University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Professor Tom Battin Papers

Overview of the Collection

Creator Battin, Tom C.
Collection Title Professor Tom Battin Papers
Dates 1936-1976
Identification 1988-001
Physical Description 6.00 Linear Feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Tom C. Battin was born in Marietta, Ohio, on July 29, 1905. In 1935 he received his BS in Television from Ohio University. He earned his MA from the University of Michigan in 1940. In 1951, he became the recipient of the first PhD ever awarded in Radio/Television Communication, also from the University of Michigan.

His thesis, The Use of the Diary and Survey Method Involving the Questionnaire Interview Technique, was widely used by television networks because it provided the first audience measurement of families' viewing habits. Considered a pioneer in educational television, Dr. Battin was involved in productions at the University of Michigan, the University of Florida, and the University of Houston. He taught at UH for 21 years and was Professor Emeritus at the University of Houston School of Communication.

Dr. Battin had experience in university theater, motion picture production, and acted in character roles in several films. He served as dialogue director for Cecil B. deMille and worked with director George Schaffer.

Dr. Battin published articles on television in educational and trade journals. He contributed chapters to widely used texts for college television instruction, including "Understanding Television: an Introduction to Broadcasting." Tom Jerriel and Bill Fleming were among his students. He died September 20, 1987.

Scope and Contents

The Battin Collection contains correspondence, articles, lecture notes, scrapbooks, photographs, scripts, and films. The materials date from 1936 to 1976, and comprise eleven manuscript boxes, one newspaper box and six films, five in reel cases. Because so many articles are one paragraph or less, they were placed with others in Mylar sheet protectors for preservation.

The collection is divided into nine series based on how it was received from the donors. The series are: Correspondence, Articles, Thesis, Photographs, Action for Youth, Lecture Materials, Scripts, Miscellaneous, and Films.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
University of Houston
University of Houston -- Faculty
University of Houston. School of Communication
Genre/Form of Material:
Clippings (information artifacts)
Personal Name:
Battin, Tom, 1958-

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Tom Battin Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Tom Battin's widow, Dr. R. Ray Battin, May 1988. Additional donation made by Dr. William Hawes, April 1989.

Processing Information:

Barbara Nytes-Baron, April 1995

Detailed List of Contents

Correspondence 1936-1976

Scope and Contents
This series contains Dr. Battin's correspondence and dates from 1936 to 1976. The first three folders contain general correspondence; others are identified as miscellaneous correspondence, Florida correspondence, and retirement correspondence. Each of these groupings is arranged chronologically. The general correspondence folders include letters and cards from friends, movie celebrities, and former students. The Florida folder contains materials dated from 1952 to 1954. The retirement correspondence is one folder gathered for Battin's retirement ceremony. There are telegrams, photographs and letters of regret from individuals unable to attend. These are dated 1975 to 1976.
Box Folder
1 1 General 1936-1967
2 General 1968-1970
3 General 1971-1976
4 Miscellaneous undated
5 Florida 1952-1954
6 Retirement 1975-1976

Articles 1953-1984

Scope and Contents
The articles are divided into nine folders: articles about the Battins; a galley proof for his chapter of Television Broadcasting; one 'blue' page proof for his chapter of Television Broadcasting; two typed copies of Handbook of Television Writing; articles by Dr. Battin; articles about television, education, and miscellaneously related topics; and a scrapbook. These clippings were cut from various publications, are often undated and as many as possible were placed between one Mylar sheet. The scrapbook consists of newspaper articles having to do with the reaction of the educational system and television industry to his thesis and the survey used in it. Included in the scrapbook are letters and photographs relating to the newspaper articles. Due to the adhesive used to prepare the scrapbook, it was decided to retain the "scrapbook" format, but to remove the covers.
Box Folder
2 1 Articles about Dr. Battin 1954-1967
2 Galleys for Television Broadcasting 1977
3 Blues for Television Broadcasting 1977
4 Handbook for Television Writing undated
5 Articles by Dr. Battin 1955-1959
6 Articles - television related 1954-1976
7 Articles - unrelated 1953-1984
8 Scrapbook 1954-1971
9 Articles relating to education 1964-1969

