20th-Century Collections Guide: Arts, Culture, and Society
The following list of 20th-century collections include personal papers as well as the records of institutions and associations that relate to the visual and performing arts, literature, music, and architecture.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide to HSP's manuscript collections relating to arts and culture during the 20th century. It is meant to serve as a starting point to help users locate collections that may be of interest to them.
HSP staff is regularly adding finding aids to the website. Users should click on a collection's title to see whether a full online finding aid is available.
Archambault, Anna Margaretta, 1856-1956
Anna Margaretta Archambault papers, 1876-1945 (Collection 0011) 8 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Personal correspondence of portrait painter, miniaturist, author, and educator, is included with sketches, photos, and correspondence on her work in miniatures. Also included are correspondence and notes for Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interest in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1924), which she edited for the Art Committee of the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women, histories of the counties of Pennsylvania, and clippings and illustrations to accompany the histories.
Bell, Esther R.
Esther R. Bell papers, circa 1850-1980 (Collection 3095) 33 boxes 6 volumes (12.2 linear ft.)
Esther Rebecca Bell (1906-1982) was a graphic artist from Media, Pennsylvania, a small suburb of Philadelphia, and a graduate of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. While a college student, she received a fellowship to study art in Paris. Locally, she became a well-known freelance graphic design artist and worked for several organizations in Philadelphia and Media. She also designed Christmas cards, illustrated filmstrips, and taught silk screening classes. She was an active volunteer in Media, became a board member of the Media-Upper Providence Library, and participated in the restoration of Media’s historic Minshall House. The collection consists of the papers of Esther R. Bell and her family, particularly Esther Fisher Bell, Joseph Percy Bell, Joseph Elliot Bell, and Charlotte Esther Bell. It includes family correspondence, genealogical records, examples of Bell’s graphic design work, board records from the Media-Upper Providence Library, records from the Minshall House restoration, clippings, photographic prints, daguerreotypes, tintypes, 8mm film, and film and glass negatives.
Doyle, Jerry Aloysius, 1898-
Scrapbook of Jerry Doyle political cartoons and other clippings, 1941-1944 (Collection 3586) 1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Jerry Doyle was a cartoonist for the Philadelphia Record. This scrapbook contains a presumably full run of his cartoons that were published in the Record from January to December 1941. In them he covered everything from pre-war international and national matters such as Nazism, the war in Europe, and the “America First” campaign, to regional and local issues like labor strikes, tax reform and water pollution. His post-7 December 1941 cartoons take on a decidedly patriotic stance. There are also a few loose clippings that date up to 1944 that are probably also from the Record, one of which is an article on Doyle and his work.
Lowrie and Derr families papers, 1844-1969 (Collection D1259). 28 containers (25 linear feet).
This collection of family papers documents at least two generations, based largely in Wilkes Barre and Philadelphia. It includes a large amount of family correspondence and photographs; marriage records; diaries; financial records; art work and a manuscript by Elizabeth Derr Davisson; research notes, manuscripts, and published volumes on Philadelphia history by Sarah Dickson Lowrie; and songs, poems, and plays by Thompson Derr. Documentation from 1910-1960 is more robust. Of special interest are materials relating to tourism in the Southwestern United States and Native American art, life in London during World War II, and Philadelphia history. This collection includes an extensive album of tintypes.
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961
Violet Oakley sketchbooks, 1908-1937 (Collection 3336). 7 Boxes (15.5 linear feet)
Sketchbooks containing drawings by Violet Oakley in charcoal, chalk, and ink. Subjects include League of Nations meetings, Florence, Lake Geneva, and other sites in Europe. The collection also includes paintings (gouache?) on board for the Pageant of 1908, and copies of "Divine Presence at the League of Nations," a 1937 pamphlet by Oakley discussing her painting of the same name.
Tacha, Athena, 1936-
Athena Tacha papers, 1942-1999 (Collection 3518) 6 boxes (3.4 linear ft.)
