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Chalmers Marquis Papers


Chalmers Marquis Papers
Marquis, Chalmers
Collection number:
NPBA 91-211
2.00 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
1978-1993, and undated
Collection Area:
Mass Media and Culture
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

In 1955, Chalmers Marquis began his public broadcasting career at WTTW, Chicago, where he served as a Producer and Director in Promotion, Development, Fundraising and as Director of Programming. Before he worked as WTTW, he worked as a producer and director at CBS TV and WGN Chicago. In 1965, he became the first full-time executive director of the Educational Television Service (ETS), the educational television division of the NAEB. There, he was instrumental in the establishment of the ETS Program Service which later became the Public Television Library. Later, Marquis played an active role in the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the extension of the matching grants program. He also served as the executive vice-president of NAEB (1970), as an executive at the Public Broadcasting Service, and served as the legislative liaison for the National Association of Public Television (NAPTS). In January 1971, he represented education at meeting of Advisory Panel to the State Department at the United States Delegation on International Copyright Revision. In 1973, Marquis became PBS Vice President of Natural Affairs. Then, in 1978 he served as project director for the Joint Council on Educational Telecommunications' five month study to analyze document needs and opportunities for educational telecommunications. Finally, Marquis frequently lobbied Congress on behalf of the Children's Television Workshop. This collection documents Marquis' work as a lobbyist for the Children's Television Workshop.

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Preferred citation:

Chalmers Marquis Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Historical Note

Chalmers Marquis, a longtime lobbyist for educational television, attended the University of Chicago College before moving on to the University of Illinois, where he trained in journalism and broadcasting and studied under Frank Schooley. While at the University, Marquis created a campus radio station that broadcast from a photography store in Urbana. Upon completion of his courses in 1950, Marquis accepted a job as a "dolly-pusher" at WGN TV, where he remained for three years. He then took a position at WBBM TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago. There, he produced and directed numerous commercials in addition to his work with regular programming.

Marquis's desire to see television used as an instrument of learning rather than merely passive entertainment prompted his acceptance in 1955 of a position with WTTW, Chicago's public television station. First working as a producer/director, Marquis soon moved into the realm of public relations and development, and eventually became director of programming. He remained with WTTW for nine years, during which time the station was the largest public broadcaster in the United States, setting the standard for educational broadcasting.

Despite various obstacles, such as a lack of funding and a kilowatt signal approximately one quarter as powerful as those of commercial stations, Marquis fostered the genesis of numerous projects and expanded WTTW. He organized Chicago Area School Television (CAST), which broadcasted two channels into local classrooms.

In 1965 Marquis became the first full-time executive director of Educational Television Stations (ETS, created in 1963), the newly-formed television arm of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB). He participated in the establishment of the Educational Television Stations Program Service (later the Public Television Library), which supplied programming to public television stations. He was also involved in the movement to create the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Due to the consistent lack of funding for public television stations, Marquis spent increasing amounts of time lobbying for government funding, particularly from administrative departments such as Health, Education, and Welfare. He fought to push through the House of Representatives legislation that eventually became the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

Marquis's work at ETS led to his position in 1970 as Executive Vice President of NAEB, which he followed with a term at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Marquis then became a full-time lobbyist as legislative liaison for the National Association of Public Television Stations (NAPTS), which later became America's Association of Public Television, Inc. (APTV), a lobbying arm of the Association of America's Public Television Stations (APTS).

Along with his work for NAPTS, Marquis frequently lobbied Congress on behalf of the Children's Television Workshop. He spent much of his time gathering evidence, later presented to various congressional committees, demonstrating the positive impact of public broadcasting and the necessity for its continued existence. His work involved efforts to obtain funds from the National Science Foundation, to procure government funding for CTW programs such as 3-2-1 Contact, Square One TV, and Ghostwriter, and to further the development of the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Chalmers Marquis Papers covers the years 1978 to 1993 and also contain some undated material. The bulk of the material ranges from 1985 to 1992. Correspondence, reports, congressional hearings, speeches and writings, program materials, news clippings, and press releases focus primarily on Marquis's work as a lobbyist for the Children's Television Workshop.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Chalmers Marquis Papers was donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Chalmers Marquis in January of 1991, October of 1992, and June of 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Shana L. Visser, June 1996

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Scott Prouty and Karen E. King, May 2005.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Children's Television Workshop, 1978-1993 (1.75 linear feet)

This series chronicles various aspects of Marquis's association with the Children's Television Workshop.

