-1944), wrote reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, conducted a summer research project for the Denver Post in 1950, and served as Executive Secretary of the Oregon Scholastic Press. He received the Journalism Education Association's Carl Towley Award, Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Key, National Scholastic Press Association Pioneer Award, and other honors for service to student journalism. He wrote or co-wrote seven monographs (Exploring Journalism; Effective News Reporting; News Beat; Newsmen At Work; A Principal's Guide to High School Journalism, 1944; A Guide to Radio-TV Writing, 1950; How to Report and Write the News, 1961), and published many articles, reviews, editorials, and booklets. Campbell was an advisory editor of the journals Quill and Scroll and Scholastic Editor, lectured on journalism at the University of Cairo, the American University in Cairo, the University of Alexandria, and other colleges in Egypt and Jordan in the 1950s, and was a studies executive and educational consultant at Berry College and Berry Academy (Mt. Berry, GA). From 1956-1957, Campbell served on Governor LeRoy Collins' Committee on Educational Television.

By the time Campbell became FSU Dean, the School of Journalism had been existence since 1931. Journalism instruction had been offered as early as 1928, when FSU was Florida State College for Women. In 1931, the Department of Journalism was established, with Professor Earl Vance, who offered the first journalism courses, as the chair. The School of Journalism was founded in 1949. Dr. Richard B. Eide was director for the first year. Campbell was his successor, who became dean when the school achieved independent status in the fall of 1950.

While serving as Dean of FSU's School of Journalism, Campbell founded and directed FSU's Annual School Press Institute, which sponsored a series of workshops on the FSU campus for journalism students in the Southeast. He was also Executive Secretary of the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) from 1954-1958, and in 1958, FSPA honored Campbell as America's "Mr. High School Journalism." In 1959, Campbell founded and directed FSU's Future Teachers of America Institute. After the School of Journalism was disbanded in 1959, Campbell continued his teaching activities in the FSU College of Education. He taught undergraduate courses in the Department of Educational Foundations, serving as its department head from 1959-1963. As a faculty member in the Department of English Education (1963-1973), he taught courses for students seeking certification in journalism. This program included graduate courses in Mass Media and the History of American Mass Media. At the same time, Campbell continued to be a strong advocate for freedom of the press. For example, he championed the right of the Florida Flambeau, the FSU student newspaper, to disagree with university officials. He also opposed the administration's decision to terminate the traditional use of student fees to serve as circulation revenue for the newspaper.

Campbell's dedication to the journalistic profession was demonstrated by his many activities in Quill and Scroll, the International Honor Society for High School Journalists. From 1942-1958, he was Director of Quill and Scroll's Critical Service, a service that invited the Society's member schools to participate in an annual newspaper program. The Critical Service also evaluated the journalistic merit of each school's newspaper, in addition to student growth and development on their newspaper staffs. It annually presented the George H. Gallup Award to a carefully selected group of high school newspapers rated by Critical Service judges as "distinguished for outstanding records." During those years, Campbell was Contributing Editor to Quill and Scroll Magazine. From 1965 until his retirement in 1973 from FSU, he directed Quill and Scroll Studies, a program that conducted surveys on such topics as high school underground newspapers, measurement of the readability of high school newspapers, the role of high school press associations, investigations of teenage attitudes toward the First Amendment, and studies of teenage media habits. During this period, Quill and Scroll Studies gathered data about early high school publications in each of the fifty states. The Quill and Scroll Foundation funded these studies and surveys, many of which Campbell published. After his retirement from FSU in June 1973, Campbell continued to direct Quill and Scroll Studies and to teach at school press institutes at Central Michigan and Syracuse Universities during the summer. He died March 16, 1987.


20.70 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials documenting Laurence Campbell's early professional and teaching career in journalism before becoming Dean of Florida State University (FSU)'s School of Journalism; administrative and professional materials covering the operations of and activities sponsored by the School of Journalism during his years as FSU Dean; professional materials related to his later work as head of FSU's Department of Educational Foundations and Professor of English Education, and high school journalism periodicals and monographs germane to his career.

Arrangement Note

The Campbell Papers are divided into four main series and several sub-series. The Early Years series is sub-divided into professional and teaching sub-series. The largest group, Florida State University School of Journalism, documents Campbell's tenure as Dean, and is sub-divided into administrative, Florida Scholastic Press Association Records, professional, and teaching subseries. The Later Years series is sub-divided into professional and teaching files, and covers his years as department head of the Department of Educational Foundations and as instructor in English Education. These major subseries are arranged alphabetically.

In addition, there are Speeches and Writings (by Campbell, other colleagues, and journalism students), arranged alphabetically by speech or publication title, Professional Reference Materials (monographs and journals) used by Campbell during his long career in journalism. The monographs are arranged by topic, and the journals by title, and a small subseries of Campbell's personal books, one signed by the author, C.J. Medlin, a colleague and well-known author in the scholastic journalism field.

Source of Acquisition

Given by Dr. Campbell

Processing Information

Processed by Burt Altman and Florida State University (FSU) College of Information interns in Spring 2009.

Laurence Campbell Papers
Burt Altman
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US