Thesis 1951

Scope and Contents
This series is two boxes containing two incomplete copies of Dr. Battin's thesis, The Use of the Diary and Survey Method Involving the Questionnaire Interview Technique. These copies are on onionskin paper, are unbound, and are difficult to use. Special Collections does have a complete bound copy which has been cataloged [HQ 784.T4.B38 1951].
Box Item
3 1 The Use of the Diary and Survey Method Involving the Questionnaire Interview Technique
Box Item
4 1 The Use of the Diary and Survey Method Involving the Questionnaire Interview Technique

Photographs 1961, undated

Scope and Contents
The photographs consist of one manuscript box of undated photographs of KUHT, KHTV, and other related photographs. There is one folder of motion picture stills from "The Tomboy and the Champ"; part of which was filmed in Houston. There are also photographs in the scrapbook, which have been left there because of the heavy adhesive used to mount them.
Box Folder
5 1 KUHT, KHTV, miscellaneous undated
2 Stills from The Tomboy and the Champ 1961
3 Scrapbook undated

Action for Youth Project 1963-1972, undated

Scope and Contents
The "Action for Youth" Project series contains information from the inception through the production of a series of films and videos having to do with juvenile delinquency. These materials are in chronological order. The project was completed in 1963. The final folders contain announcers' notes from the AFL (American Football League) Oilers versus Dolphins Game, which was played and televised from Rice Stadium in 1966. Included are a series of cue cards used during the game.
Box Folder
6 1 Notes and Proposal 1963
2 Script/Film #2 1963
3 First draft/Videotape #2 undated
4 Script/Video-tape #2 1963
5 First draft undated
6 VTR Program #1 1963
7 Open Delinquency... undated
8 Moderators script undated
9 Classification by Crime 1950-1960
10 Research materials 1963
11 Theatre Related Materials undated
12 Campus Workshop 1972
13 American Football League/Oilers vs Dolphins 1966

Lecture Materials 1968, undated

Scope and Contents
Dr. Battin's lecture materials include the "Television Production Handbook", his handwritten notebook and notes, articles related to television, two undated article on television directing and four templates. There is no particular order, as the material is interchangeable and overlaps among itself.
Box Folder
7 1 KUHT floor plan undated
2 Articles pertinent to television various dates
3 The TV Director undated
4 Notes undated
5 TV Directing 361 undated
6 Articles relating to television various dates

