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Guide to the Time Inc. Records Overview
1853-2015
 MS 3009

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Holly Deakyne, Samantha Brown, Melanie Rinehart

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 16, 2019
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents Note

The Time Inc. Records document the history of the company from its incorporation in 1922 through the early twenty-first century. Because departments frequently collaborated on projects and events or received the same updates via group memoranda or reports, records on the same topic may be found in several record groups or series. These records will generally reflect different viewpoints on the same topic.

Record groups that cover the company as a whole include the Subject Files documenting the history of Time Inc. as an organization, focusing on the areas of corporate, editorial, and publishing; the Bio Files documenting the careers of Time Inc. staff, non-staff closely associated with the company, and notable figures; the Reference Files, originally Time Inc.'s central file, documenting the history of various Time Inc. divisions, franchises, and staff organizations, along with runs of staff newsletters; the Corporate Administration General Records including stock certificates, five-year plans, notary seals, patents, printing agreements, and organizational records from affiliates and subsidiaries; research materials from the Time Research Center collected and used by reporters and researchers at various magazines across Time Inc.; the New Building Department Records documenting the design, construction, and furnishing of the Time & Life Building at Rockefeller Center; the Administration, Human Resources and Personnel Records documenting employee relations, benefits, and personnel policies; Staff Organizations document membership organizations involving only Time Inc. staff; the Real Estate Division Records on building and land purchases, construction, and alternations for offices and other facilities of Time Inc. and its subsidiaries; Corporate Public Affairs Department Records with the office files from the vice president, associate director, the Radio/TV Publicity Office, Community Relations, the Chief Speechwriter, and files on exhibitions and contests to promote Time Inc. internationally.; Books and Arts Associates, a group within Time Inc. that monitored Time Inc.'s minority investments in foreign publishing houses; the Annual Reports including financial reports, fact books, or  Year in Review; oral histories including research, transcripts, and audiovisual material from interviews of Time Inc. staff; files documenting the attempt to create a new corporate logo or trademark for use throughout the company; and news clippings about Time Warner and AOL Time Warner, its publications, and its subsidiaries collected by the Time Inc. Library and Archives.

Records groups that cover the editorial side of Time Inc. include the Corporate Editorial Records from editorial staff overseeing all publications at Time Inc., including Editors-in-Chief Donovan Hedley, Henry Grunwald, and Jason McManus; Time Editorial Records from managing editors, executive editors, and other staff and offices;  Fortune Editorial Records from managing editors, the art department, and staff writers;  Life Editorial Records include files from offices and staff that produced both the original version of  Life and the revived monthly version;  People Editorial Records; a chronological run of covers from  Time magazine; and bound issues of  Time with annotations primarily of the initials of the writer, editor and researcher of each article.

Record groups that cover the publishing and business side of Time Inc. include files from Edgar P. Smith regarding the financials and possible sale of Time Inc.'s architectural and building magazines; Time Publishing and Business Records from the office of the business manager; departments in charge of advertisements in the magazine; an educational materials subscription program; and public affairs;  Fortune Publishing and Business Records from the office of Publisher William Geer, the offices of public affairs and promotions;  People Publishing and Business Records contain files from a publisher, assistant publisher, consumer marketing, and marketing services;  Life Publishing and Business Records with files from the publisher, business office, market research, and circulation department; and the Invitational Records documenting an annual invitation-only sporting event held to foster relationships with advertisers.

Record groups that cover Time Inc.'s forays beyond magazine publishing include the Time-Life News Service Records documenting Time Inc.'s news gathering and reporting service; and the The March of Time with files on production of the radio, film, and television versions.

Record groups regarding subsidiaries of Time Inc. include the Printing Developments, Inc. containing business expense ledgers and payroll books; and the Time Canada Ltd. Records regarding the subsidiary that published the Canadian edition of  Time.

This Guide is an overview of the portion of the archive that is processed and open to researchers. Further summary of the content is found in the Container List. More detailed description of the content is included in the Guides for the individual record groups that constitute the archive. Researchers with inquiries that appear to fall outside the scope of this material should contact the Curator of Manuscripts.

Arrangement Note

The Time Inc. records are organized into record groups, each described in more detail in its own finding aid. See the Container List for summary information about each record group and the link to the detailed Guide for each group. The detailed Guides provide more information about the scope and arrangement of each record group, including the container inventory.