“You may have heard that an engineer is a person who knows a great deal about very little, and who goes along learning more and more about less and less until finally he knows practically everything about nothing. A salesman, on the other hand, is a person who knows very little about many things and keeps learning less and less about more an more, until he knows practically nothing about everything. Of course, a station manager starts out knowing everything about everything, but ends up knowing nothing about anything, because of his association with engineers and salemen.”
– James H. Quello, 11 October 1974
The Quello Center is off and running in creating a digital archive of James H. Quello’s papers. Our archive team includes myself, having never created such an archive, plus Anne Marie Salter at the Center, Valeta Winsloff from Media and Information who supports our design work and blogging, Scout Calvert with the MSU Library, who is orchestrating this project, and Lauren E. Lincoln-Chavez, who has hands on experience in developing archives and special collections, and is based in Detroit.
The collection contains over 1,000 papers, including speeches, statements, letters, and remarks by James Quello during his long tenure as an FCC Commissioner. To this we will be adding our collection of photographs, and videos, as well as photos of his many awards and honors. This promises to be another of the many fun and rewarding projects of the Center.
The archive will be part of our WordPress blog and publicly accessible to anyone who might want a view of over two decades at the FCC through the words of one of its longest serving and most colorful commissioners. I read one of his papers from 1974 saying the he is willing to forgive journalists for getting things wrong at times (before there was a term ‘fake news’) in order to protect freedom of the press, and I imagine he would say the same thing about the users of social media today.
Generally, sifting through this collection is addictive as you follow the history of such issues as the fairness doctrine, cross-ownership rules, and more. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
We have just begun work on a digital archive of James H. Quello’s speeches, articles, and statements dating from 21 January 1974, for his Senate Confirmation Hearing. My thanks to the MSU Library for helping the Quello Center with this project, and from today we will start searching for funding to support this archiving project.
The core material will be Commissioner Quello’s written speeches, articles and statements, but we will be adding biographical materials, photos, and video material. This should be a valuable source for anyone seriously interested in the history of regulation and policy in the communication sector in the USA.
Our thanks to the MSU Library and to Sarah Roberts with the MSU Archives & Historical Collections.
The Quello Center has a unique collection of speeches, statements, audio and video recordings, and other documents from James H. Quello’s decades in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We are developing a proposal to convert these documents and video recordings to an openly accessible digital collection, and invite colleagues and students who wish to gain experience in digital archiving to join us. We would welcome expressions of interest, tips on current technique, and recommendations of experts we should consult.