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Albert J. Wood Papers

ARC MS 52

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
Title:
Albert J. Wood Papers
Date [bulk]:
1984-1993
Date [inclusive]:
1982-2000
Call Number:
ARC MS 52
Extent:
3 Linear feet (7 boxes)
Language:
English
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Albert J. Wood, a Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist, served on the Board of Directors of Dropsie College and its successors, the Annenberg Research Institute and, following a merger into the University of Pennsylvania, the Center for Judaic Studies and later the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, from 1981-2006.

Mr. Wood studied at Osteopathic College and Villanova University. Instead of medicine, he chose a career in marketing. In the 1930s, he persuaded Lit Brothers, a large, well-known Philadelphia department store, to offer charge cards to its customers. His company, A. J. Wood Research, was involved in marketing research. He worked with the government and motion picture industry, and a number of well-known corporations such as Gerber, Minute Maid, Heinz, General Foods, Nestle, Scott Paper, Wrigley and Volkswagen. He and his staff measured customer attitudes to new and existing products, such as cellophane (DuPont), television size (Sylvania in 1952), as well as taste preferences for beer and whiskey.

Al was involved in a variety of educational groups and organizations in the Philadelphia area, including the Moore College of Art and Design where he served on the Board of Managers, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Zionist Organization of America, and the Middle East Forum. He opened the A.J. Wood Galleries in Philadelphia to encourage young artists. He also served on the Board of Abilities, Inc. of Long Island.

Dropsie College, was founded in 1907 after the death of Philadelphia attorney Moses Dropsie. Dropsie left money in his 1895 will to establish a college in Philadelphia which would offer a doctorate degree, and, after 1952, master's degrees in areas such as Hebrew, Arabic, and other Semitic languages, biblical and rabbinic studies, medieval Jewish philosophy, Assyriology, and Middle Eastern studies. The first president of Dropsie was Mayer Sulzberger who was succeeded by Cyrus Adler.

Al Wood joined the Board of Directors of Dropsie College in 1981. Later that year, the College, located at Broad & York Streets, was devastated by a catastrophic fire which greatly affected the library, destroying many valuable books and cuneiform tablets. Following the fire, the College temporarily moved to Temple Adath Israel in Merion, Pa., while seeking a new permanent home. The school's financial difficulties, by the 1980s, were such that the school needed not only money but a new focus to attract more students. Wood interested former Ambassador Walter Annenberg, a Philadelphia businessman, philanthropist, and the owner of Triangle Publications (best known for publishing TV Guide) in the College. In Annenberg's honor, the school was renamed the Annenberg Research Institute in 1988. Annenberg wanted to build a world-class facility for the new institute. Al Wood, as Chairman of the Board, worked to find a suitable location. The present site of the Katz Center at 420 Walnut Street was chosen, an architect was selected, and construction commenced on a plot of land owned and donated by the General Accident Insurance Company. The new building was completed in 1988. Annenberg was selected as Chairman of the Board.

In 1993, the Annenberg Research Institute merged with the University of Pennsylvania, becoming the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. At the time of the merger, the focus of the Center changed; it ceased to offer its degree-granting program and focused instead on post-doctoral research. Al Wood continued to serve on the Board until 2006.

Mr. Wood was married twice. His first wife was Johanna Cutler with whom he had three children--Geraldine, David and Peter. His second marriage was to Eloise ("Ele") Wapner Larrea, his wife at the time he served on the Board of Dropsie, Annenberg Research Institute and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Al was stepfather to Ele's children: Gaizka Idoeta and Zuri Idoeta Larrea. Al died in 2006 at age 95.

The Albert J. Wood Papers cover key events in the life of Dropsie College and the Annenberg Research Institute from 1984 to 1992. Much of the collection consists of correspondence with former Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg. There is also a significant amount of material related to the merger negotiations with the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, as well as other merger possibilities that were looked into, including with Brandeis University and Bryn Mawr College. Albert Wood also traveled to Rome in 1989 and 1990 in order to look into a possible affiliation with the American Academy in Rome.

