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Board of Managers

0001.01

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: Penn Museum Archives
Creator:
Pepper, William, 1843-1898
Title:
Board of Managers
Date [bulk]:
1891-1906
Date [inclusive]:
1887-1910
Call Number:
0001.01
Extent:
2.8 linear foot (The Board of Managers records fill seven archival boxes plus a few oversize pieces)
Language:
English
Abstract:
William Pepper, originally a Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, was the visionary behind the establishment of the University Archaeological Association in 1889, and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology in 1891, the precursors to the University Museum. The groups were composed of wealthy Philadelphians, interested in the ancient world, and capable of soliciting subscriptions to the Associations from their friends and colleagues. The University's sponsorship of an expedition to Nippur, Babylonia in 1887, financed by private funds was the impetus for Pepper to work toward the establishment of organizations to support exploration and house artifacts from the ancient world. With the need for a fire-proof building to house the finds, supported by the Trustees, College Hall was designated as the first repository in response to a request from William Pepper. By 1892, the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, was operating under an independent Board of Managers whose first President was Joseph Leidy. Pepper himself became President of the Department in 1894, working tirelessly along with Sara Yorke Stevenson, toward the funding and building of the Free Museum of Science and Art. Toward this goal, the American Exploration Society was created as an independent funding organization for the recovery of artifacts and the establishment of a museum of archaeology. The Board of Managers records consists of seven boxes of correspondence and financial records spanning the creation of the University Archaeological Association, the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, the American Exploration Society and the Museum. The records are organized first by the entities that preceeded the museum and contributed to its creation. The next group of records are organized by the tenure of the Presidents of the Board of Managers.
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Biography/History

William Pepper, originally Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, was the visionary behind the establishment of the independent University Archaeological Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, the precursors to the University Museum. Pepper established these organizations in response to the University of Pennsylvania's agreement to sponsor an expedition to Nippur in Babylonia in 1887, financed by private funds. The groups were composed of a small number of wealthy Philadelphians who were interested in the ancient world and capable of soliciting subscriptions to the Association from their friends and colleagues.

William Pepper worked closely with Sara Yorke Stevenson in his endeavors to gain support for developing a collection and a new museum site. Their correspondence is a highlight of this collection.

For their part, the Trustees of the University pledged to provide "accommodations for the collections made by the Babylonian expedition," provided, "as therein contained, that all the finds that can be exported be brought to Philadelphia and delivered as its property to the University of Pennsylvania." In 1888, a few "casts and squeezes" of Babylonian inscriptions were delivered for safe-keeping to the care of Professor of Assyriology, Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht.

Pepper received a committment from the University to store the Babylonian artifacts at College Hall, in effect, gathering into one place the start of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1891, Pepper established the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology of the University of Pennsylvania. This group was under the direction of a Board of Managers made up of twenty-four members chosen by the University Archaeological Association, a private group, and twelve members appointed by the University. The President of the Board of Managers had ultimate authority in managing the Museum. Under the President, were the curators of the various sections who handled administrative details within their respective departments. The Board of Managers was the administrative body for the Free Museum of Science and Art until 1910 when the Directorship was given to Dr. George B. Gordon. The University Archaeological Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology co-existed as independent entities until 1899, when they merged.

Funding for the building of the museum was boosted in 1896 by a grant from the State of Pennsylvania to the University. This set up a struggle for the control of the museum's funds between the Provost's Office and the Board of Managers. This struggle was won by the University Trustees. The American Exploration Society, an independent fund-raising arm of the Museum was established by William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson in 1896. Previously, the University Archaeology Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology were affiliated with the London-based Egyptian Exploration Fund which served as the major source of artifacts for the University.

William Pepper did not live to see the the completion of the Free Museum of Science and Art. It opened in 1899 under the Board of Managers whose President was Daniel Baugh. Three curators handled the administrative details within their respective departments: Herman Hilprecht was in charge of the Babylonian Section, Sara Yorke Stevenson ran the Egyptian and Mediterranean Sections, and Stewart Culin was director for the American and other (African, Pacific, Far East) Sections. The Curators had other functions and Sara Yorke Stevenson became Secretary of the Museum in 1901. When she became President of the Board in 1904, another curator, William H. Furness, became Secretary. However, during the controversy over Hilprecht's scholarship that followed shortly after, both Stevenson and Furness resigned.

In addition to William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson, the Board of Managers Presidents included Daniel Baugh, Justus C. Strawbridge, and Samuel F. Houston. In 1910, the Directorship of the Museum was established with Dr. George Gordon as its first Director.

Scope and Contents

William Pepper, originally a Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, was the visionary behind the establishment of the independent University Archaeological Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, in 1889 and 1891 respectively, the precursors to the University Museum. The members of these organizations were a small number of wealthy Philadelphians who were interested in the ancient world and capable of soliciting subscriptions to the Associations from their friends and colleagues. Pepper established these groups in response to the University of Pennsylvania's agreement to sponsor an expedition to Nippur in Babylonia in 1887, financed by private funds.