Subseries 1.1: Subject Files, 1978-1993 (0.50 linear foot)

This subseries documents CTW events and special programs, including the Sesame Street Preschool Education Project and Sesame Street Live. Also included are Marquis's lobbying reports. The files are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
3-2-1 Contact Rainforest "Extra" 1990, 1990series 1.1box 1folder 1
Annual Meeting of Public Television; Joan Ganz Cooney's speech 3/30/84, March 30, 1984series 1.1box 1folder 2
Bauer, Gary. Appointment as Undersecretary of Education 1985, 1985series 1.1box 1folder 3
Board of Trustees List, March 1992series 1.1box 1folder 4
CPB Joan Ganz Cooney's letters of congratulation to new board members, July 7, 1987series 1.1box 1folder 5
The Electric Company -- news release announcing the termination of broadcasting, February 21, 1985series 1.1box 1folder 6
Healy, Jane. Article in Education Week and responses, September 19, 1990series 1.1box 1folder 7
Hill set visit to Sesame Street and WNET, October 1992series 1.1box 1folder 8
Inaugural Parade Activities, January 1993series 1.1box 1folder 9
Lobbying Reports, 1978-1993series 1.1box 1folder 10
Mielke, Keith W. "Making Information Contact" article for submission to the National Science Teachers Association for the Yearbook on Informal Science Education, January 1987series 1.1box 1folder 11
National Hazards Workshop, 1985series 1.1box 1folder 12
Program Information, 1993series 1.1box 1folder 13
Sesame Street -- International, 1985, 1991series 1.1box 1folder 14
Sesame Street Live, 1984-1992series 1.1box 1folder 15
Sesame Street Preschool Education Project (SSPEP), 1990-1993series 1.1box 1folder 16
Sesame Street 20th Anniversary articles: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, November 1988series 1.1box 1folder 17
Skloot, Edward. "Enterprise and Commerce in Nonprofit Organization" Citation of CTW, 1987series 1.1box 1folder 18
"Tech Fair", March 4-6, 1991series 1.1box 1folder 19
"Television and the Preparation of the Mind for Learning" Conference, October 2, 1992series 1.1box 1folder 20

Subseries 1.2: Legislative Activities, 1978-1993 (1.25 linear feet)

