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Lou Dorfsman papers

Identifier: CSC-0123


Collection of materials from creative director of CBS, Louis (Lou) Dorfsman. Includes correspondence, photographs, commerical works, and paper materials.


  • Creation: 1885-2008
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1927-1980


62.003 Linear Feet (95 Hollinger boxes, 31 slide boxes, 16 oversize boxes.)



Physical Arrangement Note

Series I contains materials which relate to large companies or groups which Lou Dorfsman has either created, directed, organized or partaken in.

Series II contains materials relating to organizations, societies, and groups that Lou Dorfsman’s contributed to or participated within.

Series III contains materials relating to colleges, universities, and other professional learning institutions that Lou Dorfsman contributed to or participated within.

Series IV contains materials which relate to Lou Dorfsman's personal life and family life.

Series V contains approx. 10.6k slides relating to all of the previous series within the Lou Dorfsman Papers. See external excel document for detailed list and description of slide subject content.

Flat file rehousing status, July 2022

1 box of flats less than 36” were removed from flat files during library renovation. These boxes are stored in a temporary location. The remaining flats are stored in the flat files in their original location

Processing Information

A note on the physical arrangement of the Lou Dorfsman papers:

The Lou Dorfsman papers are organized in accordance with archival best practices upheld in the Cary Graphic Archives, in addition to maintaining some of the original organizational structure of the donation before the collection was accessioned. The following is a list of the boxes within the Lou Dorfsman collection and the subject(s) of their contents. Boxes may contain other materials which are unrelated to the primary contains, and will not be listed below. Additionally, not all materials regarding a particular subject will be located in one box or one section of boxes. This list only notes the subject majority of the box’ contents. A detailed record of materials present in this collection can be found by browsing the ‘Lou Dorfsman papers’ finding aid.

Box 86 contains Bibliographic files which broadly outline significant times in Lou Dorfsman's lifetime; his childhood; his yound adulthood; his time in the army during WWII; parenthood; and his induction and success working at CBS. This box contains photographic and paper materials, which can be used as an introduction to Lou Dorfsman's life and his physical appearance.

Boxes 1-2 contain materials relating to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Photographs, publications, essays, design projects and other commercial records are present here.

Boxes 3-6 contain materials relating to Lou Dorfsman’s appearance in or contributions to various newspaper articles and magazines as he grows in his professional career. There are photocopies of newspapers, as well as the physical newspapers are present.

Boxes 7-24 contain CBS documents and materials, which Lou Dorfsman created, received or sent during his time at the Columbia Broadcasting Station (CBS). Correspondence, advertisements, design plans, reports, speeches, proposals, and financial records are included here.

Boxes 24-33 contain CBS Photos and relating photographic materials, such as negatives, prints, and transparencies. Photos contained are both professional (for use in advertising or design projects) and informal photos (for personal sentimental value) taken within the CBS building or at a CBS function.

Boxes 34-40 contain materials relating to the Cooper Union; Lou Dorfsman’s work on the board of trustees, his graduation/commencement pamphlet, awards, and programmed events which he attended.

Boxes 41-42 contain materials regarding Dansk designs, otherwise known as Dansk international designs. Advertisements, photography, commercial records, and advertisements are present.

Boxes 42-50 contain materials relating to Lou Dorfsman’s family and other biographical materials that do not immediately relate to his professional career. Family photographs, personal photographs; documents relating to the education of Lou Dorfsman and his family, travel documents, financial records, correspondence and general ephemera.

Boxes 50-53 contain materials relating to the International Design Conference/in Aspen (IDC/A). Photographs, speeches, articles, records from the board of directors, financial records, and correspondence are present.

Boxes 53-54 contain correspondence to and from Lou Dorfsman and his wife during World War II. The majority of these letters are handwritten.

Boxes 54-59 contain materials relating to the Museum of Television and Radio (MT &R). Commercial records, speeches, publications, documents regarding the MT &R media center, correspondence, and documents regarding partnerships between Zelenko Associates and MT &R are present.

Boxes 59-62 contain documents relating design advertisements for various companies and institutions. The majority of contents are paper documents such as proposals, correspondence and invoices are present.

Boxes 63-65 contain articles, essays, and manuscripts that have been or were pending publication. Documents range from professional publications concerning CBS (such as The New York Times), to aspiring writers sending their works to Lou Dorfsman for review or comments.

Boxes 65-66 contain photocopies of oversize newspapers that Lou Dorfsman collected over his lifetime. Newspapers featured advertisements or biographical information regarding Lou Dorfsman and his associates.

Boxes 66-68 contain materials associated with the slides within the collection. Materials range from photographic prints and transparencies, notes and memos, as well as correspondence and small objects (such as a slides view finder).

Boxes 69-77 contain assorted speeches made by or presented in the presence of Lou Dorfsman at various functions throughout his professional and personal career.

Boxes 78-85 contain paper documents pertaining to Stationery and Logo designs; masthead, letterhead, and logo mockups for CBS and other companies are present.

Boxes 87-99 contain oversize materials such as newspapers, periodicals, large publications/books, posters, and designs.

Boxes 100-150 contain slides. See external excel spreadsheet for detailed description of slides contents.

Boxes 151-200

contain various paper and graphic materials with no thematic ranges. Please view the finding aid for contents of individual boxes.

Digital Arrangement

Series I
Corporate Works
Series II
Club Works
Series III
Collegiate Works
Series IV
Biographical Works
Series V


Lou Dorfsman papers
In Progress
Cary Graphic Design Archive
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 Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408