Temple moving forward, with an eye on the past

In today’s media-rich society, university communications programs teach cutting-edge technology, with an emphasis on the next big thing. Well-prepared students, though, will also have a sense of the history of broadcasting.

Temple University just got a rich new resource for that history. Lew Klein, a major figure in Philadelphia television, sports and politics since the 1950s and an adjunct professor in the School of Communications and Theater for 59 years, has donated materials from his personal collection to Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

The material includes photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, letters, scrapbooks, brochures, videos, periodicals and other recorded and printed materials. “The materials will be of great value to teaching, research and learning at Temple,” says Provost Richard Englert. “Primary sources such as the Klein papers are the raw materials that scholars use to shape unique discoveries and produce new knowledge.”

Klein first made his name as executive producer of “American Bandstand,” back when it was a local show broadcast on WFIL-TV (now WPVI). He also produced Phillies broadcasts for the channel for 15 years, as well as other local and national shows. “In the years to come, with technology moving so rapidly, the history of the early days of television in Philadelphia could easily be lost,” says Klein. “People need to know about this period.”

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