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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, Nora Soto, Allen Thomas, Aleksandr Gelfand, Aaron Roffman, Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 06, 2021
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. Records throughout the collection frequently use the shorthand "34th" to refer to the corporate level offices whcih were on the 34th floor of the Manhattan Time & Life Building, and "541" to refer to the Chicago Time & Life Building.

The four major record groups that document the history of the company as a whole include the Subject Files, created as a reference tool for the writers of authorized histories of Time Inc., 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; and the Annex Files, an extension of the types of records kept in the Subject Files, but not part of that record group.

Additional record groups that relate to the entire company include the Corporate Administration General Records containing stock certificates, five-year plans, notary seals, patents, printing agreements, and organizational records from affiliates and subsidiaries; 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 documenting 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 documenting the promotion of Time Inc. through newstours, radio and television appearances, community projects, and speeches to groups in the publishing arena; the Time Inc. Annual Reports documenting the creation of new departments and new ventures; transcripts and recordings of staff interviews from an oral history project undertaken by the Time Inc. Archives; files from the Production Department about the supply of paper products and the subsidiary the East Texas Pulp and Paper Company (Eastex); files on the creation of a new corporate logo and trademark; the Corporate Circulation Records documenting the marketing of subscriptions for all of the company's magazines; the Travel Services Records regarding business travel arrangements for Time Inc. employees; the Company Services Records containing flight logs of an aircraft owned by Time Inc. and invoices for purchase of various items of office furniture and equipment; the records of the Comptroller documenting the accounting and financial reporting for the whole company; the realia collected by the Time Inc. Archives documenting branded material created by Time Inc. or awards received by Time Inc.; Time Inc.'s corporate identity rebranding; and Time Inc. International records documenting Time Inc.'s publishing efforts outside of the United States.

Records groups from the editorial side of Time Inc. may include files from a magazine's managing editors, executive editors, and art departments. Of note are the Corporate Editorial Records, a department overseeing all publications at Time Inc. and containing files from Editors-in-Chief Donovan Hedley, Henry Grunwald, and Jason McManus; and the Magazine Development Group's work on designing and launching new magazines.

Other editorial record groups include Time Editorial Records;  Fortune Editorial Records;  Life Editorial Records;  People Editorial Records;  Money Editorial Records;  Architectural Forum and  House & Home Editorial Records;  Sports Illustrated Editorial Records; and  Sports Illustrated for Kids Records. Additional records regarding  Time include a chronological run of covers and bound and annotated issues.

Reference materials used by editorial staff include the Index Cards containing groups of index cards used for searching and cross referencing subject terms in Time Inc.'s major magazines; and files on people, presidents, and subjects from the Time Research Center.

Records groups from the business and publishing side of Time Inc. may include files from a magazine's publishers, business managers, general managers, and advertising, promotion, and circulation departments. Of note are the Advertising Promotion and Circulation Promotion Files assembled by the Time Inc. Archives and containing records and mailings from the advertising promotion and circulation promotion departments of many Time Inc. publications.

Other business and publishing records groups include Time Publishing and Business Records;  Fortune Publishing and Business Records;  People Publishing and Business Records;  Life Publishing and Business Records;  Discover Publishing and Business Records;  TV-Cable Week Publishing and Business Records; and  Sports Illustrated Publishing and Business Records. The Time Inc. Invitational Records document an annual invitation-only sporting event organized by the magazines' Advertising Sales Departments and held to foster relationships with advertisers. The Time Inc. Postal Rates Records document Time Inc. advocating for its position on postal rates for mailing publications.

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; the The March of Time with files on production of the radio, film, and television versions; the Books Group Records documenting Time Inc.'s ventures in book publishing and book and gift subscription services; the Video Group Records documenting Time Inc.'s work in the cable, film, and television industries including records from Time-Life Films, Time-Life Broadcast, and Home Box Office (HBO); the New Media Records documenting the management of Time Inc.'s internet projects; and sales data from music record labels managed by Time Warner Entertainment.

Record groups regarding subsidiaries of Time Inc. include the Printing Developments, Inc. containing business expense ledgers and payroll books; the Time Canada Ltd. Records regarding the subsidiary that published the Canadian edition of  Time; and Selling Areas-Marketing, Inc. (SAMI) which produced reports on the sale of consumer goods and offered them for sale by subscription.

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.