For their part, the Trustees of the University pledged to provide "accommodations for the collections made by the expedition, provided, as therein contained, that all the finds that can be exported be brought to Philadelphia and delivered as its property to the University of Pennsylvania." In 1888, a few "casts and squeezes" of Babylonian inscriptions were delivered for safe-keeping to the care of Professor of Assyriology, Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht.

Pepper received a committment from the University to store the Babylonian artifacts at College Hall, in effect, gathering into one place the start of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.

Pepper established the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology of the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of a Board of Managers made up of twenty-four members chosen by the University Archaeological Association, a private group, and twelve members appointed by the University. The President of the Board of Managers had ultimate authority in managing the Museum. Under the President, the curators of the various sections handled administrative details within their departments. The Board of Managers was the administrative body for the Free Museum of Science and Art until 1910 when Dr. George B. Gordon assumed the Directorship. The University Archaeological Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology co-existed as independent entities until 1899, when they merged.

Funding for the building of the museum was boosted in 1896 by a grant from the State of Pennsylvania to the University. This set up a struggle for the control of the museum's funds between the Provost's Office of the University and the Board of Managers of the museum. This struggle was won by the University Trustees. The American Exploration Society, an independent fund-raising arm of the Museum was established by William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson in 1896. Previously, the University Archaeology Association and the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology were affiliated with the London-based Egyptian Exploration Fund which served as the major source of artifacts for the University. (See Egyptian Exploration fund records)

William Pepper did not live to see the the completion of the Free Museum of Science and Art. It opened in 1899 under Board of Managers President Daniel Baugh. Under its organization, three curators handled the administrative details within their respective departments: Herman Hilprecht was in charge of the Babylonian Section, Sara Yorke Stevenson ran the Egyptian and Mediterranean Sections, and Stewart Culin was director for the American and other (African, Pacific, Far East) Sections. The Curators also had other functions; Sara Yorke Stevenson became Secretary of the Museum in 1901. When she became President of the Board in 1904, another curator, William H. Furness, became Secretary. However, during the controversy over Hilprecht's scholarship that followed shortly after, both Stevenson and Furness resigned.

The Board of Managers records consists of seven archival boxes of correspondence and financial records spanning the creation of the University Archaeological Association, the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, the American Exploration Society and the Free Museum of Science and Art. In addition, there are some oversized items housed in the map case. Originally, the records were loosely organized under the names of the organizations or presidents. They required some redistribution and establishment of chronological order. Currently, the records are organized first by the entities that preceeded the museum and contributed to its creation. The next organization is by the tenure of the Presidents of the Board of Managers. The records are arranged chronologically under the headings of correspondence, financial records or special project.

The series devoted to the three organizations that preceded the building of the new museum consist of communication between the founders and others, membership lists and the official documents such as a constitution and/or by-laws. There are also financial reports with some of the data. Extensive correspondence between William Pepper and Francis Macauley related to the development of the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology suggests the difficulties experienced in obtaining recognition and subscriptions to the new organization. The letters span the years 1889 to 1890. There are also two printed pamphlets about the Association.

Beginning with the presidency of Charlemagne Tower, the series contain mostly correspondence and details of the development of the preliminaries to construction of the museum, the working of the museum, proposed expeditions and the acquisitions and legal documents related to the land and building of a new museum structure. A highlight of the time of the Tower presidency are four folders of transcribed communications between William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson in Stevenson's own handwriting. It is possible that Stevenson was transcribing the letters for a book. Also with this group is a record of purchases from the World's Columbian Exposition. Among the receipts and lists of items purchased, are letters from Stuart Culin to William Pepper and Sara Y. Stevenson.

The presidency of William Pepper, though cut short by his death, has numerous communications with the University Provost Charles C. Harrison. The letters suggest the coming differences between the Trustees and the Museum around financial matters. Additional letters reflect Sara Y. Stevenson's representation of the museum at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition in 1895.

Following William Pepper's death, Daniel Baugh accepted the presidency of the board of managers. His communication with Sara Y. Stevenson was extensive. During Baugh's presidency plans were made for the opening of the museum as well as the installation of the memorial statue for William Pepper. Many of the letters from the time of the statue dedication are not dated but most appear to come from the time period between 1898 and 1901. There is a four page tribute to Dr. Pepper that is not signed or dated but could be a eulogy or dedication speech. Sara Y. Stevenson represented the museum at the Paris Exposition in 1895 and there are numerous communications from her along with a "Carte de Membre", "lettre d'invitation pour se rendre a Paris", and the hand-written labels for the exhibits and photographs that were displayed there.

President Justus C. Strawbridge wrote numerous letters to Sara Y. Stevenson and Samuel Bodine. Among the events of his presidency is the resignation of Stuart Culin. Culin's letter of resignation is dated 1/10/1903 and is followed by the response of the Board of Managers, the appointment of a committee to count and receipt objects in the collection, and a press clipping. There are two folders of information on the "Culin Settlement." This includes reports on loans and inventories of the collection, requests for objects to be returned, lists of books and articles "in the possession of Stuart Culin." The search for a successor to Stuart Culin is marked by letters of reference for the candidates for the position of Curator of the Ethnology section. Respondees include Franz Boas, F.W.Putnam and Max Uhle.