Scripts 1956-1970

Scope and Contents
The four boxes of stage, screen and television scripts are in alphabetical order and range in date from 1956 to 1970. The scripts in the collection cannot be copied.
Box Folder
8 1 Adventure in Paradise. "Policeman's Holiday." Carey Wilber & Pat Falken Smith 1961
2 The Afternoon that changed History. (Battle of San Jacinto). Houston: KPRC-TV undated
3 Batman. "The Unkindest TUT of All." Stanley Ralph Ross. Greenway/TCF 1967
4 A Bell for Adano undated
5 Ben Casey. "Behold a Pale Horse." Teddi Sherman & Judith Plowden. Bing Crosby Productions 1962
6 Bewitched. "Majority of Two." Hollywood: Screen Gems 1968
7 Bewitched. "Samantha's Secret Saucer." Jerry Meyer. Screen Gems 1968
8 The Big Valley. "Bounty on Barkley." John O'Dea & Jerry Simms. Fourstar Television 1967
9 The Big Valley. "Your Neighbor's House." John O'Dea & Arthur Rowe. Hollywoood. Fourstar Television 1957
10 Bonnie and Clyde. Original screenplay. David Newman & Robert Benton. Warner Bros 1967
11 Bus-Stop. "County General." Pilot Script. David Shaw. Hollywood. TFC 1962
12 The City on the Edge of Forever. Teleplay. Harlan Ellison. Paramount 1967
13 Cowboy in Africa. "First to Capture." Gordon T. Dawson. Ivan Tors Films 1967
Box Folder
9 1 Custer. "The Raiders." Shimon Wincelberg. TFC 1967
2 Custer. "Suspicion." John Dunkel. TFC 1967
3 The Danny Thomas Show. "Girl Shy." Harvey Bullock & Ray Allen Saffain 1963
4 The Dick Van Dyke Show. "Too Many Stars." Sheldon Keller & Howard Merrill 1963
5 The FBI. "The Daughter." Paul Schneider. QM/Warner Bros.-Swan Arts 1967
6 The FBI. "The Traitors." John Bloch. QM/Warner Bros. 1967
7 The Felony Squad. "The Love Victim." Robert Heverly & Anthony Lawrence. TFC 1967
8 Flight into Danger. Adapted by Christopher Sergel. Chicago: Dramatic Publishing Co. 1956, 1959
9 The Flying Nun. "The Sister and the Old Salt." Bernard Slade 1967
10 The Fred Waring Show. CBS 1949
11 Garrisons Gorillas. "The Great Theft." Norman Hudis. Selmu Productions 1967
12 Get Smart. "The Annual Picnic." Teleplay story treatment for Get Smart. Rick Harrington undated
13 The Graduate. Screenplay by Charles Webb. Embassy Pictures/L. Turman 1967
14 The Great Hoax. Rick Harrington. Superior Film 1964
15 Guns of Will Sonnett. "Meeting at Devil's Fork." Clyde Wake. Thomas Spelling 1967
16 Guns of Will Sonnett. "The Natural Way." Dick Garr. Thomas Spelling Productions undated
Box Folder
10 1 Hallmark Hall of Fame. "The Fantasticks." Rehearsal Schedule undated
2 Hallmark Hall of Fame. "The Fantasticks." Adapted by Richard Hartung. NY Compass Productions 1964
3 Hondo. "Hondo and the Death Drive." Peter B. Germano. MGM 1967
4 The Invaders. "Labyrinth." undated
5 Judd for the Defense. "Conspiracy." Les Leiberman. Vanadas/TFC 1967
6 Judd for the Defense. "Square House." Vanadas Productions/TFC 1968
7 Judge Roy Bean. "Law West of the Pecos." Rick Harrington undated
8 The Legend of Marilyn Monroe. Teleplay by Theodore Strauss & Terry Sanders. Wolper Productions 1964
9 Naked City. "Idylls of a Running Back." Ernest Kinoy. Shelle Productions 1962
10 NBC Children's Theatre. "Stuart Little." Rick Harrington. NBC 1966
11 NBC Children's Theatre. Promotional Piece undated
12 NBC Matinee Theatre. "The Tell Tale Heart." Adapted by William Templeton. NY. NBC undated
13 The Petrified Forest undated
14 Pinocchio. Ernest Kinoy undated
15 The Rat Patrol. "The Field of Death Raid." Richard K. Brodkway. MGM 1967
16 Rawhide. "The Transfer." Bernard Girard 1964
Box Folder
11 1 The Red Skelton Show. "Sing a Song of Sing Sing," "Silent Spot," "Pop's Butcher Shop." Van Bernard. CBS 1964
2 Requiem for a Heavy Weight. Rod Serling undated
3 The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming. Screenplay by William Rose. Mirisch Corp. 1965
4 The Second Hundred Years. "A Couple of Sad Dads." Lela Garrett & Bernie Kahn. Screen Gems. 1967
5 Seven Last Words of Christ. A Sacred Cantata undated
6 That Girl. "A Friend in Need." Richard Baer. Disney Productions 1967
7 Thoroughly Modern Millie. Richard Morris. Universal Pictures/Ross Hunter 1967
8 Thunder on Sycamore Street. Reginold Rose. Chicago. Dramatic Publishing Co. undated
9 The Untouchables. "The Pea." Harry Kronman. Desilu Productions 1962
10 Who in the World. Ralph Edwards Production 1962
11 Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Edward Albee. Screenplay by Ernest Lehman undated
12 Rowen & Martin's Laugh In. Taping schedules 1970
13 Rowen & Martin's Laugh In. Taping schedules 1970


Scope and Contents
There is one box of 18 miscellaneous items and ephemera. Three films and two videos complete the collection. Films or videos may not be available for playback; contact the curator to inquire about gaining access to these materials.
Box Item
12 1-18 Miscellaneous Items and Ephemera


1 Blood on the Land. Produced by Dr. Battin 1958
2 Kathryn. Dr. Battin's Studio C Production 1957
3 The Vinten Peregrine Camera Crane. BBC TV Enterprise undated
4 One Box Scotch Video Tape
5 One Box Scotch Video Tape
6 One roll Kodachrome Movie Film