Scope and Contents

The Albert J. Wood Papers are composed of the correspondence, meeting minutes, and printed publications saved by Mr. Wood while he served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board at Dropsie College, Annenberg Research Institute and the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania from 1983-1993. The Papers represent a "moment in time" as Dropsie stood on a financial and ideological precipice trying to find a solid footing and place among universities offering advanced degree programs in Judaic education. Out of the ashes of a tragic fire at its library at Broad & York Streets in North Philadelphia in 1981, with the financial backing of Ambassador Walter Annenberg, like a phoenix, Dropsie was reborn, first at its temporary home in Merion, Pa., and later at a new home built specifically for the Institute, on Walnut Street in the Independence Hall area of Philadelphia.

The organization of the collection was, by and large, created by Al Wood or his assistant. While the Series titles (Annenberg Research Institute, Center for Judaic Studies and Miscellaneous) were created at the Katz Center, the titles for the most of the individual folders were created by Mr. Wood. In the Walter Annenberg series, most of the titles were years and the word "Correspondence" was added by the archivist in addition to dividing several of the years into two or more folders. As much as possible, individual letters and documents were left in the folder in which Mr. Wood filed them which explains why there may be multiple copies of the same document in different files or attached to different pieces of correspondence.

The majority of the material in the collection comes from the period when Al Wood worked with Walter Annenberg to stabilize the financial situation and lay down a new educational focus. This was mainly between 1983-1993. The volume of correspondence demonstrates how much Wood was involved in the day-to-day activities and the various facets of the operation in the earlier years. Once Annenberg was able to aid in brokering the merger with Penn (1992), Wood's and Annenberg's involvement lessened along with the sense of urgency, although Wood continued to be interested and engaged as a member of the Board of Overseers of the institution until 2006.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies,  May 1, 2017

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Louise Strauss

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Other related collections include:

The David M. Goldenberg Collection which contains more information on the state of the College during the 1980s and the move to 420 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning.
  • University of Pennsylvania..
Personal Name(s)
  • Annenberg, Walter H., 1908-2002
  • Dropsie, Moses A., (Moses Aaron), 1821-1905.
  • Goldenberg, David
  • Kaplan, Seymour
  • Lewis, Bernard, 1916-2018
  • Meyers, Eric M., 1940-
  • Meyers, Mary Ann
  • Orlinsky, Harry Meyer, 1908-1992
  • Sheldon Hackney, 1933-2013
  • Shusterman, Murray, 1912-2016
  • Stevens, Rosemary A., 1935-
Subject(s)
  • American Academy in Rome

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Collection Inventory

Walter H. Annenberg.

Series Description

Walter H. Annenberg Series

This series is composed of Al Wood's correspondence with and about Walter H. Annenberg from 1983-1993 and mainly pertains to matters related to Dropsie College, the creation of the Annenberg Research Institute, fundraising, and the merger into the University of Pennsylvania in 1993.

Sprinkled throughout most of the files are newspaper and magazine articles about former Ambassador Annenberg, his many gifts to colleges, museums and institutions across the United States, awards granted to him, and about his family.

Box Folder
Correspondence 1982-1983.
Scope and Contents note

Much of the correspondence deals with a fundraising dinner scheduled for November 1983 with Admiral H. G. Rickover as the keynote speaker. The dinner was actually held in May 1984, delayed due to Annenberg's prior commitment to Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia and his fear that two fundraising dinners within a week would result in lower financial returns to both institutions. The original date had been chosen due to Dropsie's dire financial straits and the hope the dinner could provide the necessary funding so Dropsie could survive the winter. Fear that the delayed date would mean severe hardship for Dropsie was allayed by a compromise which resulted in $300,000 of Annenberg's contribution to Federation being advanced to Dropsie. The proceeds of the Dropsie dinner (up to $300,000) would be given to Federation.

Correspondence also includes Al Wood mentioning that he was elected Chairman of the Board of Dropsie (October 1983), a proposed name change for the college by-line, and Mr. Annenberg's willingness to serve as Honorary Board Chairman of Dropsie College, along with the names of those who agreed to serve as Honorary Board Trustees under him: The Honorable Arlin M. Adams, F. Otto Haas, Richard C. Bond and Dr. Richard H. Rothman. Additional new Board members include William S. Fishman.

1 1
Correspondence 1984.
Scope and Contents note

Correspondence includes continued work on the fundraising dinner scheduled for May 14 featuring Admiral Rickover. Several letters to Annenberg from Wood and one from Annenberg to Bryn Mawr College President Mary P. McPherson mention the possibility of some type of merger between Dropsie and Bryn Mawr College or holding joint programs.