Athena Tacha was born in Larissa, Greece, in 1936. She was a sculptor who received degrees from the National Academy of Fine Arts (Athens, Greece), Oberlin College, and the University of Paris (Sorbonne). She settled in the United States and became a professor of sculpture at Oberlin. The collection includes correspondence, notebooks, drawings, musical scores, student papers, manuscripts for articles, photographs, clippings, immigration documents, and other items.
Wallgren, Abian A. (Abian Anders), 1891?-1948
Abian A. Wallgren collection of cartoons scrapbooks, 1917-1947 (Collection 1782) 3 volumes (2 linear ft.)
Wallgren drew cartoons for The Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper of the American troops in France during World War I, for the American Legion magazine, and for several syndicated comic strips. The bulk of the collection is made up of scrapbooks of cartoons and comic strips. There are also clippings about his activities, and letters to him from prominent persons including Walt Disney, Herbert Hoover, and John J. Pershing.
Yost, Frederick M.
Frederick M. Yost collection on John Wanamaker's department store publicity, 1861-1985 (Collection 3440) 45 boxes 13 volumes (63 linear ft.)
This collection chronicles several decades of displays and promotions at John Wanamaker's department store, much of it under the supervision of Frederick M. Yost. Yost began working at Wanamaker's in 1948. From 1952 to 1965 he was in charge of sales promotions, and in 1965 became the Corporate Vice President. Yost's background included theater and lighting design. The collection includes papers and scrapbooks documenting public relations, advertising, special events, and store design and display. Also included are internal office memos, photographs of displays and their construction, architectural drawings, news clippings, and many materials pertaining to the elaborate Christmas displays and light shows that were a tradition at Wanamaker's.
Berger, Carl P., 1873-1947
Carl P. Berger collection, 1900-circa 1950 (Collection V46) 5 boxes (2.3 linear ft.)
Carl P. Berger (1873-1947) was a prominent early twentieth century Philadelphia architect who designed numerous local structures, including office buildings, houses, apartment buildings, and churches. This collection of his professional papers includes architectural drawings, published reference works, photographs, correspondence, and other notes.
Gondos family papers, 1895-circa 1978 (Collection 3082) 13 boxes 3 volumes (3.9 linear ft.)
Victor Gondos, a civil engineer, immigrated to the United States with his family in 1911, settling in Chicago. He married Irene Trautmann, and they had two sons, Zoltan (later Robert) and Victor Jr. In the 1920s they moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, where Victor set up The Gondos Company, a general contracting firm. In 1930, Gondos joined with his sons to form Gondos and Gondos, an architectural firm headquartered in Philadelphia that designed industrial buildings, schools, and hotels. Both sons garnered engineering degrees, but Victor Jr. was also an historian and archivist, and he served on the staff of the National Archives for twenty-three years. This diverse collection, which spans almost one hundred years, chronicles a Hungarian family’s attempt to assimilate to the United States yet retain its heritage. It also documents the family’s architectural and construction businesses from the mid 1920s though the Great Depression and World War II. The vast majority of this collection is correspondence between family members in the United States and in Hungary. There are also scrapbooks, audio materials, clippings, programs, pamphlets, journals, technical drawings, and photographs.
Roberts, George B.
George B. Roberts papers, 1835-1975 (Collection 2140 ) 9 boxes (9 linear ft.)
George B. Roberts, a Philadelphia, Pa. architect, worked on both public and commercial buildings including the Central Penn National Bank, North Philadelphia Federal Savings, Pennsylvania Salt Company, various churches, schools and structural supports for public outdoor sculpture. He also worked on many private residences in the Philadelphia area, many restorations, such as Gumblethorpe and Coles House and many properties for the Society for the Preservation of Landmarks and the Octavia Hill Association. Papers, 1900-1975, consist of architectural drawings, including pen and wash drawings, specifications, blueprints, details, views, elevations, and mechanical drawings, correspondence, 1915-1974 and a typescript version of Robert's early memoirs, Time Remembered: A Philadelphia Childhood, 1980.
