The Black and Blue Jay records
Scope and Contents
The records of The Black and Blue Jay/The Blue Jay consist of bound and loose copies of the publication from 1920 to 1938 and from 1984 to 2010; no correspondence, financial records, or other administrative records are inlcuded. The volumes and loose issues are arranged in chronological order. Several issues are missing, notably all issues from 1934-1935 and 1935-1936.
- 1920-1938, 1984-2010
- Majority of material found within 1920-1938
- Black and Blue Jay (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
All student organization records received prior to 2017 are closed for 25 years from the date of creation to everyone except current members of the student organization, after which they are publicly available for access. If you are a member of this student organization and have questions about our access policy, please contact Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Special Collections department. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.
Biographical / Historical
The publication of the first issue of The Black and Blue Jay in November 1920 marked Johns Hopkins University's first student magazine as well as its first regular satire and humor publication. At that time, student aspirations were high due to the end of World War I and the move to the new campus at Homewood. As a result, a group of students felt the time was right for a comic journal similar to those which other universities had started. "The Jay" was welcomed by the students; the administration's lack of enthusiasm did not impede publication. The magazine was financially stable due to funds received from the collection of a non-athletic fee charged of all students and advertising. There were five issues in the first year of publication and the Jay later became a monthly.
The first issues included cartoons, jokes, fiction, editorials and some articles on various subjects. As the magazine developed, the emphasis varied between humor and more serious writing. By 1927, the magazine included theater and book reviews as regular features. One editor in 1933 wrote that one of the Jay's purposes was "to reflect the life of the University."
The editors repeatedly ran into editorial problems with the administration. The Dean and the President wanted more literary writing and less vulgar humor, while the students and fraternities pressed for more daring material. As a result, the editorial policy of the magazine swung back and forth. Finally, in October 1934, Dean Edward W. Berry cut off all financial support for The Black and Blue Jay. Some of the staff, however, changed the name to The Blue Jay and continued to publish the magazine as an independent project. The Blue Jay was very similar to its predecessor, although it did contain more campus writing and more non-fiction writing. Nevertheless, the Dean again lost patience with the editors and in 1939 the magazine was banned from campus under the threat of expulsion of its editors. In 1984 The Black and Blue Jay was revived for a second publication run.
2.76 Cubic Feet (6 containers)
Language of Materials
The publication of the first issue of The Black and Blue Jay in November 1920 marked Johns Hopkins University's first student magazine as well as its first regular satire and humor publication. The records of The Black and Blue Jay/The Blue Jay consist of bound and loose copies of the publication from 1920 to 1938 and from 1984 to 2010; no correspondence, financial records, or other administrative records are inlcuded. The volumes and loose issues are arranged in chronological order. Several issues are missing, notably all issues from 1934-1935 and 1935-1936.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bound volumes of The Black and Blue Jay and The Blue Jay were transferred to the Archives by the Special Collections Department of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Other issues were given by alumni, including: Donald White, B.A. 1928; Jean Holman, daughter of Albert B. Williams, B.A. 1923; Osmar Steinwald, B.S. 1928; and John A. Sauer, B.E. 1925.
Accession Numbers: 77.46, 77.47, 79.109, 79.128, 79.129, 79.151, 81.44
Processed by Sean DiGiovanna, Wendell O'Brien, Charlene Mendoza. Accruals processed by Turquoise Baker and Jordon Steele in October 2018.
- Guide to the The Black and Blue Jay/The Blue Jay records
- Jordon Steele
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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