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CMTH 221: History of Broadcasting: About this Guide

This guide is intended to help students with research assignments about the history of broadcasting.

This guide is intended to help students with research assignments in History of Broadcasting courses taught by Professor Donna Acerra, with an emphasis on the media history project and identifying sources in the library's collections for your chosen topic. Review the assignment prompt and basic guidelines below and then use the other pages of the guide to help you with your research.

Your class also has an embedded librarian in Blackboard, who you can contact directly or meet with for more help. If your embedded librarian is not available, you can work with other NCC librarians by visiting us in person at the research help desks in the libraries, messaging us through our Ask the Librarian chat, emailing your questions, calling us, or scheduling a Book a Librarian appointment. 

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Get Help from the Learning Center

Do you need someone to read over your paper or help you with citations? Visit the Learning Center or make an appointment online to meet with a tutor. 

They also have many guides and handouts available to help you create organized and grammatically correct papers.

Related Guides

Media History Project Assignment -- Guidelines & Reminders

For your final project in this class, you will be selecting a person or theme from your professor's "They Were There Too” topic suggestion list to research in detail. With the information you learned about that topic through your research, you'll complete an outline, write a narrative script, and then create a podcast (if you're a Media major) or a narrated Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 slide presentation. 

As part of your research, you'll need to identify a minimum of 4 usable sources to help you tell the story of your person or analyze your theme. Write a question your podcast or presentation will answer -- this can help you narrow your focus as you research. When you submit your outline, your 4 (or more) sources should be included and cited in MLA format. 

Review the assignment's full details in your Blackboard course site to make sure you aren't missing any other pieces.

Inspiration & Class Topics

The library's collection is rich with materials about the history of broadcasting, radio, and history. Want to browse through some of what we have? Need some inspiration to help you decide on a specific topic to research? See some highlighted resources below. 

Interested in borrowing one or more of these items? Visit our collections in-person or request items using our Library to Go service. Entries and chapters of titles in the reference collections will need to be photocopied or digitally scanned. Work with a librarian if you have questions or need help. 

Suggested Books for 'They Were There Too' Topics

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Black TV : five decades of groundbreaking television from Soul Train to Black-ish and beyond

Available at Bethlehem in Reserves and at Pocono. 

Helpful for: History of Black shows on network television. 

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Pauline Frederick Reporting: A Pioneering Broadcaster Covers the Cold War

Available at Bethlehem

After no less an authority than Edward R. Murrow told her there was no place for her in broadcasting, Pauline Frederick cracked the good old boys' club through determination and years of hard work, eventually becoming a trusted voice to millions of television viewers and the first woman to become a network news correspondent.

I'm an image.

Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting

Available at Bethlehem

Includes: Gertrude Berg, Agnes Nixon, Irna Phillips, Barbara Walters, Pauline Frederick, Eunice Randall, Anne and Frank Hummert, Bertha Brainerd, Cristina Saralegui, Cathy Liggins Hughes, Joan Ganz Cooney, Ora Nichols, Gracie Allen, Mary Livingstone, Portland Hoffa, Mary Margaret McBride, Edythe Meserand, others.

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Encyclopedia of Black Radio in the United States, 1921-1955

Available at Bethlehem. 

Includes: Eddie Anderson, Al Benson, Jack L. Cooper, Sherman "Jocko" Maxwell, Hal Jackson, Richard Durham, and others.

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Voice Over: The Making of Black Radio

Available at Bethlehem

Includes: Jack Cooper, Paul Robeson, Richard Durham, Cathy Hughes, Al Benson, Georgie Woods, Peggy Mitchell, Hal Jackson, Jocko Henderson, Mary Mason, Wesley South, Martha Jean "the Queen" Steinberg, and others

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Desilu: the story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Available at Bethlehem.

The magical union of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz created I Love Lucy--the greatest, most enduring situation comedy in television history. Yet the overwhelming pressures of fame, backstage battles, oversized egos, and Desi's philandering and drinking led to the destruction of their star-crossed, tempestuous marriage--but never their love for each other.

Women Pioneers in Television : biographies of fifteen industry leaders

Available at Bethlehem

Includes: Peggy Charren, Gertrude Berg, Pauline Frederick, others

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Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism

Available at Bethlehem

Includes: Barbara Walters, Pauline Frederick, and others

A representative history of the American women who surmounted every impediment put in their way to do journalism's most valued work. The text discusses the collective fight for equity in the news room and in the field from the gentle stirrings of the late 1800s through the legal battles of the 1970s, to the #MeToo movement and today's racial and gender disparities.

The Today Show: Transforming Morning Television

Available at Bethlehem

Includes: Barbara Walters

Selling Women's History: packaging feminism in twentieth-century American popular culture

Available at Bethlehem

Includes these chapters: "The Quaker girl turns modern" : how adwomen promoted history, 1910-1940, Broadcasting yesteryear : women's history on commercial radio, 1930-1945, Gallant American women : feminist historians and the mass media, 1935-1950

How Hip Hop Became Hit Pop

Available at Bethlehem and online

Includes: Jack L. Cooper, payola

General Broadcasting History - Books, DVDs, & Streaming Video

Radio - Books, DVDs, & Streaming Video

Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960

Available in Reference at Bethlehem

The Encyclopedia of Women in Radio, 1920-1960

Available in Reference at Bethlehem

The Museum of Broadcast Communications encyclopedia of radio

3 Volumes
Available in Reference at Bethlehem

Hello, Everybody! : the dawn of American radio

Available at Bethlehem and Monroe

Historical Dictionary of American Radio

Available in Reference at Bethlehem

Television - Books, DVDs, & Streaming Video

Encyclopedia of Television

4 volumes
Available in Reference at Bethlehem

Television: A Biography

Available at Bethlehem

How Television Invented New Media

Available at Bethlehem

Television: The First Fifty Years

Available in Oversize at Bethlehem

History in the Media: Film & Television

Available in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

Historical Dictionary of African American Television

Available in Reference at Bethlehem