Newseum – holds the front page for news, but what about PR’s archives?

Via Judy Gombita, check out Newseum which has a pdf graphic for some 500 front pages from newspapers around the world. 

From the UK, the only paper listed is the Daily Telegraph and there are few papers from the rest of Europe (although there are several from northern Italy).  But there are dozens of US papers from across the country, which gives an interesting insight into what is capturing the attention of Americans – and as everywhere in the world, the importance of the local angle.

The Newseum is not simply an online venture.  After attracting 2.25 million real world visitors from 1997-2002, a new $435m landmark building will open, halfway between the White House and the US Capitol in Washington DC, early in 2008.

A physical display of the same front pages that are available online is set to be a feature of the outside of the new building.   It is brilliant to see the investment in Newseum as a resource focusing on news, and especially print media.

This is quite a contrast to the Museum of Public Relations.  Its website focuses only on a few US pioneers of the practice (some good video) and a bibliography of books in its library.  Although it is mentioned as a physical museum in New York, this appears to be the offices of consultancy Spector & Associates, which established the museum in 1997.  Its foundations were photographic records taken at Bernays’ home following his death on 9 March 1995 (aged 93, DOB: 22 November 1891).

Bernays donated papers to the Library of Congress during his lifetime (from 1966) leading to a collection of “227,000 items; 860 containers plus 54 oversize; 160.2 linear feet”.  Although listed online, this material does not seem to be publicly available (certainly not online).

I’m not aware of any other archives or artefacts of PR materials, but wonder if it is not time for either an online or real world resource to be established that focuses on the past, present and future of public relations.  Is this something that should be created?



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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.