Library Archives to House Communication Theorists’ Papers

The work of the communications theorists behind Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) will occupy a new collection in the Fitchburg State University archives this fall.

CMM theory was developed by W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon E. Cronen and posits that communication is a two-sided process involving the making and managing of meaning, and coordinating action. CMM is used as a tool, and studied itself, at universities across the globe.

Pearce was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is professor emeritus at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif. Cronen recently retired from the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and will soon be joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Pearce’s initial donation of papers and records was made in June 2011, and Cronen’s records are expected on campus this fall. The collection is currently being processed and will be available to researchers in spring 2012.

“CMM is a theory that has been instrumental in making positive changes in the lives of individuals, and communities, across our nation and across the globe,” said John Chetro-Szivos, a professor in the Communications Media department who studied under Pearce and Cronen. “We are fortunate to serve as the home of this leading communication theory and serve as a resource so CMM researchers and practitioners can continue to enrich the lives of others. I have worked with both Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen on a variety of projects and publications and unequivocally they are among the brightest minds in the field of communication studies,” Chetro-Szivos continued. “I am pleased that they and CMM are a part of Fitchburg State’s legacy.”

The W. Barnett Pearce Records provide a unique view into both the theoretical and practical application of communication theory by providing researchers with a retrospective context in which to understand the development of CMM. The collection includes approximately 15 linear feet of papers, correspondence, published monographs, video and audio recordings and electronic records.

The collection is currently undergoing arrangement and description with a goal of making the materials available to researchers in the spring.

The Fitchburg State University Archives and Special Collections were established in 1982 and operate within the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library. The archives collect, organize, maintain and make accessible records and materials that have enduring value to the history of the university. Its primary function is to preserve institutional records that provide administrative, legal, fiscal and historical evidentiary value.

In addition to Fitchburg State University records, the archives collect and preserve materials that document and support the life and community of the university, which includes faculty, students, staff and alumni as well as its engagement with the city of Fitchburg and local region.

Students, faculty, and staff may access the Archives and Special Collections by contacting the Special Collections Librarian, Kate Wells.

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