Indiana University

The Roy W. Howard Archive

Courtesy Scripps Howard Foundation
Roy W. Howard in Tokyo in 1946.

IU Journalism is proud to house the Roy W. Howard Archive, a resource for researchers all over the world.

The Roy W. Howard Archive in Indiana University Journalism, founded in 1983 by the Scripps Howard Foundation and Roy Howard’s children, Jane Howard Perkins and Jack Howard, houses some 14,000 letters and memorabilia on Roy Howard and his storied career as journalist, president and general manager of United Press, and chairman of Scripps Howard Newspapers.

Located in Franklin Hall on the Bloomington campus, the archive offers a significant historical record of one of the giants of U.S. journalism and the newspaper empire he commanded through four decades.

The collection

The archive reflects the many personalities and broad range of consequential events with which Howard dealt over the course of his career. Within the archive’s collection of letters can be found discussion of the major news stories from about 1910 into the 1960s. Howard’s perceptions of national politics, including some of his own behind-the-scenes maneuverings in presidential campaigns and stances on issues from the New Deal to the Cold War, are clearly evident. His concerns and conversations on international affairs are also well documented, especially through correspondence with his United Press contacts and prominent acquaintances made during his travels in Asia, South America and Europe.

The collection includes communications between Howard and presidents from Herbert Hoover to Dwight Eisenhower; politicians including Hiram W. Johnson, General Hugh S. Johnson and Alfred M. Landon; and diverse international figures such as Lord Maxwell Beaverbrook, General Douglas MacArthur, Manuel Quezon and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. Among the ranks of journalists, Howard’s correspondents include Hugh Baillie, Karl A. Bickel, Heywood Broun, Raymond Clapper, William Randolph Hearst, Ed L. Keen, Kent Cooper, Henry Luce, Lowell Mellett and Westbrook Pegler.

Courtesy of Scripps Howard Foundation
Roy W. Howard with editor Robert B. Parker. The New York World-Telegram won three Pulitzer Prizes over the years for public service.

Howard’s exchanges with these and other journalists illuminate his positions of the issues of his times and his expectations for news coverage. These letters suggest how he and other significant journalists of the era viewed themselves, news institutions, and journalism’s roles and responsibilities in national and international affairs.

The bulk of the archive’s collection of correspondence consists of business communiques to and from Howard during his years as Scripps Howard chairman from 1922 to 1952, and documents the daily operations of the company. Voluminous exchanges between Roy Howard and top Scripps Howard executives such as his son Jack, Robert P. Scripps, William W. Hawkins and George B. Parker constitute a substantial portion of the collection. These letters reveal many of the internal dynamics of one of the largest and most influential newspaper empires in 20th Century America, as well as practices found throughout U.S. journalism.

The index

The archive’s correspondence collection is unusually well indexed, both chronologically and alphabetically by name of the person corresponding with Roy Howard. The letters are kept in folders organized by the year in which they were written.


Another significant collection within the archive is a series of videotaped interviews with Howard’s family members, colleagues and news contacts, including his daughter, Jane Howard Perkins, and son Jack Howard; his personal secretary, Naoma Lowensohn; numerous executives and editors within Scripps Howard Newspapers; and significant long-time acquaintances such as Mrs. Douglas (Jean) MacArthur and Carolos Romulo.

News clips

Photo by Andrew Prinsen
The Roy W. Howard Archive provides material for researchers from all over the world.

The archive also houses a large collection of newspaper clippings and occasional rough drafts of columns written by or about Howard and his newspaper company. Also included are diverse personal mementos, including a sizable collection of photographs and items varying from the original cables of Howard’s “false armistice” dispatch to postcards from family and friends.

The archive at Indiana University complements the Roy W. Howard Papers housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This collection of correspondence and office files of Howard’s son and successor Jack Howard, includes about 115,000 items dating from 1911 to 1966, and is a rich repository for Howard’s executive correspondence from his years as chairman of Scripps Howard.


The archive has been used by scholars from the U.S., Finland and The Netherlands in their research, and four research monographs have been published from that research.


Questions about the archives or requests for using the archive? Contact:

Professor of Practice Joe Coleman
The Media School
Franklin Hall M130A
Bloomington, IN 47405-7108