Other correspondence includes:

*A letter from Barry Morrison of the Anti-Defamation League to Annenberg concerning the sale of Hebrew books and manuscripts by Sotheby's and attempts to ascertain the chain of ownership of the items;

*In a previous communication, Annenberg requested that Al Wood ask several responsible students to review potential scholars for the Templeton Foundation Prize. The work of this committee at Dropsie, by several professors under the direction of Dr. David Goldenberg, is included;

*A letter to Bob Hope asking him to emcee a roast for Walter Annenberg in Philadelphia in 1985. Annenberg did not approve of the letter and it was not sent;

*New Board members include: Bernard J. Korman, Robert Saligman, Daniel M. Tabas, and David Wachs.

1 2
Correspondence 1985.
Scope and Contents note

This correspondence includes letters about various matters related to the College and its faculty. An April 23 letter mentions moving ahead "in phasing-out Dropsie as a graduate school and begin to phase-in" Dropsie as a research institution and how this might fit into a merger with Penn. There is also a draft of a resolution to create a post-doctoral advanced research institute in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with Walter H. Annenberg as Chairman and Albert J. Wood as Vice Chairman. Press releases announcing Annenberg's nomination are included, along with remarks by Judge Arlin Adams at the installation of the new officers at the Dropsie Board Meeting on September 9, 1985. Communications with Jack Lunzer and the University College London include a proposal for collaboration and the offer, by Lunzer, for Dropsie to acquire a "first class library" of manuscripts.

Also included:

*Albert Wood announces to the Board Walter Annenberg's willingness to purchase or build a 20,000 square foot building for the Institute;

*A draft of a letter (to be used by Annenberg) to Penn President Dr. Sheldon Hackney suggesting that Dropsie form an affiliation with Penn as Penn was reportedly "thinking of expanding its Hebraic Studies Department";

*A draft of a letter to Senator Richard Lugar, Walter Annenberg and newspapers protesting a proposed Presidential visit to the West German military cemetery at Bitburg where Nazi stormtroopers were buried. Also in the file is a News Release from B'nai Brith International about the proposed visit;

*A letter from Harry Orlinsky to Annenberg about what Dropsie has meant to him through the years;

*A letter from Barry Morrison of the Anti-Defamation League which indicates that the Sotheby auction manuscripts of 1984 are in a "public domain" due to an out-of-court settlement;

*Minutes of a meeting between Al Wood and Walter Annenberg on September 11 and the items discussed, including forming an Ad-Hoc Committee to study whether Dropsie should affiliate with another university or move ahead as an independent institution, the creation of a committee to conduct a search for a new Director of the Institute, possible academic/tv programs to highlight the work of Dropsie scholars, fundraising, and relations with Federation.

Newly added Board members include: Rochelle (Cissie) Levy.

1 3
Correspondence 1986 (January-May).
Scope and Contents note

The 1986 correspondence includes:

*letters acknowledging the various generous contributions toward the construction of the new Dropsie Research Institute building on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The contributors included General Accident Insurance Company of America for the land on which the new building would be built and a large donation from Otto Haas;

*A press release announcing the new construction project was to begin shortly and was expected to be completed by September 1987;

*An announcement that Professor Bernard Lewis had been chosen to head the new institute when it opened;

*A letter to Glenmede Trust seeking a (short) extension to complete a three-year project for which the Pew Foundation had provided a large grant;

*A copy of a letter from Walter Annenberg thanking Dr. Lewis for acknowledging that Annenberg had been named Chairman of the Board.

1 4
Correspondence 1986 (June-December).
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*The Board Minutes of a meeting on May 22, 1986;

*Correspondence related to the construction of the new building, along with a request to move a statue entitled "The Journeyer" (installed in 1975), lettering for the front door of the new building, and allocations courtesy of Senator Richard Tilghman;

*(Dated and undated) Drafts of a resolution to rename the Dropsie Research Institute as the Annenberg Research Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies;

*A memorandum prepared by Professor Bernard Lewis about the Institute and its needs.

1 5
Correspondence 1987 (January-May).
Scope and Contents note

Among the material is a letter to Annenberg about the Henry Luce Foundation and their grant-making, a grant from the Knight Foundation, plans for a two-day colloquium entitled "The Judeo-Christian Heritage and the Constitution" to be held in Philadelphia in November 1987, and plans for a tour of Judaica from the Vatican Library to coincide with Pope John Paul II's tour of America in September 1987. Also, there is a copy of the Articles of Incorporation of the Annenberg Research Institute, as published in 1986.

