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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Organizational Records

Series II: Financial Records

Series III: Gridiron

Austin History Center

Society of Professional Journalists (Austin Professional Chapter) Records

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Society of Professional Journalists, Austin Professional Chapter.
Title: Society of Professional Journalists (Austin Professional Chapter) Records.
Inclusive Dates: 1961-2009.
Bulk Dates: 1978-2000.
Abstract: This collection comprises the records of the Austin Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. From 1978 to 2000, the Austin Society of Professional Journalists produced the annual Gridiron Show - a theatrical parody of politics and current events - as a fundraising event in support of journalism scholarships and Freedom of Information issues.
Call Number: AR.2004.022
Quantity: 8.2 linear ft. (12 boxes of text materials and 4 boxes of video recordings)
Location: Archives Stacks and Archives Video Recording Rm G22
Collection Unit: Archives and Manuscripts Collection.
Language: English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas, 78701.

Administrative History

The activities of the Austin Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi are represented from 1961 to 2009. The national organization, founded as Sigma Delta Chi in 1909, officially changed its name in 1988 to the Society of Professional Journalists. During the years represented in the papers, the Austin chapter energetically raised funds on behalf of several different causes, establishing the Dewitt Reddick First Amendment fund in 1979; the Stuart Long scholarship fund in 1978 to provide scholarships for undergraduate students committed to the study of journalism at the University of Texas, Austin; and the John Rogers Fund for investigative journalism in 1987. The group also donated funds to promote the study of journalism at the high school level in Austin, notably by presenting LBJ High School with media laboratory equipment, as well as providing money for students to travel to journalism conferences.

The Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi also sought to further a number of first amendment causes, such as the Texas Open Meetings Act, filing briefs of Amicus Curiae in cases heard before the Supreme Court of Texas and the Travis County Court. The Gridiron Show, an annual production spoofing notable news stories of the previous year, was a significant source of funds raised by the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi.

Notable figures include Stuart Long, president from 1967-1968; and Lee Jones, president from 1980-1981 and treasurer from 1981-2002.

The Austin Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was disbanded in 2009.

Presidents:

  • 1967-1968 Long, Stuart.
  • 1978-1979 Mulder, Roger.
  • 1979-1980 Davis, Stewart.
  • 1980-1981 Jones, Lee.
  • 1981-1983 Hight, Bruce.
  • 1983-1984 Carlson, Carolyn.
  • 1984-1985 Tyson, Kim.
  • 1985-1986 Davis, Jim
  • 1986-1987 Kilday, Anne Marie.
  • 1987-1988 Graves, Debbie.
  • 1988-1989 McCann, Bill.
  • 1989-1990 Voinis, Nick.
  • 1990-1991 Jayson, Sharon.
  • 1991-1992 Borges, Walter.
  • 1992-1994 Vlerebome, Peggy.
  • 1994-1995 Garcia, James.
  • 1996-1997 Barnes, Sarah.
  • 1997-1998 Gamboa, Suzanne.
  • 1998-1999 Walt, Kathy.
  • 1999-2000 Niederpruem, Kyle.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Minutes, correspondence, annual reports, meeting minutes, financial documents, membership lists, manuscripts, newsletters, legal documents and video recordings illuminate the activities of the Austin chapter the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi, from 1961 to 2009 [bulk 1978-2000]. Arranged in three series which retain the order given the documents by their custodian, Lee Jones, they consist of Organizational Records, Financial Records, and Gridiron records.

The Organizational records (1966-2009) clarify the specific nature of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi's involvement in First Amendment rights issues by virtue of the Amicus Curiae briefs contained therein (see the cases of Austin American-Statesman v. AISD, 1984; and Charles M. Acker v. Texas Water Commission, 1987 and 1989). They also shed light on the internal processes of the organization through meeting minutes and annual reports. In addition, these records document the relationship between the local Austin chapter and the national organization, especially regarding tensions in 1999-2000 over closed door sessions of the national Board of Directors. The Financial records (1961-2009) further elucidate in great detail the operations of the Austin chapter as a fundraising organization. The Gridiron records (1978-2007) vividly illuminate the energy with which the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi undertook their fundraising activities, in addition to presenting a humorous commentary on local, regional and national politics. In addition to the textual materials there are forty-nine video recordings (3/4" U-matic) that appear to be raw footage of the "Gridiron Shows" produced by the Society of Professional Journalists at the Paramount Theatre. The footage, along with the scripts from the show, includes political skits and songs poking fun at local and national politicians and events (e.g. Davey Crockett, Alamo Skit, Ode to City Hall).

The Austin Professional Journalist and the Newshound (newsletters) and The Capitol Griddle (an annual newspaper related to the Gridiron show), originally part of this collection, were separated to other collections (see Separated Material).

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Organization of the Records

The original order has been preserved for this collection. Some Gridiron materials originally kept in binders were rehoused in folders. Three series are arranged in reverse chronological order:
I. Organizational records
II. Financial records
III. Gridiron documents and video recordings

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

None.