Russoniello, Vincent, 1890-1980
Vincent Russoniello papers, 1907-1985 (Collection MSS047) 8 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Vincent Russoniello was born in St. Andrea de Conza, Avellino, Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1905. His family settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he worked in a stone quarry and trained to be an architect. Russoniello established his own firm in 1921 and practiced architecture in Scranton for over sixty years. His largest commissions were for more than twenty churches. Most of the churches were Roman Catholic nationality parishes or other immigrant congregations. The collection includes assignments from correspondence school courses, drawings, specifications, correspondence, brochures, and records from Russoniello's architectural firm. The bulk of the collection is architectural drawings.
Trumbauer, Horace, 1868-1938
Horace Trumbauer architectural drawings, circa 1898-circa 1947 (Collection V36 ) (4 linear ft.)
Horace Trumbauer was one of Philadelphia's leading architects in the early middle part of the 20th century. He designed the Philadelphia Museum of Art and parts of the Free Library. He designed several college and university buildings throughout the country, most notably much of Duke's campus and Widener Library at Harvard. He also designed residences in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Newport. This collection includes architectural drawings, photographs, prints, negatives, and a few blueprints. Some are for buildings that were never built, like the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station that was supposed to be at 24th and Chestnut.
Wallace, Philip B.
Phillip B. Wallace collection of glass and photographic negatives, 1930s-1940s (Collection V45) 71 boxes (31 linear ft.)
This collection contains an extensive collection of glass and photo negatives of Philadelphia photographer Philip Wallace who worked between 1902 and the 1940s. Wallace's work focused on copy work of art and artifacts; commercial work, including construction projects; architectural decorative details from the past; and a wide array of buildings, individuals, residences and scenes of the Philadelphia area.
Atiyeh, Wadeeha 1903-1973
Wadeeha Atiyeh papers , 1931-1972 (Collection MSS009) 1 boxes (0.4 linear ft.)
Wadeeha Atiyeh, a Lebanese singer, dancer, actress, writer, and storyteller, came to the United States as a young child. She was raised in Chicago by her grandparents, who maintained Middle Eastern traditions. Atiyeh studied voice under the direction of Ruth Julia Hall and made her professional debut in Chicago in 1932. Atiyeh performed traditional music, dance, and storytelling throughout the Midwest, eventually settling in New York City. In addition to a number of short stories, Atiyeh authored a Middle Eastern cookbook. The collection contains programs, reviews, publicity and public relations announcements, scripts and music from her productions, writings, correspondence, and published works.
Greenewalt, Mary Elizabeth Hallock, 1871-1950
Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt papers, 1769-1950 (Collection 0867) 39 boxes, 29 volumes, 23 flat files (18.2 linear ft.)
Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt (1871-1950) was a musician, inventor, lecturer, writer and political activist. Born in Beirut to Sara (Tabet) Hallock, descendant of an aristocratic Syrian family, and Samuel Hallock, a U.S. consul, she was educated in Beirut and Philadelphia. Hallock graduated from Philadelphia’s Musical Academy in 1893, and in 1897 studied piano in Vienna with Theodore Leschetizky. In 1898 she married Dr. Frank L. Greenewalt, with whom she had one son, Crawford, born in 1902. A pianist noted for her interpretation of Chopin, Mary Greenewalt began in the early 1900s to investigate how gradated colored lighting might enhance the emotional expression of music. By 1920 she had obtained the first of many patents covering a color organ designed to project a sequence of colored lighting arranged for specific musical programs. In combining light and color as a single performance Greenewalt believed she had created a new, fine art which she named “Nourathar,” or essence of light. Although awarded eleven patents, Greenewalt spent a number of years pursuing patent infringements, finding recourse in the courts in 1932 with a judgment in her favor. Greenewalt’s professional activities also included lecturing on music and serving as a delegate to the National Women’s Party, which was instrumental in winning women’s suffrage. After retiring from the concert and lecture stage, Greenewalt published Nourathar: The Fine Art of Light-Color Playing in 1946.