Work proceeded on the construction of the new building at 420 Walnut Street and there are letters from several of the stakeholders in the new project, including Fidelity Bank and Charles E. Peterson, an architectural historian concerned about the possibility of the destruction of archaeological remains at the building site.

There is a letter to Annenberg, dated April 1987, that the scholars for the 1988/1989 year, were soon to be chosen for the first year's theme on the preparation, acceptance, and interpretation of Translations of Scriptures within the three religions. The Institute was also producing a new brochure and included in the letter were details of its production.

Also included are signed letters to Ambassador Annenberg and Mr. Wood from Clare Booth Luce and Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Other events included the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia salute to Walter H. Annenberg held May 13, 1987 and an invitation to a reception held by Annenberg for trustees of the Institute and their spouses at his Wynnewood home, Inwood.

1 6
Correspondence 1987 (June-December).
Scope and Contents note

This file includes correspondence related to the Vatican Judaica Exhibition and an invitation to President and Mrs. Reagan to a reception and dinner in Miami in September 1987. There is a tentative schedule for the Pope's visit and the opening of the Vatican's Judaica exhibit in Miami.

Also included:

*Agenda for meetings with Annenberg on July 16 and September 29 (the latter date is also with Bishop Martin Lobmuller);

*Al Wood's proposal for creating a television program to celebrate 1988 events: the new building on Walnut Street, the inaugural fellowship program, and Annenberg's 80th birthday;

*Memorandum related to an annual Walter Annenberg Lecture;

*Al Wood's list of "WHA's One-Liners";

*It is mentioned that the first issue of The Jewish Quarterly Review under the aegis of the Annenberg Research Institute was published (1987);

*A list of names of those who would be invited to write essays and letters to honor Annenberg include Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Prince of Wales, Presidents Nixon and Reagan, Rupert Murdoch, and notables such as Neil Armstrong, Warren Buffet, Helen Hayes, William Safire, and Andrew Wyeth.

Correspondence related to some of Annenberg's other non-ARI related activities, include:

*Letters related to Annenberg's proposed dinner-dance for 40 couples from across the country in the presence of the Prince of Wales and the expected contribution to Operation Raleigh;

*Letters related to Annenberg serving on a committee to create a Holocaust Memorial and a request that he be chair of the 1988 Gala Dinner Dance for the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

2 1
Walter H. Annenberg's 80th Birthday, 1987-1988.
Scope and Contents note

This folder includes Al Wood's and Leonore ("Lee") Annenberg's work to create a book of letters and essays to celebrate Annenberg's 80th birthday. Clearly, Annenberg was aware of the work on the book. Wood encouraged Walter and Lee to consider an offer by Martin David to produce a limited edition copy of the book.

Included in the file are lists of those asked to write letters and [highlighted in yellow markers, as of January 18, 1988] notations about who did, in fact, contribute to the book. These include: Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker, Daniel J. Boorstin, William Buckley, Warren Buffett, Warren E. Burger, Malcolm Forbes, Gerald Ford, Helen Hayes, John Heinz III, Bob Hope, Jeane J. Kirpatrick, Henry Kissinger, Teddy Kolleck, Cardinal Krol, Mary Martin, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Nixon, Linus Pauling, Norman Vincent Peale, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Mary Roebling, Richard Rothman, Jacob Rothschild, George Shultz, Harold Scheie, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, the Rev. Leon Sullivan, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Richard Thornburgh, Laurence Tisch, Barbara Walters, Caspar Weinberger, Albert Wood, and Andrew Wyeth. There are copies of two of the letters which were sent to Annenberg and copies of drafts of Al Wood's letter for the Annenberg book.

2 2
Correspondence 1988.
Scope and Contents note

This file includes a budget for the 1989-1990 year, resumes for several people seeking employment at the Institute, and information about the artist chosen to create a portrait of Annenberg.

