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Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458)

Identifier: MS-458

Scope and Content

The collection documents the local and regional history of Dayton and the Miami Valley in Ohio through materials generated by the Dayton Journal Herald and the Dayton Daily News, with the bulk of materials dating from 1930-1980. The Dayton Daily News retains its digital photographs from the 1990s to present. The majority of the collection is newspaper clippings and black and white photographs. However, the collection also includes some color photographs, color slides, negatives of various sizes, documents, microfiche, maps, oversize photographs, and bound volumes of newspapers. General topics include: personalities, obituaries, VIP files, subjects, and events.

The collection is arranged into six series, each of which have their own Scope and Content Notes providing more detailed description at the series and subseries level.


  • Creation: 1890 - 2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1980


Restrictions on Access

The Dayton Daily News Archive is stored off-site. Please contact the Archives staff at 937-775-2092 or with your research topic at least three business days in advance of visiting to allow time to retrieve files.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions apply. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Per the deed of gift (2008): Dayton Newspapers, Inc. (DNI) retains copyright ownership in all donated materials and may continue to use all such materials for any purpose (print, internet, or any other medium). Wright State University (WSU) will make donated materials available to the public under terms consistent with its general archive policies. WSU will manage DNI copyright ownership through established image access policies and procedures, including image use agreements, standard use fees, and use of the credit line, "Courtesy of Wright State University, Dayton Daily News Archive." Requests for use of images in non-profit projects will be approved by WSU based on DNI guidelines. Requests for use of images in commercial or for-profit projects will be reviewed and approved by DNI prior to sale.

History of Dayton Daily News

James Middleton Cox founded the Dayton Daily News in 1898 when he purchased the Dayton Evening News and renamed it the following year. Cox was a prominent name in the newspaper business, but he was also notably the Democratic Party's candidate for U.S. President in the election of 1920. Cox's running mate for vice president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected president in 1932. Cox was governor of Ohio from 1913-1915 and 1917-1921. The Dayton Daily News expanded with a Sunday edition debuting on November 2, 1913. In 1948, James Cox purchased The Journal and The Herald, from the Herrick-Kumler Company and in 1949 merged them as The Journal Herald, which continued as a morning paper and was considered more conservative than the Dayton Daily News. The Dayton Daily News circulated as an evening paper. Cox ran both the Dayton Daily News and The Journal Herald out of the same building in downtown Dayton. It wasn’t until September 15, 1986, that The Journal Herald and the Dayton Daily News were merged together to form the Dayton Daily News and Journal-Herald, a morning paper. However, the merged title only lasted through the end of 1987, when the Journal-Herald portion of the name was dropped. Award winning reporters for the Dayton Daily News include Russell Carollo and Jeff Nesmith, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for their reporting on mismanagement in the military health care system. Mike Peter, a cartoonist known for his strip Mother Goose and Grimm, also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for editorial cartooning. Tom Archdeacon, Si Burick, Ritter Collett, Clem Hamilton, Dale Huffman, Hal McCoy, John Scalzi, Myron Scott, Dennis Shere, D.L. Stewart, Charley Stough III, and Dann Stupp are among many notable writers who worked at the paper.

James M. Cox purchased the "Dayton Evening News"
"Dayton Evening News" was renamed "Dayton Daily News"
November 2, 1913
The "Dayton Daily News" expanded with a Sunday edition
Cox purchased "The Journal" and "The Herald" from the Herrick-Kumler Company
"The Journal" and "The Herald" were merged as "The Journal Herald", which was a morning paper
September 15, 1986
"Journal Herald" and "Dayton Daily News" merged to form "Dayton Daily News and Journal-Herald"
"Journal-Herald" was dropped from the name and it became "Dayton Daily News"


2090 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of over 2000 cubic feet of photographs, negatives, and news clippings spanning obituary, personality, and subject files generated by the Dayton Daily News and the former Journal Herald in the twentieth century. The newspaper was founded by James M. Cox, a three-term Ohio governor and presidential candidate. The archive documents the local and regional history of Dayton and the Miami Valley in Ohio and it role on a national scale, particularly during the period 1930 to 1980. This history serves as a rich example of American ingenuity and perseverance in the twentieth century. Dayton, considered the cradle of invention in the early 1900s, generated more patents than any other city in America. Creativity in technology, local government, literature, music, and dance are documented in the photographs. Dayton was the site of the invention of the airplane, the creation and implementation of the city manager form of government, and the first cash register. Its past includes a strong history of the women's club movement, innovative industrial development, dynamic political figures, ground-breaking aviation technology, a vital military establishment, strong progressivism, and diplomatic milestones, such as the Dayton Peace Accords. It was the first city to establish a conservancy district to protect the city from devastating flood waters. The spirit and history of Dayton's innovators and the everyday lives of its citizens are told in the photographs and stories recorded in the newspaper.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series and several sub-series:

  1. Series I: Personality Files
  2. Series II: Subject Files
  3. Series III: Dayton Daily News Corporate Files
  4. Series IV: Negatives, Slides, and Microfiche
  5. Series V: Electronic Records and Digital Photos
  6. Series VI: Library

Technical Requirements

A light box and the microfilm reader/scanner in the reading room may be used to view negatives, microfiche, and slides in Series IV.

Acquisition Information

The Dayton Daily News transferred legal ownership of the collection to Wright State University on October 8, 2009.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected materials from this vast collection have been digitized and are available online in CORE Scholar at

Related Material

MS-2 James Middleton Cox Papers

MS-4 Glenn Thompson Papers MS-198 Walter McCaslin Papers

MS-269 William Preston Mayfield/Caporale Photo Collection

MS-271 Peerless Mayfield Photograph Collection

MS-348 William Preston Mayfield Photograph Collection - Egbert

MS-450 James Keen Photographic Collection

MS-461 D.L. Stewart Papers

MS-468 Jim Fain Papers

Separated Material

Fifty-two books on aviation and local topics of high interest were separated from the library series (series VI), cataloged, and are available in the reading room. These items have a note in the catalog record indicating their provenance with the Dayton Daily News Archive. A binder of original planning documents and photographs from the Miami Valley Atomic Energy Show was discovered in the library series, separated, and processed as its own collection, MS-484.

Processing Information

The collection is processed to the box level. Individual folder titles are not listed. The only series processed to the folder level are Series IV: Negatives and Series VI: Library.

Guide to the Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458)
Finding aid prepared by William McIntire, Dayton Daily News Archivist, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Basic processing of the Dayton Daily News Archive was made possible through a generous two year grant from The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded in 2010.

Revision Statements

  • 2014: Library series processed and finding aid revised by Toni Vanden Bos.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA