William Griffin Gnaedinger Papers 1937-1974
Cage 67

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
William Griffin Gnaedinger
William Griffin Gnaedinger Papers
Cage 67
Date [inclusive]
540.0 items
General Physical Description note
Correspondence, articles, memoranda, notes and other papers re: professional activities, primarily concerned with audio-visual education and organizations, such as the Washington Department of Audio Visual Instruction and the National Education Association Division of Audio Visual Instruction.

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Biographical/Historical note

William Griffin Gnaedinger was born in Wallace, Idaho, on October 15, 1910. In 1934 he received a B. S. at the University of Idaho in Moscow, married Miss Irene Carlson, and moved 25 miles south to begin a teaching career in the Lapwai public schools. From 1936 to 1940 he was a teacher in the junior and senior high schools of nearby Lewiston, Idaho, as well as the part-time audio-visual director. Moving to Washington State University (then the State College of Washington) in 1940 as Director of the Audio-Visual Center, Gnaedinger was instrumental in the development of the uses of films and other media in classroom instruction in the Pacific Northwest. "During his years as Director of the Audio-Visual Center he made his impact felt across the State and Nation.... The film library in the Audio-Visual Center at Washington State not only was first in the State in the establishment of many patterns of operation, it still is a leader.... And the relationship between the Audio-Visual Center as a service function on campus and in the training of teachers and media specialists in the Department of Education is unequaled in the State." (Richard L. Hawk. "Personalities in Washington: William G. Gnaedinger," Resources for Teaching and Learning, 7:2 (Winter 1971: 22.)

During this period as Director of the Audio-Visual Center, Gnaedinger was also active in several professional organizations. "He is one of the 'founding fathers' of WDAVI [Washington Department of Audio Visual Instruction], and his contributions to that organization are extensive. He was executive secretary from 1950 through 1954, and was President twice (1941 and 1964)." (Hawk, 22) In addition, from 1962 to 1965 he was on the Executive Board of the National Education Association's Division of Audio Visual Instruction (DAVI).

Following his long tenure as Director of the Audio-Visual Center, Gnaedinger moved into library administration, a situation only possible where audio-visual activities are coordinated within the library. In his job as Associate Director of Libraries at WSU he has moved on to bigger budgets, staffs, and programs to develop. In his present capacity he is able to employ all the years of experience he gained as an audiovisual administrator to help run the ever-enlarging and developing library program, including the Audio-Visual Center." (Hawk, 25) After serving as the Associate Director of the WSU Libraries since 1965, Gnaedinger retired on July 1, 1974, and was awarded the title Associate Director Emeritus of Libraries in recognition of his many contributions to the University community and to education in general.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers of William G. Gnaedinger consist of that portion of his office files which could be considered both personal and professional. According to Gnaedinger his files were completely purged in 1965 when he moved from the Audio-Visual Center to his new position as Associate Director of Libraries.

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Arrangement note

The papers consist of three major series: that dealing with audio-visual education in the WSU Department of Education, and those dealing with the national and state audiovisual organizations: DAVI and WDAVI. Correspondence, memoranda, notes on committees and other activities of the two organizations are represented. Also included are Gnaedinger's contributions to the history of the two organizations, especially his "A History of the Washington Department of Audio-Visual Instruction, NEA."

Additionally, there is a file of general correspondence, primarily of the kind considered both personal and professional; a file on his Fulbright teaching grant to Norway, 1954-1955; and a folder of correspondence and drafts of articles for the 1973 and 1974 Bowker Educational Media Yearbook. A partial file of Gnaedinger's published articles and unpublished speeches and addresses before various groups provide a picture of his professional concerns from his earliest days as an audio-visual administrator.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries

Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers of William G. Gnaedinger were deposited in the Washington State University Library by Mr. Gnaedinger on June 28, 1974.

Processing Information note

The papers were processed by Terry Abraham in July, 1974.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Audio-visual education -- Washington (State) -- Societies, etc.
  • Moving Images
  • National Education Association of the United States. Dept. of Audiovisual Instruction. Washington State Division.

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Collection Inventory

 1 General Correspondence 1954-1974 

Box Folder

Correspondence: personal and professional (approximately 100 items) 1965-1974 

1 1-2

Norge--I. Millar. Correspondence and other papers concerning Fulbright teaching grant to the University of Oslo (18 items) 1954-1959 

1 3

Bowker Educational Media Yearbook. Correspondence and manuscript notes and drafts of articles in Bowker annual 1973, 1974, on film rental libraries (55 items) 1972-1974 

1 4

Annual Review. Correspondence, primarily letters of appreciation (28 items) 1955-1965 

1 5

St. James Episcopal Church. List of members 1963 

1 6

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 2 Washington State University Department of Education 1957-1967 

Box Folder

Staff meetings. Minutes (24 items) 1964-1965 

1 7

Audio-visual courses. Course outlines, proposals and bibliographies (20 items) 1957-1964 

1 8

Miscellaneous administrative matters. Memoranda and other papers concerning audio-visual instruction (10 items) 1964-1971 

1 9

New media programs. Correspondence and research proposals concerning A-V instruction (16 items) 1962-1967 

1 10

New media seminar. Memoranda and course announcements (8 items) 1963-1966 

1 11

Phi Delta Kappa Distinguished Educator Award Committee. Letters from Lloyd Olsen regarding chairmanship of the committee (2 items) 1967 

1 12

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 3 Washington Division of Audio-Visual Instruction 1959-1973 

Box Folder

WDAVI-WSASL Consolidation Study. Correspondence, minutes, and other papers (39 items) 1971-1972 

1 13

WDAVI history. "A History of the Washington Department of Audio-Visual Instruction, NEA." Chapter One (1960), Chapter Two (1964), Chapter Three (1973) (11 items). 

1 14

Audio-Visual history and development. "Washington's Audio-Visual Story--A Status Report." Washington Education 70:7 (April 1959:10-11). Also correspondence, drafts and articles (7 items) 1959 

2 15

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 4 Division of Audio-Visual Instruction, NEA 1957-1972 

Box Folder

DAVI: Current matters. Correspondence, notes, drafts, rosters, minutes and other papers (31 items) 1957-1966 

2 16

DAVI: self evaluation project. Correspondence, minutes and other papers (83 items) 1955-1965 

2 17-18

DAVI: Archives and History Commission. Correspondence, minutes and other papers (32 items) 1963-1972 

2 19

Pocatello: Lyle Wright. Correspondence and report on "Recommendations for a Southeastern Idaho Learning Resources Center" by W. G. Gnaedinger and G. M. Torkelson, (Pocatello, 1966) as DAVI consultants (11 items) 1966 

2 20

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 5 Publications 1937-1971 

Box Folder

Publications: Manuscripts and printed articles, speeches, and addresses (35 items) 1937-1971 

2 21-23

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