Also included:

*A photograph of Annenberg speaking at an event in the newly constructed Annenberg Research Institute building in Philadelphia, the planned ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 1 and the hope that President Ronald Reagan might attend;

*The agendas for meetings on January 10, September 27 and November 13 with Walter H. Annenberg. Among the topics discussed at the meetings were Annenberg's plan to add a program on Ethics, possibly removing 6-8 trustees from the Board, and hiring a public relations firm to create a press kit to highlight the new building and the work of the current year's fellows. Also in the file are minutes of a Dedication Committee Meeting held March 14;

*Planning and details of obtaining permission from Erica Jesselson to reprint "the Jefferson Letter" in an Annenberg Research Institute book, "To Bigotry No Sanction: Documents in American-Jewish History;"

*Annenberg's other activities: a speech given upon receiving an honorary degree from Yeshiva University in December and receiving the America's Democratic Legacy Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith. Mention is made in a letter from Al Wood of Mr. Annenberg receiving the Cyrus Adler Award from the Jewish Publication Society.

*Among the more notable letters are: a photocopy (and transcription) of a letter to Cyrus Adler from Moses Dropsie, dated September 23, 1898, a letter from Franklin Roosevelt to Cyrus Adler, dated December 23, 1939, a letter to Chief Justice Warren Burger, dated August 8, which reveals that Annenberg hoped/planned to restructure the center as an educational facility devoted to Ethics; and a photocopy of Cyrus Adler's obituary from The Philadelphia Record, dated April 8, 1940.

2 3
Correspondence 1989 (January-May).
Scope and Contents note

Highlights include:

*A letter announcing that Walter and Lee would be the first recipients of honorary degrees from the Annenberg Research Institute on September 7;

*A survey of the 1988-1989 fellows. The survey covers the facilities, the library, its holdings, policies, and staff. The survey reports areas of strength for the Institute and makes recommendations about issues which the fellows addressed in their interviews;

*Discussion of the possibility of using the Annenberg Research Institute facilities to accommodate five scholars on foreign policy analysis;

*A photocopy and transcription of "the Jefferson letter" of May 28, 1818;

*A photocopy of a 1961 letter/tribute to Bill Smith (the artist hired to paint Annenberg's portrait) from Carl Sandburg. The artist died April 27, 1989 with the portrait of Annenberg left unfinished;

**It is also noted in a letter that Ambassador Annenberg has become Chairman Emeritus of the Annenberg Research Institute (ARI) Board;

**Arlin M. Adams, the ARI Chairman of the Board, announced that the ARI Library was one of seven libraries selected for the 1989 Award for Excellence for Library Architecture at the American Institute of Architects (AIA);

**Five trustees were removed from the Board due to the expiration of their terms.

2 4
Correspondence 1989 (June-November).
Scope and Contents note

The majority of the correspondence appears to cover "the bricks and mortar" of the new building at 420 Walnut Street. Among the papers are letters about the mortgage and costs of construction, as well as payment issues surrounding the unfinished portrait of Annenberg by William Smith.

2 5
Walter H. Annenberg's 80th Birthday.
Scope and Contents note

This file contains lists of those invited to write letters and essays in honor of Ambassador Annenberg's 80th birthday. (There are no actual letters or essays from the invitees in the file.)

2 6
Correspondence 1990.
Scope and Contents note

Highlights include:

*Correspondence related to the continued financial support from the Annenberg Research Institute which allowed the mortgage loan from Fidelity Bank to be paid off;

*Letters of thanks from Dr. David Goldenberg (the Associate Director of ARI), from Al Wood, from Chairman of the Board Arlin M. Adams, and from the 1989-1990 fellows to Mr. Annenberg for his generosity;

*A letter from Walter Annenberg announcing that Mary Ann Meyers, Secretary of the University of Pennsylvania, would be assuming the presidency of the Annenberg Foundation;

*Copies of a letter nominating Annenberg for the Philadelphia Award.

3 1
Correspondence 1991-1992.
Scope and Contents note

This small folder contains a few letters related to the completion of Annenberg's portrait by Bo Bartlett, a reprint from the February 1990 edition of Interiors about Villa Aurelia, the home of the American Academy in Rome, a reprint from the May 1987 edition of  Architectural Digest and the Fall 1990 newsletter of the American Academy in Rome.

3 2
Correspondence 1991-1993.
Scope and Contents note

This folder contains a copy of a memorandum entitled "Annenberg Research Institute--Merger with University of Pennsylvania." (More information about the merger can be found in Box 3, FF 10 and Boxes 4 and 5.) The agreement, dated June 11, 1993, called for the merger to be effective July 1, 1993. The memorandum discusses the name change, the composition of the Board and the real estate transfer tax.

A letter to Annenberg, written by Al Wood on June 24, 1993, notes that Professor David Ruderman would be coming to Penn from Yale to be the new Director of the Center.

There are also several letters from the Middle East Council and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Mr. Wood assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of the Middle East Council (now the Middle East Forum). Several articles by Daniel Pipes, the Director of the Middle East Forum, accompany the letters.

3 3
Library of Judaica, 1980-1986.
Scope and Contents note

This folder is comprised of several issues (1980-1983) of Harvard Judaica published by the Judaica Department of the Harvard College Library.

Also included:

*An undated memorandum from the Valmadonna Trust following a visit by their assistant librarian to examine the Dropsie College Library. Letters from David Goldenberg in 1987 to the Solicitor of the Solomon David Sassoon Estate indicate an interest by Walter Annenberg in acquiring certain manuscripts for the Walter Annenberg Library. (Note: Annenberg never created or funded any such library);

*A 1986 Analysis of the needs of the Dropsie Institute Library. Also, there is a 1986 "critique" of the plans for the Library and Rare Book Collection, completed by Elliott Shore, the Librarian of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

3 4
Annenberg Dinner List, 1984.
Scope and Contents note

The file includes a list of people attending the 1984 dinner, the dinner tally and contributions made.

3 5
Biography.
Scope and Contents note

Two biographies, one time line and one draft of a paean to Walter Annenberg. All are undated.

3 6
WHA Book, 1987-1988.
Scope and Contents note

The majority of the items relate to the planning and implementation of the book of letters to celebrate Walter Annenberg's 80th birthday. The file includes a letter from Leonore Annenberg, requesting that Al Wood write a letter for the book.

Various miscellaneous, non-related items are in the "WHA Book" file, including memoranda for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a 1990 ARI Board of Trustees list, and a 1994 Exhibition Opening Invitation List.

3 7
ADL-WHA Dinner, 1989 November 2.
Scope and Contents note

Plans for the Anti-Defamation League's America's Democratic Legacy Award Dinner to honor Walter Annenberg on November 2, 1989. Also included are photocopies of several articles about Annenberg, his holdings and awards from 1984-1988.

3 8

Annenberg Research Institute.

Series Description

While the previous series, "Walter H. Annenberg," focused on correspondence, meetings and interactions between Albert Wood and Walter Annenberg as the two strove to find ways to support and reinvigorate Dropsie College as an independent institute in its own building, with its own funding and programming, this series is more focused on finding a permanent solution for Dropsie's problems by infusing a new focus, establishing and maintaining a stable, reliable source of funding and an endowment for growth, and creating an affiliation with other academic institutions which would ensure its permanency. Primarily this focus was on a merger with the University of Pennsylvania, although affiliation with other institutions, including Brandeis/Tel Aviv University, Bryn Mawr College and Gratz College, was explored and continued almost to the moment that a merger agreement was signed with Penn. Throughout this period, 1983-1992, Annenberg Research Institute continued to develop its programs.

Box Folder
420 Walnut Street.
Scope and Contents note

This folder contains correspondence about construction and financing of the new building at 420 Walnut Street.

3 9
1983-1987.
Scope and Contents note

Items in the 1983-1987 file give a picture of an institution in turmoil, disagreement, and an attempt to gain stability. Included in the file are:

*Mission statements and historical references;

*Announcement that Albert J. Wood had become the chairman of the Board of Dropsie College (1983);

*Announcement that Walter H. Annenberg had become the chairman of the Board of Dropsie Research Institute (1985);

*Announcement that Dropsie Research Institute was renamed for Walter H. Annenberg (1986).

3 10
1988-1990.
Scope and Contents note

*ARI Activities Report for Academic Years 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 and the Colloquium schedule for 1990;

3 11
1991-1993.
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*Letters about a possible affiliation with Penn or another institution, on-going from 1985;

*Reports from committees, proposals for programming and activities, and mission statements;

* A Guide to Philadelphia Special Collections Libraries, published by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, undated.

*Minutes of the Long Term Planning Committee (March 27, 1991), a Resolution of July 1, 1991 to appoint a committee to enter into negotiations with Penn to form an "association" between the Institute and the University; and a copy of Penn's merger agreement with Wistar Institute (dated 1983);

*Colloquium schedule from 1991, participants for the 1991-1992 research year/theme, and the seminar schedule for the Fall Term of the 1992-1993 research year.

