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American Association of University Women, Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee archives


American Association of University Women, Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee archives
American Association of University Women (AAUW), Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee
Collection number:
1.50 linear feet, 190 photographs, 3 audio-visual
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

The Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee, (MAMM), which was composed of representatives from each of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) branches in the Washington metro area, presented annual awards to local television and radio programs meriting recognition. Included in this collection are materials documenting the activities of the committee and past award winners.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

American Association of University Women, Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

The twentieth century revolution in media and communications triggered growing concern and curiosity among a number of organized citizen groups. The American Association of University Women (AAUW), which first recognized the potential impact of radio on education and culture in 1933, was among the early organizers and participants to weigh in on the role of television in American life ultimately forming the Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee (MAMM) in 1963. Technology, the invention of television in particular, offered new opportunities for education and culture; yet, many citizens, including AAUW members, were concerned about the growing influence of television on the population of America. The women of the American Association of University Women, Bethesda-Chevy Chase branch, were quick to act and become a recognizable voice in the promotion of quality television.

Initially motivated by concern for children, the branch focused on reinforcing the need for quality children's programming, publicly commending programs and personalities focused on children and education. Concurrently, the Alexandria, Virginia, branch formed an Educational Television study group. The two branches acknowledged their similarities and, in 1956, joined together to form a metropolitan area mass media committee.

By 1958, the committee expanded to include at least eight area branches representing Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. These branches each conducted autonomous study groups on mass media and jointly participated in presenting awards to locally produced television programming. Additionally, the Greater Washington Educational Television Association (GWETA) invited members of AAUW branches to participate on its Advisory Council, and AAUW members actively supported GWETA through fund drives, conferences, and production assistance with early programming on commercial stations. Local AAUW branches were instrumental in assisting Elizabeth Campbell's efforts to secure Channel 26, WETA, a public television station, for the Washington metropolitan area in 1961.

In 1963, the committee adopted a formal name: Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee (MAMM). MAMM was organized as a collaborative effort in which each branch sent representatives to serve on the permanent committee. It actively influenced local mass media by conducting surveys; distributing survey results; researching and writing reports; serving as production assistants; hosting and attending conferences; and assisting public programming to secure funds and air space. The MAMM committee was most notable for the presentation of annual awards to recognize the efforts of local television programming. MAMM broadened its focus in 1966 when Jean White of the Washington Post received an award for her newspaper series "Our Crowded Earth." The Washington Post publicized the awards with a full page announcement, complete with MAMM caricatures, thus establishing early use of the acronym. In 1968, Harden and Weaver of WMAL received the first radio award, and WAMU received the first radio letter of recognition for contributions to community affairs.

By 1968, MAMM officially extended the award program to include local radio broadcasts and print media. Granting awards to local media allowed the AAUW to register publicly its opinion of local media outlets, thereby indirectly influencing the quality of print and programs. Awards were presented annually in May at a ceremony held at AAUW headquarters in Washington, D.C.

MAMM celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2004. By this time, outlets for communication had increased exponentially. The committee attempted to include new media in the awards program, adding cable and satellite channels and internet sites. However, a paragraph penned at the time of the fiftieth anniversary summarized the challenges faced by MAMM in the twenty-first century:

The media environment has changed dramatically since the early 1950s. Accessible media outlets have exploded. Local children's programming has disappeared. The media environment now includes DVDs, video games, cable and satellite television, and the internet. Our media neighborhood or what we used to call local needs to be rethought.

The committee members assessed MAMM's purpose and situation but were unable to propose a solution to accommodate the new media environment. MAMM disbanded in 2005 after fifty-one years of service to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Metropolitan Area Mass Media (MAMM) committee cover the period 1959 to 2004. The bulk of the material dates from 1970 to 2000. The collection includes correspondence, financial records, newsletters, agendas, minutes, clippings, memoranda, press releases, survey forms, campaign handouts, forms, campaign proposals, membership lists, award materials, photographs, and audio-visual materials.

Among the award materials are programs for award ceremonies; letters of notification; lists of award recipients; and biographies and descriptions of award recipients.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Patty Jantho, a member of MAMM, donated the archives of the Metropolitan Area Mass Communication Committee to the University of Maryland Libraries in June 2004.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Charlotte Ferguson, Jennie A. Levine, and Janna Robinson, December 2005.

Processing note:

Staples and paper clips were removed, and all materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Duplicate materials were identified and removed from the collection. All duplicates were discarded and all photographs and audio-visual materials were transferred to their appropriate holding areas within the Archives and Manuscripts Department. Photographs were sleeved and placed in photograph binders.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is divided into three series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Subject Files, 1959-2004 (1.50 linear feet)

This series includes correspondence, financial records, newsletters, agendas, minutes, clippings, memoranda, press releases, survey forms, campaign handouts, campaign proposals, membership lists, and award materials. These materials document MAMM's meetings and activities over a period of forty-five years. One of the definitive purposes of the committee, the presentation of annual awards to local media, is well-represented in the collection; however, the bulk of the awards materials primarily documents results rather than the selection process. Also of interest are completed media survey forms distributed to AAUW members. These surveys highlight one of the important functions of MAMM in offering praise and critiques of metropolitan media according to predetermined standards of quality.