This collection offers many examples of Greenewalt’s creative processes. Correspondence details the development and manufacture of her color console and the legal battles surrounding her patents. A photo album also documents Greenewalt’s creation of her light color console. In addition, there is a draft autobiography, a family history, copies of patents, miscellaneous personal correspondence, blue prints and drawings, concert programs, news clippings, lecture and radio broadcasts manuscripts, scrapbooks, two small volumes in Arabic, and numerous brochures and pamphlets pertaining to electrical lamps and theatre lighting. Artifacts include Greenewalt’s recording of Chopin made in 1920, a gold medal awarded in 1926, copper printing plates, and experimental, painted materials.
Gurzau, Elba Farabegoli
Elba Farabegoli Gurzau papers, 1920-1985 (Collection MSS048) 39 boxes (13.8 linear ft.) Elba Farabegoli Gurzau was born in New York City, the only child of Italian immigrants. Educated in Italy and in New York City, she has pursued simultaneous careers as a social service worker with immigrants in New York and after 1942 in Philadelphia, and a folk dance promoter. The papers include personal papers and diaries; correspondence, organizational records and ephemera from folk dance and folk arts groups; professional files from her work with the New York YWCA's Italian Mothers' Club program in the 1930s, the Philadelphia International Institute (later the Nationalities Service Center), 1942-1981, and the Philadelphia Committee for Italian Relief in the late 1940s; and drafts and research files for her book Folk Dances, Costumes, and Customs of Italy. Folk arts groups represented include Folk Festival Council of New York, Coro D'Italia and Esperia Dancers, all of New York City, and I Vivaci, Folk Dance Leaders Council, Folk Dance Demonstration Group, and I Ballerini, all of Philadelphia. The papers also include extensive records of the Italian Folk Arts Federation of America, which Gurzau helped to found in the 1970s. For related materials see records of Italian Folk Arts Federation of America.
Lapolla, Garibaldi M. (Garibaldi Marto) 1888-1954
Garibaldi M. Lapolla papers, 1930-1976 (Collection MSS064) 7 boxes (2.6 linear ft.)
Lapolla emigrated from the province of Potenza, Italy in 1890 with his family and settled in East Harlem, New York City. Lapolla was an educator in the New York City public school system and the author of several novels on Italian-American life in East Harlem. He also published two cookbooks. The collection contains correspondence, unpublished literary manuscripts including novels, short stories and poetry, and artwork.
Thomas, Thomas L.
Thomas L. Thomas papers, 1924 -1995 (Collection 3100) 5 boxes 1 volume (1.6 linear ft.)
Thomas L. Thomas was a Welsh immigrant to the United States, and a popular singer of light classical and ethnic Welsh music. Some of his records were issued by RCA Victor. His art extended to stage, radio, television and records, including appearances at Carnegie Hall and the NBC radio network. The height of his career appears to have been the 1940s and early 1950s. Later in his career, he went on the lecture circuit, eventually retiring to AZ. Thomas was also the youngest person to ever win the Metropolitan Opera's National Voice Competition, in 1937, as well as the first Welsh winner. The accession contains audio-visual materials, photographs, plaques, posters and performance publications relating to Welsh singer Thomas L. Thomas.
United Singers of Philadelphia
United Singers of Philadelphia records, 1887-1929 (Collection 3524) 1 boxes (0.4 linear ft.)
United Singers of Philadelphia was an umbrella organization, which represented approximately 40 area singing groups. The member societies were predominantly German but included some other ethnic groups as well. The scrapbook contains programs and clippings from contemporary papers covering the activities of the organization, and related German-American-based activities opposing Prohibition, nativism, and US entry into World War I on the side of the Allies. Also present are a Cirkut group portrait, Atlantic City, 1932, and a German-language songbook, 1929.
Rose Quong papers, 1923-1973 (Collection MSS132) 7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Rose Quong was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of Chinese parents. She worked as an actress in Australia, England, and France before coming to the United States in the 1930s, where she settled in New York City. She continued her acting career in America and became a successful lecturer. The collection includes diaries, script, scrapbooks, and audiotapes of Quong reading and of songs translated by Quong.
Stemons, James Samuel
James Samuel Stemons papers, 1894-1922 (Collection MSS012) 4 boxes (1.4 linear ft.)
James Samuel Stemons was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, and settled in Philadelphia ca. 1900. A postal worker, journalist and writer, he served as the editor of two short-lived African-American newspapers: The Philadelphia Courant and the Pilot. He was also active in several civic organizations. An outspoken advocate for equal industrial opportunities for Blacks, he lectured and published extensively on race relations. He served as Field Secretary of the Joint Organization of the Association for Equalizing Industrial Opportunities and the League of Civic and Political Reform. The collection documents Stemons's personal and professional life, and includes correspondence, printed materials, writings, clippings, a photocopy of a marriage license to Arizona L. Cleaver, and the manuscript of his unpublished autobiographical novel.
American Color Print Society
American Color Print Society records, 1936-2010 (Collection 3536) 8 boxes (8 linear ft.)
The American Color Print Society (ACPS) is a non-profit, invitational membership organization that was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1939 for the purposes of exhibiting the color print. At the time of its founding, most galleries were exhibiting only black & white prints. Today, the ACPS accepts both color and black & white prints for display. The collection consists of multiple accessions and includes correspondence, financial records, meeting minutes, flyers, exhibition programs, clippings, serials, bank statements, membership records, mailing lists, slides, CDs, informational packets from local galleries and art centers, and other items.
Contemporary Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contemporary Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) records, 1886-1951 (Collection 1981) 7 boxes (3 linear ft.)The Contemporary Club, was organized in 1886 to hold discussions on outstanding questions of the day and to present scholarly papers by public figures. Membership was open to men and women, most of whom were distinguished in the academic, artistic, and literary worlds of Philadelphia. Correspondence, 1886-1951, makes up the bulk of the papers, including: outgoing correspondence of club presidents; incoming correspondence of individuals invited to speak; miscellaneous correspondence to Thornton Oakley and other club officers. Among the other papers are executive committee minutes, 1894-1919; photographs; yearbooks; and miscellanea.
Fairmount Park Art Association
Fairmount Park Art Association archives, 1871 -1972 (Collection 2045) 162 boxes 8 volumes (84 linear ft.)
The Fairmount Park Art Association (F.P.A.A.) was chartered in 1872 with the original purpose for "adorning Fairmount Park with statues, busts, and other works of art" and came to include the promotion "of the beautiful in the City of Philadelphia, in its architecture, improvements and general plan." The collection includes correspondence, board and committee minutes, financial records, contracts, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, annual reports, pamphlets, and other items. Many of the records document specific projects.
Franklin Inn Club
Franklin Inn Club records, 1902 -1974 (Collection 1847) 33 boxes 28 volumes (21 linear ft.)
The Franklin Inn Club is a private club for authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers organized in 1902 at Philadelphia. Correspondence; biographical data on the members, and manuscripts or other examples of their work; minutes, 1902-1955; account books, 1923-1950, invoices, 1927-1937, financial reports, bills, and receipts, and miscellaneous financial records; entertainment records, including texts of speeches, papers, and plays given before the club; and miscellany of other materials. The collection also contains three book length manuscripts: George Gibbs, The Secret Witness, (1917); John Bach McMasters, Life and Times of Stephen Girard, (1918); and Felix Emanuel Schelling, A History of English Drama, (1914).
Garden Club of Philadelphia
Garden Club of Philadelphia records, 1900-2005 (Collection 1476) 14 boxes 16 volumes (7 linear ft.)The Garden Club of Philadelphia was organized in 1904 for the purpose of "promoting an interest in gardens, their design, and management." Charter, 1907; minute books, 1904-1937, 1944-1962; "yearbooks," 1904-1953, which are scrapbooks of miscellaneous correspondence, some minutes and committee reports, transcripts of lectures and poems read at meetings, photographs, clippings; additional lectures delivered at meetings, 1905-1936; and annual meeting reports, 1904-1936. One small group of papers deals with the Club's participation in the Women's Land Army of America, 1917-1918, and agricultural reconstruction in France in 1918.
Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers
Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers records, 1904-2004 (Collection 3085) 15 boxes 15 volumes (9 linear ft.)
The Lantern and Lens Gild was established as the Drexel Camera Club in 1905 during Mathilde Weil’s photography class at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University). Led by Margaret Bodine, the ladies met on a weekly basis at 24 South 17th Street and later 24 South 18th Street for lectures, classes, and exhibitions. They changed their name to The Photographers for a year before officially naming the group the Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers in 1912. The women traveled throughout the city and surrounding area to photograph people, animals, landscapes, buildings and many other subjects. They hosted many visiting artists and subscribed to the leading photography publications of the time. The Bryn Mawr Art Center and the Franklin Institute represent just two of the many places that exhibited their photographs. The women also held photography competitions within the Gild and awarded four cups each year to honor the artistry of members. The Lantern and Lens Gild moved into the New Century Guild Building at 1307 Locust Street in 1946 in order to expand their facilities. They would remain here for almost twenty years, before discontinuing activities and club elections in 1965. The Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers Records span from 1904 to 2004. The collection is rich in images of the group’s outings; their works; meeting minutes; and twentieth century photography magazines. The materials have been divided into three series – Gild papers, Printed materials and ephemera, and Images and artifacts. The majority of the collection is photography publications and images with a lesser portion devoted to manuscript material.
Plastic Club records, 1887-2007 (Collection 3106) 52 boxes 47 volumes (16 linear ft.)
The Plastic Club is the oldest club for women artists still in existence in the United States. It was founded in 1897 in Philadelphia and has included many illustrious members, such as Emily Sartain, Violet Oakley, Blanche Dillaye, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Cecila Beaux, and many others. It has sponsored exhibitions, lectures, and classes, and provided a place for women artists to meet and exchange ideas. The club has also played an active civic role over the years, for example conducting art classes for servicemen during World War II and donating art supplies to underprivileged children. Since 1909, the club has been housed at 247 South Camac Street in Center City. The building, which was designated a Historic Building in 1962, consists of two houses that were built in 1824 and joined to provide a large studio/gallery on the second floor. Since 1991, the club has admitted men, who now form close to half the membership. The historical records of the Plastic Club go back to its founding and richly document the club’s activities and members over most of the 20th century. The records include board minutes; annual reports; correspondence; exhibition programs, notices, and reviews; photos from events; directories of club members; files about early members’ artistic activities; scrapbooks of clippings; early sketchbooks and preparatory drawings for a set of stained glass windows; maintenance reports about the building; and a recent graduate thesis about the history of the club that focuses on the building. The Plastic Club’s website (www.plasticclub.org) contains a great deal of information on the club’s history, members, and current events.
Print Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Print Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) archives, 1915-1993 (Collection 2065) (104 linear ft.)
Since its founding in 1915, the Print Club has achieved a national reputation and membership. Its purposes are to encourage the appreciation of prints and to provide audiences for the work of contemporary printmakers. The membership has always included both collectors and printmakers; many of the former from the Philadelphia area, the latter from across the United States and Canada. Since its incorporation in 1921 it has been governed by a board of governors, from which the officers are chosen, and has been administered by a full-time director. The club is located at 1614 Latimer Street, Philadelphia, a building it has occupied since 1919 and owned since 1927. The Print Club's exhibition program includes annual juried shows, traveling exhibitions, and occasional retrospective exhibitions. In 1926 it mounted a Joseph Pennell retrospective. It showed the drawings of Brancusi, Modigliani, and Picasso in 1930, and a group of modern American printmakers in 1936. In the 1940's, the club conducted master classes under Stanley William Hayter and others. It has published editions of prints by such artists as Frasconi, Kaplan, Paone, Spruance and others. In the 1960's, the club began a program of print making demonstrations in the city's schools called "Prints in Progress." Until 1977, the club sold on consignment the works of many of its artist members. And, since 1940, the club has been contributing its purchase prize prints to the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The archives consist of five types of records: minutes of the board, 1921-1976; correspondence of the officers and director, 1916-1964; financial records, 1922-1972; consignment records, 1933-1964; and scrap books and published catalogues, 1926-1950.
The Weeders (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Weeders records, 1912-2004 (Collection 2009.064) 20 boxes (8 linear ft.)
This collection contains the organizational records of the Weeders, a ladies' gardening club. The records include admission committee records, 1934-2004; committee minutes and treasurer's reports, 1914-2004; flower show records, 1932-1989; horticultural essays presented by members; programs, photographs, albums, and scrapbooks; documentation on the club's history; and VHS tapes of the cable television program "You and Your Environment." The archives consist of five types of records: minutes of the board, 1921-1976; correspondence of the officers and director, 1916-1964; financial records, 1922-1972; consignment records, 1933-1964; and scrap books and published catalogues, 1926-1950.
Bellevue Stratford Hotel (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Bellevue Memorabilia collection, 1884-2005 (Collection 3078) 25 boxes 1 volumes (8.5 linear ft.)
The Bellevue Stratford Hotel at the southwest corner of Broad and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia opened as a luxury hotel in 1904. First owned and operated by George C. Boldt, the hotel represented a union of the “old” Bellevue (at the northwest corner of Broad and Walnut) with the Stratford Hotel on the southwest site, which was demolished for the Bellevue’s construction. The Bellevue Stratford, built in the French Renaissance style and now a national historic landmark, served for many years as a focus for hosting local, national, and international events with their attendant celebrities. Over the years the Bellevue Stratford, with its distinctive size and architecture, acquired another title, that of the “Grande Dame of Broad Street.” By mid century, however, the hotel exhibited signs of decline. In 1976, still failing, the hotel was closed by the Department of Health which found the Bellevue responsible for thirty-five deaths from Legionnaires’ Disease. There ensued over the next ten years several changes in management, and in 1986 new owners closed the hotel for major renovations, reopening it in 1989 as the Hotel Atop the Bellevue. Subsequent changes in management in 1996 altered its name to The Park Hyatt Philadelphia at The Bellevue.
The Bellevue Memorabilia Collection consists mainly of photographs, postcards, hotel brochures, hotel event programs, newspaper clippings, as well as sketches and drawings of the building and its ornate fixtures. Portions of the collection served as part of an exhibit at the hotel showcasing the Bellevue’s history, which spanned the period from the 1900s to 2005. In addition, the collection includes publications relating to Boldt, the hotel itself, or well-known Philadelphians, as well as samples of the hotel’s cutlery, dinner plates, table linens, and promotional items. The additions to the Bellevue memorabilia collection include photographs, magazines, ephemera, postcards, clippings, building redesign proposals and floor plans, typescripts of reminiscences about the Bellevue, and the syllabus from an urban studies course entitled ""Building Philadelphia's Brand."" There are also notes and catalog and website printouts from Andrea Riso's research about the history of the Bellevue, and 25 CDs, most or all of which contain photos (apparently unidentified) related to Bellevue history. The additions consist of three boxes and date from circa 1896 to circa 2005.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Historical Society of Pennsylvania collection of Academy of Music programs, playbills, and scrapbooks, 1857-1972 (Collection 3150) 131 boxes 17 volumes (53.6 linear ft.)
This collection consists of playbills and programs to the various performances and special programs staged at the Academy of Music from 1857 to 1972. Among the organizations represented in the collection are the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and various opera companies. There are also programs from out-of-state companies, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the programs there are also several scrapbooks that contain ephemera and news clippings of reviews and announcements of performances as well as special events and programs.
Lithuanian Music Hall Association
Lithuanian Music Hall Association records, 1873-1992 (Collection 3043) 8 boxes 38 volumes (6.5 linear ft.)
The Lithuanian Music Hall Association (LMHA) was established on March 3, 1907, from various Lithuanian clubs and organizations in the Philadelphia area. This association was created to support and preserve the ethnic and cultural heritage of Lithuanian Americans, to give financial aid in case of sickness, and to provide mortuary benefits to the organization’s members. The organization established a library and a reading room, also supporting classes for the study of the Lithuanian and English languages, as well as promoting art. The building at the corner of Allegheny and Tilton Streets in Philadelphia, in which the organization has been located since 1908, is known as the Lithuanian Music Hall, where the LMHA provides a place for concerts, theatrical performances, conventions, various meetings, and social amusements. In 1943, the American Lithuanian Citizens’ Beneficial Club, which was established in 1902, merged with LMHA. In 1975, the LMHA became a shareholder-owned organization. As of 2004, the LMHA is still in existence. The LMHA is the Philadelphia chapter of the Lithuanian American Community organization.
The collection contains materials of the LMHA as well as the Gedeminas’ Lithuanian Club, the American Lithuanian Citizens’ Beneficial Club, the National Lithuanian Beneficial Club, the Petro Armino Society, the Lithuanian National Independent Club, the First Lithuanian Building and Loan Association, and the Lithuanian Real Estate Company. Some of these organizations were among the first Lithuanian organizations in Philadelphia, which slowly dwindled as members passed away. The bulk of the collection is a number of income and expense ledgers, mostly of the LMHA. A small amount of correspondence in the collection belongs to the LMHA. Other materials of the LMHA and the above-mentioned organizations and clubs are bylaws, agreements and certificates, a number of minute books, dues and membership data books, records of sick and death benefit claims, and programs and flyers of events. Materials are in Lithuanian and English.
Philadelphia City Institute
Philadelphia City Institute records, 1852-1999 (Collection 3023) 29 boxes 36 volumes (15 linear ft.)
The Philadelphia City Institute (PCI) is a non-profit organization that has supported a free library in center city Philadelphia for 150 years. The PCI Library has had three primary locations, with the current site at 1905 Locust Street, on Rittenhouse Square. Today, the PCI Library functions as a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Free Library serves as librarian, agent, and administrator. The Philadelphia City Institute maintains ownership of the premises and the assets, and the PCI Board of Managers, with endowment income, provides operational support, and funding for new books and equipment. The collection includes annual reports from 1856 through 1984 (most years), Board of Managers’ meeting minutes, membership information, librarian’s reports, financial records, correspondence, and photographs.
Scotch-Irish Foundation Library and Archives
Scotch-Irish Foundation Library and Archives collection, 1889-2001 (Collection 3093) 37 boxes 11 volumes (15 linear ft.)
The Scotch-Irish Foundation was founded in 1949 by the Scotch-Irish Society of the U.S.A. “to collect and preserve for public, educational, and research use, books, documents, family histories, letters, journals, and historical material relating to the origin and history of the Scotch-Irish people in the United States, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, and elsewhere.” Its collection spans over a century, from 1896 to 2001. However, most of the material dates from the 1950s to the mid 1990s. This collection contains, in addition to the records of the Foundation, those of the Scotch-Irish-Society of the U.S.A and its predecessor, the Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish Society. There are membership files, family registrations and genealogies, correspondence, financial material, administrative files (most of which pertain to their annual dinners), clippings, audio-visual items, and printed materials covering topics such as the early history of the Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish Society and the history of the Scotch-Irish in America.
Theatre of the Living Arts (Organization: Philadelphia, Pa.)
Theatre of the Living Arts records, 1964-1971 (Collection 3378) 38 boxes 5 volumes (36 linear ft.)
The Theatre of the Living Arts (TLA) was the brainchild of two local women, Celia Silverman and Jean Goldman, determined to establish a regional theatre in the Philadelphia area. Their goal was to develop a multipurpose performing arts center to include film, dance, and music. At the time of its purchase in 1964 the building that would house the TLA was a derelict movie theater at 332-36 South Street. Together with Anthony Checchia and Howard Berkowitz, the women formed a nonprofit corporation which operated the TLA, the Philadelphia Council for the Performing Arts (PCPA). The first performance season began January 1965 with a three-week run of "Galileo." Some of the earliest members of the resident acting company included Judd Hirsh, Sally Kirkland, Morgan Freeman, Estelle Parsons and Ron Liebman. This collection includes administrative records, 1965-1970, mailing list information, play bills/ programs, publicity, scripts, royalty records and invoices.