4 1
Merger with Penn 1985-1991.
Scope and Contents note

Included:

*Operating agreement with the Annenberg School of Communications (dated 1988);

*Extension of support from Walter H. Annenberg during the negotiations with Penn for an additional year beyond the original agreement;

*Draft of an agreement (dated October 30, 1991) for merger into Penn.

4 2
Merger with Penn 1992 (January-May).
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*Employment issues, financial issues, on-going discussions with Penn and other entities/individuals re: merger;

*Negotiations/merger issues;

*Announcement to Penn of ARI's vote to merge on April 10;

*A letter which mentions the resignation of Dr. Eric Meyers.

4 3
Merger with Penn 1992 (June-July).
Scope and Contents note

Files include:

*On-going merger correspondence and negotiations;

*Announcement in a magazine that Annenberg Research Institute (ARI) would merger into Penn and that ARI Director Eric Meyers had returned to teaching at Duke (July/August 1992);

*A request from David Goldenberg for approval to deaccession 18 items.

4 4
Merger with Penn 1992 (August-September).
Scope and Contents note

Included is correspondence related to:

*Staffing issues;

*"Final best offer" of merger/acquisition;

*Alternate proposal of August 19, 1992 to turn Annenberg Institute into a Foundation;

*Alternate proposal to create an independent ARI corporation with locations at Brandeis University and Tel Aviv University;

*Alternate proposal to merge with Gratz College, dated September 15, 1992.

4 5
Merger with Penn--Trustee Reactions, 1985-1992.
Scope and Contents note

Correspondence/reactions from members of the Board of Trustees (1985-1992) to the planned merger.

4 6

Merger with Penn--Drafts of "An Alternative Course for the Future...", 1992 August 7-17.

5 1
Merger with Penn--Seymour Kaplan Correspondence, 1983-2000.
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*Financial and budget projections;

*Review of proposed agreement with Penn;

*Correspondence re: merger from Board members and issues;

*Research themes for academic years 1988-1993 and lists of participants;

5 2
Merger with Penn, 1992-1993.
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*A copy of the merger agreement between Annenberg Institute and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, dated August 17, 1992, to take effect July 1, 1993;

* University of Pennsylvania Guidelines for Boards of Overseers, August 1992;

*Center for Judaic Studies Budget FY 1993-94 and 1992-1993;

*Names of potential Board of Overseers members submitted to the University of Pennsylvania, February 24, 1993;

*Appraisal of Library Collection, June 25, 1993.

5 3

Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) and Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (CAJS).

Scope and Contents note

This series is composed of material related to the Center from the date of the Institutional name change and merger into the University of Pennsylvania in July 1993. What is most evident in the material is how the institution moves forward, its new challenges and how it copes with its place as a Center within the larger University. In the Fall of 1993 the first three people were named to the Board of Overseers by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn and the first Director of the new Center, Dr. David Ruderman, was appointed in 1994.

Box Folder
1993-1996.
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*Sample/drafts of fundraising letters;

*Center for Judaic Studies, Meeting minutes 1993-1996;

*Directory of the Board of Overseers, 1995-1996;

*A copy of David Goldenberg's "The Curse of Ham: A Case of Rabbinic Racism."

5 4
1997-2000.
Scope and Contents note

Included are:

*Minutes of Board of Overseers Meetings, 1997-1999;

*Draft letters to individuals for fundraising;

*Progress Report given by Dr. David Ruderman, Director of the Center, 1997;

*Endowment Reports, 1997-1998;

*Research theme and participants, 1998-1999;

*Penn Lecture Series in Judaic Studies, Spring 1999, pamphlet;

*The Jewish Legacy of Catalonia and Provence: An In-Depth Study Tour, Suggested Itinerary, May-June 1999.

5 5

Miscellaneous.

Series Description

This series, which covers 1987-1993, involves a number of activities and organizations in which Mr. Wood took part. Two trips to Rome, in 1989 and 1990, illustrate Wood's commitment to forming an affiliation with the American Academy in Rome. During his trips, Wood and his wife, Ele, met with U.S. Ambassadors in Italy and Great Britain and papal and clerical representatives. A papal visit to the United States in 1987 included a traveling exhibit "A Visual Memory: Judaica from the Papal Archives" which Annenberg sponsored in Miami and which Wood attended. A file on the Anti-Defamation League includes correspondence with U.S. Senators and Congressmen.

