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Department of Audio-Visual Instruction, 1930-1989

Identifier: Series 12

Scope and Contents note

Series contains materials created within the Department of Audio-Visual Instruction. The files include reports, conference and convention materials and publications.


  • 1930-1989


Conditions Governing Access

As researchers request materials, a review of the documents will take place. Staff will remove any documents with social security numbers, employee numbers or other sensitive identifying information. Any document found including this information is closed for 90 years from date of creation, or until verifiable proof of a person’s death is given. After these documents are removed the folder will be available for research. In some cases, items may be photocopied and redacted. The redacted copy will then be placed in the publicly available folder. All other materials in a folder will be freely available for immediate use and will be marked as having been reviewed by Special Collections staff. After folders have been reviewed using these procedures and the confidential materials have been removed, the restriction shall be lifted..

Biographical/Historical note

After considerable debate at the 1923 summer convention of the NEA in Oakland, CA, the Representative Assembly recommended establishment and the NEA Board of Directors established the new Department of Visual Instruction (DVI) on July 6, 1923.

During the first seven years of its existence, the DVI had no permanent staff or headquarters, disseminated no publications, and offered no substantive services to its members. It took tangible form only at the annual NEA summer convention and the mid-winter meeting of the Department of Superintendence, where members met, participated in their own program, and held meetings of the officers to conduct organizational business

In 1945 the NEA created a new internal administrative unit, the Division of Audio-Visual Instructional Services, to provide consulting and technical services to the larger association. They offered to share the director of this unit with DVI as an executive secretary, fulfilling a dream of decades to finally have a permanent staff.

In 1960 the name of the association was altered by dropping the hyphen between Audio and Visual. Thereafter in was the Department of Audio Visual Instruction.

As the focus of the association shifted away from helping teachers use media to designing self-instructional systems, the connection with the National Education Association, which was increasingly functioning as a teacher’s union, became strained. A constitutional change within the NEA in 1968 requiring departments to become integrated into the association brought matters to a head.

In September 1969, senior staff members stepped down from their DAVI posts in order to remain in their positions at the NEA, and membership voted on a new name and independent structure.

The organization became the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).


AECT History ( accessed on April 17, 2009

The 1949-1950 NEA Handbook


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Fonds: English

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically by title, and chronologically within the same title.

Separated Materials note

Several bound volumes were removed from the collection and placed on the shelves. The volumes include:

"Audiovisual Instruction", volumes 1-21, spanning 1956-1976. "AV Communication Review", volumes 1-22, spanning 1953-1974. "DAVI Convention Programs", years 1951-1963. "Graphic Communication and the Crisis in Education", by Neal E. Miller, 1957. "Selecting Media for Learning", Ed. by Howard Hitchens, 1974. "Learning Resources", 1973-1974. "Media Programs, District and School", by AASL, ALA, and AECT, 1975 (2 copies). "AV Communication Review", by AECT, Spring 1975. "AECT National Convention", 1971. "Jobs in Instructional Media", by AECT, 1971. "Professional Negotiations for Media/Library Professionals: District and School", by Rolland G. Billings and Errol Goldman, 1980. "An Approach to the Design of Mediated Instruction", by C. Edward Cavert, 1974.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America