Arrangement is alphabetical by subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Analysis of Awards, 1981-1998 series 1box 1folder 1
American Association of University Women 50th Annual Maryland Convention, March 27-29, 1992 series 1box 1folder 2
1988 Awards, 1989 series 1box 1folder 3
1989 Awards, 1990 series 1box 1folder 4
1990 Awards, 1991 series 1box 1folder 5
1991 Awards, 1992 series 1box 1folder 6
1992 Awards, 1993 series 1box 1folder 7
1993 Awards, 1994 series 1box 1folder 8
1994 Awards, 1995 series 1box 1folder 9
1995 Awards, 1996 series 1box 1folder 10
1996 Awards, 1997 series 1box 1folder 11
1997 Awards, 1998 series 1box 1folder 12
Awards -- Coffees and Luncheons, 1962, 1969, 1985-2004 series 1box 1folder 13
Awards -- Winners, 1969-1997 series 1box 1folder 14
Awards -- Winners -- Biographies, 1986-2000 series 1box 1folder 15
Awards Ceremonies -- Introductions, 1993-1997 series 1box 1folder 16
Awards Ceremonies -- Preparation, undated series 1box 1folder 17
Campaigns -- Our Democracy, Our Airwaves, 2002 series 1box 1folder 18
Clippings, 1992-2004 series 1box 1folder 19
Conference on Educational Television for Greater Washington, 1960 series 1box 1folder 20
Conference on Educational Television for Greater Washington, 30-Mar-61 series 1box 1folder 21
Correspondence, 1983-1993 series 1box 2folder 1
Correspondence, 1994-2000 series 1box 2folder 2
Finances, 1978-2003 series 1box 2folder 3
MAMM -- History, undated series 1box 2folder 4
Maryland Citizens Coalition for Cable Communications, 1973 series 1box 2folder 5
Media Factbook -- United Way of the National Capitol Area, 1995 series 1box 2folder 6
Meetings -- Agendas, 1989-1992 series 1box 2folder 7
Members, 1976-1974 series 1box 2folder 8
Memorandum, 1989-1994 series 1box 2folder 9
Memorandum, 1995-2005 series 1box 2folder 10
Memorials, 1988-2004 series 1box 2folder 11
Minutes, 1966-1970 series 1box 2folder 12
Minutes, 1971-1975 series 1box 2folder 13
Minutes, 1976-1980 series 1box 3folder 1
Minutes, 1981-1985 series 1box 3folder 2
Minutes, 1986-1990 series 1box 3folder 3
Minutes, 1991-1995 series 1box 3folder 4
Minutes, 1996-2000 series 1box 3folder 5
Minutes, 2001 series 1box 3folder 6
Minutes -- Notebook, 1970-1976 series 1box 3folder 7
Minutes -- Notebook, 1976-1984 series 1box 3folder 8
Newsletters, 1960-1963, 1979-1988 series 1box 3folder 9
Press Releases, 1977-2003 series 1box 3folder 10
Publicity, 1993-1995 series 1box 3folder 11
Radio Zone, 1993 series 1box 3folder 12
Speeches -- Stepp, 18-May-95 series 1box 3folder 13
Stationary -- MAMM, undated series 1box 3folder 14
Survey Form, undated series 1box 3folder 15
Working Rules and Procedures -- What MAMM is, 1959-2000 series 1box 3folder 16

Series 2: Photographs, 1994-1995, 1998-200 and undated (190 items)

This series contains black and white and color photographs of MAMM members, guest speakers, media events, and award ceremonies. Though the majority of the photographs are unlabeled and undated, a select few are identified with labels that include the date, event, and persons appearing in the photograph. The bulk of the photographs are 4" x 6" color prints.

Photographs are arranged according to the original order in which they were received.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 3: Audio-Visual Material, 1968 and 1992 (3 items)

This series consists of one audiocassette tape, one film reel, and a VHS tape. Both the film reel and the VHS tape are recordings of MAMM award ceremonies in 1968 and 1992, respectively. The audiocassette tape is labeled "Oral History" and includes the comments and recollections of at least nine MAMM members who participated in the committee over a forty-year period.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

The University of Maryland Libraries also contains the Archives of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Maryland Division. The National Public Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland Libraries contains numerous materials on Washington, DC, area communications, as well as an oral history with Elizabeth Campbell.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.