Slideshow: Take a tour of the PR Museum

The inspiration behind the institution is Edward Bernays, who is often called the father of public relations.

  • PRWeek executive editor Bernadette Casey was overcome with excitement upon our arrival at the PR Museum.

    PRWeek executive editor Bernadette Casey was overcome with excitement upon our arrival at the PR Museum.

  • Edward Bernays, the father of public relations

    Edward Bernays, the father of public relations

  • Some of our PR forefathers

    Some of our PR forefathers

  • Sometimes people forget that PR has its roots in psychology. In fact, Sigmund Freud was Bernays' uncle.

    Sometimes people forget that PR has its roots in psychology. In fact, Sigmund Freud was Bernays' uncle.

  • An old press release

    An old press release

  • Bernays' inbox as he left it when he died at the age of 103. Yes, an 'inbox' used to refer to an actual box.

    Bernays' inbox as he left it when he died at the age of 103. Yes, an 'inbox' used to refer to an actual box.

  • How people made calls long before the smartphone

    How people made calls long before the smartphone

  • A typewriter used to compose press releases

    A typewriter used to compose press releases

  • A telegram - you had to pay by the character. (You might think of this as Twitter's ancestor.)

    A telegram - you had to pay by the character. (You might think of this as Twitter's ancestor.)

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The PRWeek team recently stopped by the Museum of Public Relations, the world’s only PR museum. Located at Baruch College in New York City, the museum houses artifacts, photos, video interviews, and books telling the story of PR’s history.

The inspiration behind the institution is Edward Bernays, who is often called the father of public relations. Spector & Associates president Shelley Spector and her husband Barry Spector were friends with Bernays for a decade before he died in 1995 at age 103. Following his death, the Spectors launched the PR museum with a collection of Bernays’ records and video recordings of him speaking about the profession.

The museum has since expanded, moving into Baruch last September.  Shelley Spector says their goal is to be a "centralized location for PR research." For example, during the Ebola crisis, a group of staffers from Burson-Marsteller visited the museum to research how comms professionals handled the flu pandemic in 1918.

"A lot of young people have no idea how PR started," she says, adding that she and her husband want to change that.

Take a brief tour of the PR museum in our slideshow above. Researchers can also make appointments to view the collection, which will be on loan to Baruch through August 2016.

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