Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Thornburgh mss., 1938-1957, consist of various papers and speeches of broadcast executive, Donald W. Thornburgh. Thornburgh joined the Columbia broadcast network in 1930 and in 1936 took charge of the western division as general manager of station KNX in Hollywood, California. During his thirteen years on the west coast he supervised the construction of the Columbia Square headquarters in Hollywood and the general CBS expansion of studios and transmitters. In 1949 Thornburgh shifted to Philadelphia where he was president of WCAU-TV-AM-FM, and later vice-president of the Philadelphia Bulletin. He died in Philadelphia at age 84.

Included in the collection is a letter from presidential candidate Wendell Willkie to Dorothy Thornburgh in 1940; opening remarks and list of invitees for a Marian Anderson luncheon ( ca. 1957); items related to the 35th anniversary celebration of station WCAU (1957) and photographs of the opening of a new WCAU building; as well as several items relating to Wendell Willkie, including news wire releases about his death in 1945, various newspaper clippings about him, 1944-1945, and a dry point etching portrait by Pierre Nuyttens. Also present are fifteen mimeographed radio scripts bound in a volume titled: "Inaugural Programs from Columbia Square. As Broadcast April 30, 1938."

Gift. Estate of Donald W. Thornburgh: Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Robert Best, Wayne, PA 1986.

Folder list

  • Folders:
    • 1: Correspondence, 1940-1957
    • 2: Marian Anderson Luncheon
    • 3: WCAU 35th anniversary
    • 4: miscellaneous lists
    • 5: photographs: WCAU new building opening
    • 6: printed items
    • 7: Willkie: wire news releases re: death of WLW, 1945
    • 8: Willkie: news clippings, 1944-1945
    • Bound volume:
    • "Inaugural Programs from Columbia Square. As Broadcast April 30, 1938."
  • Oversize:
    • Nuyttens, Pierre. Dry point etching of Wendell Willkie

Collection size: 28 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.