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Arthur Motley papers

Summary Information
Title: Arthur Motley papers
Dates: 1940-1978
Creator: Motley, Arthur H. (Red)
Extent: 135 cubic feet
Location: AV Room, High Bay
Language: English
Collection Number: Mss 58
The collection includes copies of his speeches, often reworked for different audiences, articles and publications, tapes of his presentations (1950-1956), and other materials. Also included are some personal correspondence and recordings.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. Literary Manuscripts Collections, Manuscripts Division

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Mr. Motley from 1974 to 1978.

Access Restrictions:

Available for use in Manuscripts Division reading room.


Copyright has not been transferred to the Archives.

Processing Information:

The collection has not been thoroughly processed.

Preferred Citation:

Arthur H. Motley Papers (Mss 58), Literary Manuscripts Collection, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.


The collection is organized in four general groups of materials:

  • Professional
  • Audio-Visual
  • Monthly Letters to Anne
  • Miscellaneous

Biographical Sketch for Arthur "Red" Motley (1900-1985)

Arthur "Red" Motley was a master salesman and a prolific motivational speaker and writer who spent fifty years in the publishing profession. Born in Minneapolis in 1900, he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1922. His career with Crowell-Collier Publishing Company began in 1928 as an advertising space salesman for Colliers; he then became manager of the Detroit office, then Western Manager of the company. In 1941 he was elected Vice President and Director of Crowell-Collier and appointed publisher of the American Magazine . In 1946 he became a partner in Parade Publications where he continued to work until his retirement as Chairman of the Board in 1978. During his tenure the magazine's circulation grew to more than 20 million in 1977.

He was a widely known speaker on the topic of selling and marketing. His favorite topic was "Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something." He served as president of Sales Marketing Executives International, chairman of the marketing division of President Eisenhower's Conference on Small Business, president and chairman of the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection includes copies of his speeches, often reworked for different audiences, and tapes of his presentations. Other professional materials relate to his presidency of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and administrative office files. Also included are family correspondence and recordings.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Motley, Arthur H. (Red)
  • Selling
  • Success in business
Detailed Contents
 Location  Title
Speeches, undated, 1940-1977 
Note Includes speeches given by Motley during his career and after retirement. Many of them are on the topics of selling, advertising, and the American economy.
A detailed list of the speeches is available in the Archives.
Speeches and Press Releases, 1966-1971, 1975 ((Boxes 28-29))  
Professional Administrative Files, 1946-1970 
Scrapbooks, 1959-1960 ((7 volumes))  
Note Mainly deal with Motley's election to presidency of U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Tapes, undated, 1946-1978 ((23 boxes))  
Note Generally the tapes are speeches given by Motley.
Note Include both family recordings and speeches given by Motley.
Monthly Letters to Anne, 1953-1978 
Note These letters were written by Mr. Motley to his sister, but were for the information of the entire family and were distributed to many family members. They contain information about family doings as well as his own personal views and interpretations of national and international events of the month preceding.
They are contained in loose-leaf notebooks from 1953-1972 and are loose in document cases since then.
Miscellaneous, 1960-1976 
Note Includes both business and personal correspondence, photographs of Motley and his wife, Helene, clippings, articles, and itineraries.