This subseries documents Marquis's work as a legislative lobbyist for the Children's Television Workshop. Materials include congressional testimony from CTW executives and others involved in public broadcasting, correspondence with the congressional and executive branches of government, and background information designed to further the progress of specific legislation. The folders are arranged by legislation and then chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Hill correspondence, 1978-1985series 1.2box 1folder 21
Labor-HEW Appropriations Bill, FY 1979, 1980, undatedseries 1.2box 1folder 22
Joan Ganz Cooney and Secretary of Education Terrell Bell -- correspondence concerning funding for the creation of Square One TV, 1983, 1984series 1.2box 1folder 23
Correspondence, etc. concerning Department of Education funding for Square One TV's second season, 1986-1988series 1.2box 1folder 24
Square One TV -- media reaction, background information, congressional correspondence, 1986-1991, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 1
Nina Link's testimony before the Postal Service Appropriations Subcommittee, 1983, 1986series 1.2box 2folder 2
Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers -- testimony before the House Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government: correspondence, 1991, 1992series 1.2box 2folder 3
Hearings before the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education re: CTW funding, 1986, 1987series 1.2box 2folder 4
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) -- Bill language, background information, 1987-1988, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 5
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) -- Congressional correspondence, David Britt's, 1986-1991, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 6
Correspondence, etc. concerning CTW funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), 1986-1991, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 7
Senator D'Amato's speech celebrating 20 years of public broadcasting, thanking Secretary Bennett for providing CTW funding, 1987series 1.2box 2folder 8
David Britt's testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Subcommittee on Communication, March 15, 1988series 1.2box 2folder 9
David Britt's testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education re: CTW funding for FY 1992, May 4, 1989series 1.2box 2folder 10
Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee -- Child Care Initiative/Child Care and Development block grant, 1989, 1990series 1.2box 2folder 11
CPB "Public Telecommunications Act of 1991", November 4, 1990series 1.2box 2folder 12
HR3 S5 Congressional Quarterly articles on progress of Child Care Legislation / Testimony re: compliance with Children's Television Act, 1990, 1993, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 13
Senators Cochran and Inouye -- amendment #3014 requesting Ghostwriter funding, 1990, 1993, undatedseries 1.2box 2folder 14
Department of Education denial of Ghostwriter funding for FY '92, newspaper clippings, 1991, 1992series 1.2box 2folder 15
Grant application to the Department of Education for Ghostwriter funding, 1992series 1.2box 2folder 16
S551 "Parents as Teachers: the Family Involvement in Education Act of 1991" / Background on Ghostwriter, 1991series 1.2box 3folder 1
S797 National Endowment for Children's Educational Television, 1989-1991series 1.2box 3folder 2
HR5678 Testimony before Congress re: National Endowment for Children's Educational Television -- continued funding, 1989-1992series 1.2box 3folder 3
Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Docket #930231-3031 Notice of Availability of Funds for the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television, 1991series 1.2box 3folder 4
Congressional testimony and correspondence re: National Endowment for Children's Educational Television and the National Science Foundation, 1992series 1.2box 3folder 5
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- Testimony, information on CTW projects, 1991-1992, undatedseries 1.2box 3folder 6
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- Testimony, information on CTW projects, 1991-1992, undatedseries 1.2box 3folder 7
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- Senator Dole's statement and CTW's response, 1992, undatedseries 1.2box 3folder 8
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- Senator Dole's March 23, 1992Los Angeles Times column supporting privatization of public broadcasting, CTW response, 1992series 1.2box 3folder 9
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- Testimony, correspondence, March 1992, undatedseries 1.2box 3folder 10
S1504 "Public Broadcasting Authorization Bill" -- CTW response to Dole's floor statement, June 19, 1992series 1.2box 3folder 11
HR4288 Seeking to Eliminate Funding for CPB / 1504 George Will's April 3, 1992 Washington Post column and responses, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 1
HR4014 "Educational Research, Development and Dissemination Excellence Act" -- Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), 1989-1993, undatedseries 1.2box 4folder 2
HR4014 "Educational Research, Development and Dissemination Excellence Act" -- Authorization Bill for OERI, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 3
HR4014 "Educational Research, Development and Dissemination Excellence Act" -- OERI bill language, 1992, undatedseries 1.2box 4folder 4
HR4014 "Educational Research, Development and Dissemination Excellence Act" -- OERI Act / National Education Dissemination System, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 5
"Ready to Learn Act of 1992" -- HR5357 Correspondence, position paper, 1992, 1993series 1.2box 4folder 6
"Ready to Learn Act of 1992" -- S3134 correspondence, testimony / CPB hearing on Educational Television, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 7
"Ready to Learn Act of 1992" -- Excerpts from Congressional Record re: Ready to Learn Act and NTIA authorization, October 1992series 1.2box 4folder 8
Senator Natcher's report on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Bill, 1992, undatedseries 1.2box 4folder 9
Congressional Speech List March 26, 1992 "CTW Builds Public / Private Parterships", 1992series 1.2box 4folder 10
Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Funding from the National Science Foundation for Informal Science Education, 1990, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 11
Testimony for Senate and House subcommittees on Labor, HHS, and Education re: funding for FY'93 / Joan Ganz Cooney and David Britt Congressional Correspondence, 1992series 1.2box 4folder 12
Technology for Education Act of 1993, 1993series 1.2box 4folder 13

Series 2: American Open University, 1979-1985 and undated (5 folders)

This series consists of five folders detailing Marquis's involvement with the American Open University and its merger with the New York Institute of Technology. Materials include correspondence with Donald R. McNeil and Secretary of Education Terrell Bell, a student handbook and application, and press releases. The folders are arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
University of Mid-America. "An Introduction to WORLD FOOD PROBLEMS," a UMA developed course., circa 1979 series 2box 4folder 14
Policy Working Group on Fund Raising and Underwriting report to The Interregional Council on Public Television Policy, November 11, 1979 series 2box 4folder 15
Correspondence: Marquis, Don McNeil, Secretary of Education T.H. Bell, 1982, 1983 series 2box 4folder 16
Student Handbook, application, press releases, 1983-1984 series 2box 4folder 17
Update to the Board of Trustees, November 4, 1985 series 2box 4folder 18

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