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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, AP wire photographs, maps, oversize photographs, and bound volumes of newspapers. General topics include: personalities, obituaries, VIP files, subjects and events. The collection is arranged into seven series:

Series I. Personality Files

The Personality Files are photos and clippings of people. The Personality Files series is comprised of 821 record storage boxes of material. All photos are located in the Personality A-Z subseries (736 boxes). The subseries was created by merging the Dayton Daily News and the Journal Herald personality files together. The paper had begun this process before the collection was acquired by Wright State. The majority of the integration is complete, however there remains some overlap in the latter part of the subseries. The three remaining subseries (Subseries B: Personality Clippings, Subseries C: Old Personality Clippings, and Subseries D: Obituary Clippings) account for 85 boxes. They are comprised solely of clippings and they often correspond with the appropriate photo in Subseries A: Personality A-Z.

Series II. Subject

The Subject Files series documents events, places, and things-any news item that is not a person. The Subject Files fill 1038 record storage boxes (though a small percentage of clippings are in Hollinger boxes).

Subseries A: Dayton Daily News Black & White Photos (66 record storage boxes) are black and white photos from the 1940s-1970s listed in alphabetical order by subject.

Subseries B: Dayton Daily News Black & White Country and Island (37 records storage boxes) are photos (and some clippings) on international news produced largely by media sources other than the Dayton Daily News.

Subseries C: Dayton Daily News Subject Files Clippings (88 boxes) are clippings related to the photos in the Dayton Daily News Black & White Photos subseries.

Subseries D: Dayton Daily News Color Photos (19 boxes) are photos of subjects all from the late 1980s-early 1990s.

Subseries E: Dayton Daily News Color Movie and TV (50 boxes) are promotional photos and celebrity head shots sent to the paper as marketing for an upcoming movie or television show.

Subseries F: Journal Herald Alpha Numeric (623 record storage boxes) contains photos and clippings. This subseries is arranged using an alpha-numeric filing system unique to the Dayton Daily News. There is an index located in the archive to aid in using this series; the database notes the Alpha-Numeric range within each box.

Subseries G: Journal Herald Numeric (35 boxes) are older photos from the 1930s-1950s.

Subseries H: Journal Herald Numeric Clippings (41 boxes) are news clippings that correspond to the Journal Herald Numeric Files.

Subseries I: Journal Herald Pamphlet (55 record storage and banker boxes) contains clippings that correspond to the Journal Herald Alpha-Numeric subseries, and also use the alpha-numeric filing system in Subseries F.

Subseries J: Oversize (23 boxes) subseries are subject photos that are too large to fit into a standard record storage box. It contains some photos of notable people.

Series III. Dayton Daily News Corporate

The Dayton Daily News Corporate Files are 37 items related to the corporate governance of the Dayton Daily News as an institution. It contains payroll ledgers, photos of company events and personalities, signed letters from notable individuals (such as Orville Wright, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford), scrapbooks, whole newspapers from 1880-1995, framed pictures, corporate documents, and telephone directories. Some of the payroll information is under the guidelines of the Privacy Act.

Series IV. AP Proofs

The AP Proofs series contains photographs produced by media companies other than the Dayton Daily News and its related papers. The series has proofs from the Associated Press from 1955-1991. The copyright for this material remains with the institution that created it.

Series V. Negatives, Microfiche, Slides

This series is comprised of 45 boxes. The negatives and slides are of photos that are found in print form in other parts of the collection. The series also contains slides from TV and movies. The negatives are unlabeled, but in most cases the name of the photographer is identified. The microfiche is of Dayton Daily News editions from the 1970s-1990s.

Series VI. VIP Files

The VIP Files are 106 Hollinger boxes of clippings and photos on subjects and personalities the Dayton Daily News deemed to be of high use or high importance.

Series VII. Library

The Library series contains 9 boxes (8 record center boxes and a legal size document half box) of books, pamphlets, draft and final reports, and brochures that were part of the Journal Herald and Dayton Daily News working library. Some books on local topics of high interest, such as the Miami Conservancy District and the 1913 Flood, are cataloged separately and available in the reading room. These items have a note in the catalog record indicating their provenance with the Dayton Daily News Archive. The library series is divided into 29 subseries reflecting the alpha numeric filing system used by the Journal Herald and DDN in series F and series I. Topics include local government and politics, transportation, urban development, environmental issues, population, education, and aviation. The bulk of the materials date from the 1960s and 1970s. While there are many topics covered, few are represented in detail.


  • 1890 - 2004
  • 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.

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 7 series:

  1. Series I: Personality Files
  2. Subseries A: Personality A-Z
  3. Subseries B: Personality Clippings
  4. Subseries C: Old Personality Clippings
  5. Subseries D: Obituary Clippings
  6. Series II: Subject
  7. Subseries A: Dayton Daily News Black & White Photos
  8. Subseries B: Dayton Daily News Black & White Country and Island
  9. Subseries C: Dayton Daily News Subject Files Clippings
  10. Subseries D: Dayton Daily News Color Photos
  11. Subseries E: Dayton Daily News Color Movie and TV
  12. Subseries F: Journal Herald Alpha Numeric
  13. Subseries G: Journal Herald Numeric
  14. Subseries H: Journal Herald Numeric Clippings
  15. Subseries I: Journal Herald Pamphlet
  16. Subseries J: Oversize
  17. Series III: Dayton Daily News Corporate
  18. Series V: Negatives, Microfiche, Slides
  19. Series VI: VIP Files
  20. Series VII: Library


The collection is arranged in 8 series, with several subseries:

Dayton Daily News Archive arrangement:

Series I:
Personality Files
Series II:
Subject Files

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 V.

Other Finding Aid

The Special Collections & Archives staff maintains an internal box level database to facilitate retrieval of materials.

Acquisition Information

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

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 VII), 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 is Series VII 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 Wright State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA