Time Inc. Time Research Center Files
Language of Materials
The Time Research Center Files contain research materials collected by Time Inc. reporters, researchers, and library staff in the main areas of Bio Files, Presidents Files, and Subject Files along with microfilmed news cables that had been pulled from older versions of these files. Many of the files originally belonged to a Time Inc. reference library known throughout the years as The Morgue, The Bureau of Editorial Reference, and The Editorial Reference Library.
The files from the Time Research Center originally belonged to a Time Inc. library known throughout the years as The Morgue, The Bureau of Editorial Reference, and The Editorial Reference Library. It seems like the library existed longest as The Editorial Reference Library, and most staff referred to it as "Edit Ref". The library maintained research materials that reporters and researchers from all magazines used when writing articles. Editorial Services managed the library along with the Picture Collection (later called the Life Picture Collection), Archives (beginning in the mid-1990s), the Index Department (closed in 1994 or 1995), and the Photo Lab.
The files were built over the years from the various magazines' Carbon Files. A Carbon File was created by a reporter for every article that ran in a Time Inc. magazine, comprising all the collected research, and retained by that magazine for around 14 months before being turned over to the Editorial Reference Library. There the contents were distributed into the Bio, Subject or Company Files. Library staff also added additional clippings to the files. The bulk of the Company Files were sent to an offsite storage facility and lost in a series of storage facility arsons in the mid-1990s.
Time Warner closed The Editorial Reference Library in 2001 after the AOL merger failure. At this time, staff culled the files and sent some to the smaller libraries funded by individual magazines. Business and finance subjects went to the Business Information Research Center, a library used by Money and Fortune, and Fortune still maintains these files. Entertainment industry subjects went to the People Research Center, and these files later were acquired by the LAC Group. Files not culled or sent to another library became property of the newly created Time Research Center housed in offsite storage.
Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 6 July 2016.
Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 25 August 2016.
Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 15 May 2017.
The record group is currently organized in five series:
Series I. Bio Files
Series II. Presidents Files
Series III. Subject Files
Series IV. Microfilm of Time-Life News Service Correspondent Wires
Series V. Administrative Files
Scope and Contents Note
The Time Inc. Time Research Center Files contain research materials used by reporters and researchers at various magazines across Time Inc. The files are in four main series of Bio Files, Presidents Files, Subject Files, and Microfilm with smaller series of Administrative Files containing guides and manuals for Time Research Center staff and users of the reference materials in the library.
The majority of research and reference materials are magazine and newspaper clippings. Other types of material include telegrams and other correspondence, correspondent dispatches, transcripts of interviews and speeches, editorial outlines for articles, editorial policies, press releases, and drafts of articles. Microfilm contains reels created by the The Editorial Reference Library during a major imaging project in the mid-1960s mainly of raw reporting and dispatches from correspondents. The reels also contain the only examples of the destroyed Company Files which were lost in fires.
According to the deed of gift transferring the archive to the New-York Historical Society, "Most of what survives of Time Inc. correspondent cables and raw reportage in hard copy format" is in the Bio Files and Subject Files of this record group. The deed may also mean the material on the microfilm reels.
Open to qualified researchers with the exception of restricted materials. Restricted materials may include medical records and records with personally identifiable information. Unreformatted digital material in the collection is not accessible. Restricted boxes include R27. Items with preservation issues are also listed as restricted and may be available for use upon request after further Conservation review. These materials are in boxes R20-R22, R28, and 2785. The majority of materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. The index to the microfilm is stored onsite.
This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. Although the N-YHS owns this collection as physical property, the donor specifically retains all copyright and all other proprietary rights which may exist. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.
Preferred Citation Note
This collection should be cited as Time Inc. Time Research Center Files, MS 3009-RG 13, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Time Inc. in 2015.
Other Finding Aids
The folder list in Series III. Subject Files has been condensed to facilitate ease of use. Please use the condensed finding aid to make box requests. The detailed folder list for Series III. Subject Files is located here.
About this Guide
Processing Information Note
The Bio Files were processed by Melanie Rinehart in 2017 and 2018. The original folders were retained although some documents were transferred to archival containers in instances of overcrowding. Rinehart created the inventory and other descriptive notes for this series.
The Presidents Files were processed by Samantha Brown in 2017 and 2018. The original folders were retained although some documents were transferred to archival containers in instances of overcrowding. Brown created the inventory and other descriptive notes for this series. The name of the series was changed to not cause confusion with official presidential files.
The Subject Files were processed by Brown and Rinehart in 2017 and 2018. The original folders were retained although some documents were transferred to archival containers in instances of overcrowding. Brown and Rinehart created the inventory and Brown created the descriptive notes for this series.
The Microfilm of Time-Life News Service Correspondent Wires was processed by Holly Deakyne in 2019. The original reel boxes were retained when present and loose materials were housed in new enclosures. Deakyne created the inventory and other descriptive notes for this series.
The Administrative Files were processed by Deakyne in 2019. The original folders were retained when present and loose materials were housed in new folders. Deakyne created the inventory and other descriptive notes for this series.
Deakyne wrote the collection-level descriptive notes for the finding aid.