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Kern Program collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0044

Scope and Contents

The Kern Program collection contains materials related to the program and its activities. The first series consists of items related to a specific program, "The Moving Image: The Kern Program and the Institute Forum on the State and Future of Film and Television." There are a variety of documents on this program, including press releases, advertising fliers, budget materials, speaker information, and final reports.

The next series contains documents related to individual Kern professors. Specifically, there are files on R. R. Kelly, Mihai Nadin, Harley Parker, and Sarah Collins. For each professor there are a variety of items including biographical data, published papers, and notes.

The collection also includes 33 video recordings of the Kern Lecture Series sponsored by the Kern Program. These lectures date from 1995-1998 and cover a range of topics, most based on global issues.

Finally, the collection includes miscellaneous items related to the program such as clippings, brochures, fliers, and posters.


  • Creation: 1964-2002

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

In 1971 the Rochester Telephone Corporation established an endowment fund at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in honor of the corporation's 100th anniversary. Named for William A. Kern, a former president of the corporation, the fund was meant to "stimulate creativity in all areas of the communicative arts." This was accomplished through various programs and events such as conferences, lectures, and field trips. The fund also paid for a visiting faculty member position in the field of communications. In 1977 the focus of the position shifted to writing skills for the technical field and the program was renamed the Kern Program in Writing and Related Skills. As of 2010, the endowment was still funding different campus events and the Kern professorship.

William Albert Kern (1903-1964) was born on April 28, 1903 to Alney and Laura (née Whitehead) Kern. He earned his B.A. from Colgate University in 1927 before accepting a position at the New York Telephone Company. On June 14, 1940, Kern married Elin Ohlson with whom he had one son. He began working at the Rochester Telephone Corporation in 1935 and gradually moved his way up the corporate ladder. In 1959, Kern was named president of the Rochester Telephone Corporation. He held the position until his death on May 10, 1964. Kern is buried in an Irondequoit cemetery.


2.75 Linear Feet (2 document boxes, 1 half document box, 1 carton)




Materials related to the Kern Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The endowed program was meant to "stimulate creativity in all areas of the communicative arts." The collection contains documents related to specific programs, as well as to individual Kern professors. Also included are 33 videotapes of various lectures sponsored by the program.


The collection is arranged into four series: "The Moving Image" program, Kern professors, Miscellaneous documents, and Video recordings.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 328 - Box 1-3 records
C.S. South, Shelf 732 - Box 1 videotapes

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Kern Program collection

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in December 2010.

Kern Program collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
14 December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA