Philadelphia Award records
Known as the Nobel Prize of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Award was established by Edward Bok in 1921 to honor those who made the community of Philadelphia prosperous through their service. The New York Times has said that it is the “greatest honor Philadelphia can bestow.” Edward Bok was born in... Full description
|Collection Information:||Philadelphia Award Records (#3081)|
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|Corporate Author:||Philadelphia Award|
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14.7 Linear feet 34 boxes, 28 volumes
Known as the Nobel Prize of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Award was established by Edward Bok in 1921 to honor those who made the community of Philadelphia prosperous through their service. The New York Times has said that it is the “greatest honor Philadelphia can bestow.” Edward Bok was born in the Netherlands in 1863 and moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York several years later. After working as a clerk for Western Union Telegraph Company, he embarked on a long career in publishing. Initially, he initially was an advertising manager for Charles Scribner’s Sons, where he founded The Brooklyn Magazine. His hard work caught the eye of Philadelphia publisher Cyrus Curtis, whose Ladies’ Home Journal had become one of the nation’s leading publications. In 1889, Curtis invited Bok to be the editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal, a position that he would hold until 1919. Edward Bok wrote several books with Progressive-era themes – civic involvement and self-help. But it was his The Americanization of Edward Bok that earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1921. This was the same year that Bok decided to establish an award that would recognize citizens’ contributions to the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Award is bestowed upon one person each year for contributions in a variety of areas including the sciences, arts, and business.
The materials in this collection profile the recipients of the Philadelphia Award and the ceremonies that were staged each year. Programs, newspaper clippings, audio-visual material, and correspondence offer a glimpse into both the planning of the event, the nomination process, and the profiles of the people that received this prestigious award. With the exception of several folders of correspondence, scrapbooks and ephemera, very little in this collection is concerned directly with Edward Bok or his family.
Addition to the collection (accession 2009.016) include two boxes of records dating from 1996 and 2000-2006. Among the materials are programs, invitations, financial papers, correspondence concerning nominees, and printing contracts. There are also at least 15 DVDs and four video cassettes, which include a "History of the Philadelphia Award" and related footage, tribute videos by the Philadelphia Award about several awardees, and videos about nominees that were submitted to the Philadelphia Award. Many of the files in the second box contain records on and from the creation of the video on the award's history. Dates, linear feet, and box count have been updated.
New additions (unaccessioned as of 6/29/10) consist of records dating from 2002-2006 and 2009-2010. Among the materials are minutes, printed emails, financial papers, correspondence concerning nominees, and contracts. There are several files on the planning of the award event in 2005 and 2006, including papers on video productions of the event. There is also a siginifcant grouping of reference material on the 2009 nominees.