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Index Terms

Persons:
Barnes, Sarah.
Borges, Walt.
Carlson, Carolyn.
Cross, Al.
Dabney, Joe.
Dare, Clint.
Davis, Jim.
Davis, Stewart.
Dworin, Diana.
Gamboa, Suzanne.
Garcia, James.
Gibson, Martin "Red".
Graves, Debbie.
Hight, Bruce.
Jayson, Sharon.
Jones, Lee.
Kilday, Anne Marie.
Long, Stuart.
McCann, Bill.
Mulder, Roger.
Niederpruem, Kyle.
Rogers, John.
Tyson, Kim.
Vlerebome, Peggy.
Voinis, Nick.
Walt, Kathy.
Organizations:
Society of Professional Journalists.
Sigma Delta Chi.
SDX Gridiron Foundation.
Subjects:
American Wit and Humor.
Freedom of Information.
Journalism.
Government Information.
Places:
Austin (Tex.).
Document Types:
Agendas.
Annual reports.
Awards.
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Financial documents.
Legal documents.
Manuscripts.
Minutes.
Printed material.
Rosters.
Titles:
Gridiron Show.

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Related Material

Austin Files -- T7400(20) Society of Professional Journalists.

Additional Gridiron videos from 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 are located in the Video Recording Collection General Collection AR.2009.073(tapes # 00055 - 00061).

Austin Professional Journalists,; Capitol Griddle,; and Newshound can be found in the Periodicals Collection.

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Separated Material

The Capitol Griddle, the Austin Professional Journalist, and Newshound were separated to fill gaps in the Periodicals Collection; the remainder have been returned to the donor.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by members of organization.

Preferred Citation

Society of Professional Journalists (Austin Professional Chapter) Records (AR.2004.022). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1991/003, DO/1999/012.

Donation Date: 1999, 2004, 2012.

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing by Kathleen Mullen and Rick Taylor on 2004-11-30.

Final Processing and Finding Aid by Kathleen Mullen and Rick Taylor on 2004-11-30.

Additional processing by Scott Jordan on 2007-01-04.

Additional materials donated on 2012-07-20. Materials were processed and finding aid was updated and encoded by Rebecca Herscowitz on 2013-01-08.

Several framed award certificates were not separated, but were removed from their frames and added to the Organizational records series in the appropriate year folders.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing and description of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Organizational Records

Box Folder
9 3 Undated: Bylaws.
4 2009: Chapter Closing.
5 2006.
Box Folder
1 1 2002.
2 2001.
3 2000.
4-5 1999.
6 1998.
7 1997.
8 1996.
Box Folder
9 6 1995-1996 Binder.
Box Folder
1 9 1995.
10 1994.
11-12 1993.
Box Folder
2 1-2 1992.
3-4 1991.
5-6 1990.
7 1989.
8 1988.
Box Folder
3 1 1987.
2 1986.
3 1985.
4 1984.
5 1983.
6 1982.
7 1981.
8 1980.
9-10 Before 1980.
Box Folder
4 1 Before 1980.

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Series II: Financial Records

Box Folder
9 7 1961-2004 - IRS.
8 1981-2009 - Post Office.
9 2004-2008 - Expenditures.
10 2004 - Receipts.
11 2003 - Receipts.
12 2003 - Expenditures.
Box Folder
4 2 2002 - Receipts.
3 2002 - Expenditures.
4 2001 - Receipts.
5 2001 - Expenditures.
6 2000 - Receipts.
7-8 2000 - Expenditures.
9 1999 - Receipts.
10 1999 - Expenditures.
Box Folder
5 1 1999 - Expenditures.
2 1998 - Receipts.
3-4 1998 - Expenditures.
5 1997 - Receipts.
6-7 1997 - Expenditures.
8 1996 - Receipts.
9 1996 - Expenditures.
10 1995 - Receipts.
11-12 1995 - Expenditures.
13 1994 - Receipts.
14 1994 - Expenditures.
Box Folder
6 1-2 1994 - Expenditures.
3 1993 - Income and Expenditures.
4 1993 - Receipts.
5 1993 - Trust Fund Expenditures.
6-7 1993 - Expenditures.
8 1992 - Trust Fund Expenditures.
9-10 1992 - Chapter Expenditures.
11 1992 - Trust Fund Receipts.
12 1992 - Chapter Receipts.
13 1992 - Tax Info - EOY Statements.
14 1991 - Gridiron Receipts.
15 1991 - Trust Fund Receipts.
16 1991 - Gridiron Expenditures.
17 1991 - Chapter Expenditures.
Box Folder
7 1-2 1991 - Trust Fund Expenditures.
3 1991 - Chapter Receipts.
4 1990 - Gridiron Receipts
5 1990 - Trust Fund Receipts.
6 1990 - Gridiron Expenditures.
7 1990 - Chapters Expenditures.
8 1990 - Trust Fund Expenditures.
9 1990 - Chapter Receipts.
10 1989 - Gridiron Receipts.
11 1989 - Trust Fund Receipts.
12 1989 - Gridiron Expenditures.
13 1989 - Chapter Expenses.
14 1989 - Chapter Receipts.
15 1989 - Trust Fund Expenditures.
16 1988 - Gridiron Expenses.

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Series III: Gridiron

Box Folder
9 1 2002-2007 Gridiron Association.
2 1996-2005 Gridiron Scholarships.
Box Folder
8 1 1999 Gridiron Show.
2 1997 Guide to the Griddle.
3 1996 Guide to the Griddle.
4 1994 Gridiron.
5-6 1978-1979 Gridiron Material Binder.
Box Folder
10 1-11 Gridiron Scripts, 1978-1986, 1988-1989
Box Folder
11 1-5 Gridiron Scripts, 1990-1993
Box Folder
12 1-6 Gridiron Scripts, 1993-1997
Location Box
Room G22 Video Collection 1-4 Gridiron video recordings, circa 1980s, 1999-2001, unknown

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