Box Folder
Publications.
Scope and Contents note

Included:

"Last Will and Testament of Moses A. Dropsie";

"A Report on the Fellowship Program," Annenberg Research Institute, Spring 1992;

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Announcement of Fellowship Competition United States and Canada, 1992 and List of Recipients, 1991.

6 1
Anti-Defamation League, 1989.
Scope and Contents note

This file includes correspondence with Arlen Spector, John Heinz, Pete Kostmayer, Bob Dole, Lawrence Coughlin, Board Meeting minutes, and a brochure for the Torch of Liberty Award Dinner.

6 2
Europe Trip, 1985-1989.
Scope and Contents note

This file relates to Wood's trip to Rome and includes correspondence with Reinhard Neudecker (the "Jesuit" Rabbi), Ambassador Maxwell Raab and Lords Annan and Lever. There are also several issues (dated 1985-1989) of the Report from Gregorian Rome, published by The Gregorian University Consortium.

6 3
Rome Trip, October 1989.
Report on October 1989 trip to Rome

The purpose of the trip, according to Mr. Wood, was to explore an affiliation between the Annenberg Research Institute and the Gregorian University, the Lateran University and the Vatican Library. Wood held meetings with Ambassador Thomas Melady and Ambassador Peter Secchia on the trip.

Much of the correspondence in this file is related to arrangements for housing, sightseeing and meetings.

6 4
Rome Trip--October 1989.
Scope and Contents note

This file includes various publications and papers related to sightseeing and the history of Jews in Rome.

6 5
Rome Trip, 1990 October.
Scope and Contents note

This file includes arrangements for the October-November 1990 trip to Rome, including correspondence related to scheduling meetings. It also includes a report on the trip and details of the meetings which Al Wood held with officials in Rome.

7 1
Rome Trip--Post Trip, 1990-1993.
Scope and Contents note

This file is composed of correspondence and follow-up to meetings and various publications.

7 2
Ethics and the American Academy of Rome, 1988-1990.
Scope and Contents note

The file includes various publications, such as "Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: A Pastoral Response," published in 1989.

There are also materials provided by the Ethics Resource Center, a brochure for the Columbus Day Celebration at the American Academy in Rome, 1989, and a draft of a proposal to create a post-graduate center on Ethics.

7 3
A Visual Testimony: Judaica from the Vatican Library, 1987.
Scope and Contents note

Material includes press coverage of the exhibition opening in Miami of A Visual Testimony: Judaica From the Vatican Library and the meeting on September 11 of Pope John Paul II with 175 Jewish leaders. Articles and reprints come from select newspapers and magazines published in July 1987 (  The Miami Herald,  The Miami Jewish Tribune,  The New York Times,  The Sun Sentinel, and  Hadassah Magazine) about the exhibit which included 56 manuscripts produced between the eighth and eighteenth centuries.

Also included are 47 slides of the exhibit and four photographs showing the exhibit title.

7 4
Vatican Magazine (circa 1987).
Scope and Contents note

Welcome Magazine honoring the visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States in September 1987.

7 5
Photographs (7 photographs and 2 contact sheets).
Scope and Contents note

Photographs were taken at the Library of the Center for Judaic Studies and show various men, including several Catholic leaders.

7 6

Name plaque for Albert J. Wood (located at back of box).

7

Restricted.

General note

The first three items are RESTRICTED at the discretion of the Archivist. One contains copies of voided checks--some of the account holders and/or their spouses are still living.

The latter four items are RESTRICTED for a period of 75 years as they contain information about employees. (Box 7, FF 10-13).

Box
8
Box Folder

Correspondence 1990 (from Box 3, FF 1). RESTRICTED.

7 7

Incunables (from Box 5, FF2) RESTRICTED, 1992.

7 8

Overseers Meeting (from Box 5, FF 4) RESTRICTED.

7 9

Board of Trustees Meeting 1986 [Contains employee information on Lieberman] (from Box 1, FF5) RESTRICTED until 2061.

7 10

Correspondence 1989 (from Box 2, FF 5). RESTRICTED until 2064.

7 11

Correspondence (from Box 3, FF 1). Employee information RESTRICTED until 2067. Other information RESTRICTED until the deaths of the individuals and their spouses.

7 12

Employees (from Box 5, FF 2). RESTRICTED until 2067.

7 13