• Title
    • Clyde Caswell Collection
    • Clyde Caswell Collection, 1909-1963 (mostly 1940s-1950s) RG 1000.14
  • PublisherCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositoryCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • Origination
    • Caswell, Clyde Martin (Uncle Jim Christie)
    • Peterson, Glenn Franklin (Clem Peters)
  • Physical Description5.20 Cubic Feet Four (4) record boxes Forms of Material: certificates, clippings (information artifacts), copyright certificates, correspondence, poetry, photographs, reel-to-reel audiotape, sheet music
  • Date
    • 1909-1963
    • mostly 1940s-1950s
  • AbstractClyde Martin Caswell was a radio pioneer in the 1940s and 1950s whose on-air name was Jim Christie. He also served as the head of the Columbia College Radio Department and later, as Dean of Students at the college. The collection strength lies in its radio recordings from the time period. The collection dates span from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and measures 4 cubic feet. Caswell died in 1958 in Evanston, Illinois.

processed by HDM and C. Cole, February – November, 2014

Clyde Martin Caswell was born March 1, 1909 in Blue Earth, Minnesota to James Caswell, a restaurant owner from Wales, England and Ottie Christie, a housewife from Iowa. He was educated at Minnesota State Teachers College in Manketo, Minnesota, served in the Army from 1943 to 1945, and married Mary Louise (Nienz) of Des Plaines, Illinois in June, 1950.

He was a radio personality who hosted a number of country and western music programs during the 1940s and 1950s and was best known by his stage name Uncle Jim Christie, formed by combining his father's given name with his mother's maiden name and his radio show, "Uncle Jim's Jamboree", featured poetry, interviews, gospel, and country music.

Caswell spent more than twenty years as an executive in the radio broadcasting industry, serving in nearly every capacity found in a station operation including announcer, copy writer, salesman, program director, and station manager. For several years, he was in charge of training programs for announcers and station personnel and was a regular feature of coast-to-coast radio networks, including Fort Worth, Texas, Hammond, Indiana, Springfield, Missouri, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Caswell came to Columbia College in the late 1940s with nearly twenty years of radio experience to serve as head of the Radio Department. He was then appointed Dean of Students and was involved in the school's expansion into Mexico City in the early 1950s.

Caswell died July 5, 1958 in Evanston, Illinois and is buried in St. Boniface Cemetery in Chicago.

The Clyde Caswell collection dates primarily from 1909-1963 (mostly 1940s to 1950s) in 5.2 cubic feet (4 boxes). The collection strength lies in its reel-to-reel recordings of radio broadcasts from the time period. The collection also contains original music with lyrics written by Clyde Caswell and music composed by Glenn F. Peterson (aka: Glen Peters), poetry written by Caswell, and slides of the Clyde and Mary Louise Caswell visiting Mexico City prior to the establishment of the Columbia College Pan Americano program.

The Clyde Caswell collection is arranged into two series by format:

Series 1: Papers, 1909-1963 Series 2: Audiovisual Materials, 1948-1958

Within each series, content has been arranged chronologically, with the second series arranged by material type.

Folder/Item Title, (date). Series Title, Clyde Caswell Collection, College Archives & Special Collections, Columbia College Chicago.

While the entirety of this collection is available for research in person, portions of it have been digitized and made available online including:

Photographs, 1950-1957 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/caswell_photos/

View a digitized selection of portraits of Clyde Caswell, photographs of Caswell in radio studios, and an image of Caswell with his wife, Mary Louise.

Recordings, 1955-1956 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/caswell_recordings/

The Clyde Caswell collection contains sixty-six recordings of radio programs from the 1950s of gospel music, talks and interviews, sermons, announcements, and other clips. This portion of the collection's recordings feature Caswell reading his own poetry, performing music with Glenn Peterson (aka Clem Peters), and portions of the "Uncle Jim's Jamboree" radio show.

The majority of the Clyde Caswell collection is available to all users.

Materials are the property of Columbia College Chicago. Intellectual property rights of work belong to the original creators. Materials within the collection that are published and copyrighted maintain their copyright protections and must be used according to United States Copyright Law. Use of this collection and its materials is understood to be primarily for research, teaching, and creative study; additional uses, such as publication, exhibition, or other appropriate purposes may be considered upon consultation with the Archivist.

All physical materials and reformatted media must be viewed during a scheduled appointment time within the College Archives & Special Collections office. No materials are to be circulated unless otherwise consulted with the Archivist.

Researchers viewing digitized, online material (http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/caswell/) from this collection may access these materials from home via the World Wide Web 24/7.

Access to reformatted media in the collection, such as audio reels, must be listened to within the College Archives & Special Collections office during a scheduled appointment. Although reformatted, these items cannot be sent electronically nor can be published in our online database due to copyright restrictions. A computer and other necessary equipment will be provided during the appointment to access these materials.

processed by HDM and C. Cole, February – November, 2014

Relatives, gift, August 2011

Family members donated the collection to the College Archives in August 2011 with an additional donation made in May 2012.

  • SubjectRadio broadcasting
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.)
    • Des Plaines (Ill.)
  • Names
    • Caswell, Clyde Martin (Uncle Jim Christie)
    • Peterson, Glenn Franklin (Clem Peters)
    • Caswell, Mary Louise
    • Swartz, Herb
    • Bolan, Louie
    • Fields, Yerlie
    • Columbia College (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Columbia College Pan Americano (Mexico City, Mexico)