CommPRO Editorial Staff
In its quest to preserve its more than 2500 artifacts and make the one-of-a-kind collection accessible worldwide, the Museum of PR has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for its digitization project.
The Museum, founded in 1995, is the world’s only collection of documents, books, photos, pamphlets documenting the century-old profession of public relations. With COVID forcing its door closed to visitors since March, the Museum received numerous requests for it to digitize and upload its archives, making it available for the first time to the world’s growing PR community.
Besides artifacts, the collection also consists of video-taped oral histories from Dan and Ruth Edelman, Harold Burson, Edward Bernays, Chet Burger, Barbara Hunter, Muriel Fox, Inez Kaiser and many others. One-of-kind artifacts include: abolitionist and suffrage journals from the 1800s; a 1928 unpublished manuscript from Ivy Lee; the only known PR-focused “March of Time” newsreel from 1948 and a 1938 edition of Fortune Magazine that features a 20 page spread about the newly emerging PR field.
“While nothing is as good as seeing these artifacts up close in New York City, exploring them online is the next best thing,” said Museum founder Shelley Spector. “The digitization project will allow students, scholars and professionals throughout the world to examine the artifacts, watch the videos, read the old newspapers, to get a much better sense of the field’s illustrious history and the spectacular PR pioneers who made the industry what it is today.”
According to Spector, the Museum collection also includes rare artifacts documenting US social movements, such as civil rights as womens’ equality.
“We believe that public relations strategies have helped these social movements succeed,” said Spector. “It’s just as important to study the impact of public relations on history, as it is to study the history of the profession itself.”