Sara Yorke Stevenson assumed the Board of Manager presidency in 1904 and her resignation as President of the Board of Managers and as Curator of the Egyptian section of the Museum is dated 2/24/1905. Most of the correspondence is related to management duties and the Board of Managers. A highlight is a long series of letters with Samuel S. Bodine.

Samuel F. Houston succeeded Stevenson in 1905. Much of the correspondence from his presidency is with G.B. Gordon, B. F. Pepper, Charles Harrison and Eckley B. Coxe. Official correspondence with Jane McHugh, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of the Department of Archaeology, details the daily operation of the museum. There are several annual and year-end reports with this correspondence. A bound copy of the Will of Abby S. Queen, dated 3/4/07, is included along with additional communications about this Will.

Six oversize pieces are housed in the print case or map case depending on their size. An additional copy of the charter of the American Exploration Society is housed in the map case.

********************************************************************************

The records of the American Exploration Society (AES) begin in folder seven with the founding correspondence. Prior to the inception of the AES, the University had been a subscriber to the London-based Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF). An undated letter in this folder from Julia H. Coffin suggests an American Exploration Society independent from the EEF. Additional correspondence is present with William C. Winslow, Vice President of the Egyptian Exploration Fund in Boston, and letters to the Chicago chapter of the EEF. There are also letters between William Pepper and Sara Y. Stevenson and letters from Eckley B. Coxe.

Folder ten holds documents related to the relationship of the Trustees of the University to the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology. Communication from the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania dated May 1, 1894 allows the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology to seek funding from the Pennsylvania legislature for museum construction.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  June 2011

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers

Revision Description

 3/22/2012

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

For additional information on the Museum Building Fund (1895-99) and the Preliminary to the Main Building (1894-1895) see:

Administrative Records Museum Building Chronological Files Container 1

For additional information on funding for the museum, see also: Pamphlet, "Act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania" Administrative Records Museum Building Chronological Files

For additional information on Guatemalan pottery see:

Unprocessed records(miscellaneous)-Box 9-Stewart Culin-Folder: Cramp Ecuador/Guatemala Exposition Collection (1893)-Culin letters. Also see: Expedition records-Central America-Robert J. Burkitt-Correspondence-Box 1, folder:Burkitt-Gordon (1924-1926)-letter, Gordon to Burkitt, July 22,1924.

For additional information on the Egypt Exploration Fund see:

Egypt Exploration Fund records

For additional information on Sara Yorke Stevenson see:

Sara Yorke Stevenson Egypt Section Curatorial papers

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Egyptian Exploration Fund.
Geographic Name(s)
  • Egypt
Personal Name(s)
  • Baugh, Daniel, 1836-1921
  • Brinton, Daniel Garrison, 1837-1899
  • Coxe, Eckley B., 1839-1895
  • Culin, Stewart, 1858-1929
  • Flinders-Petrie, W.M., Sir, 1853-1942
  • Harrison, Charles C., 1844-1929
  • Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, 1842-1919
  • Hilprecht, Hermann Volrath, 1859-1925
  • Houston, Samuel F., 1867-1952
  • Pepper, William, 1843-1898
  • Stevenson, Sara Yorke, 1847-1921
  • Strawbridge, Justus C., 1838-1911
Subject(s)
  • Finance
  • Paris Exposition Decennale

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General note

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MUSEUM

University Archaeological Association (1889?1899) First President Joseph Leidy President William Pepper, Jr. 1893?1897

Board of Managers, Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology / Free Museum of Science and Art President Charlemagne Tower, Jr. elected Jan 14, 1892 resigned Oct 9, 1894 President William Pepper, Jr. elected Oct 9, 1894 died Aug 3, 1898 President Daniel Baugh acting Aug 3, 1898 elected Jun 22, 1899 President Justus C. Strawbridge elected Jan 19, 1901 resigned 1903 President Sara Yorke Stevenson elected Jan 15, 1904 resigned Feb 24, 1905 President Samuel F. Houston acting Mar 17, 1905 elected Jan 19, 1906 1910

Directors of the University of Pennsylvania Museum Stewart Culin Jun 1, 1892?Jun 28, 1899 George Byron Gordon Feb 1, 1910?Jan 30, 1927 Jane M. McHugh (Acting) 1927?1929 Horace H. F. Jayne 1929?1940 George C. Vaillant 1941?1945 Marian Angell Godfrey (Acting) 1945?1947 Froelich G. Rainey 1947?1976 James B. Pritchard (Acting) 1976?1977 Martin Biddle 1977?1981 Robert H. Dyson (Acting) 1981-1982 Robert H. Dyson 1982?1994 Jeremy A. Sabloff 1994?2004 Richard M. Leventhal 2004-2006 Jeremy A. Sabloff (Interim) 2006-2007 Richard Hodges 2007-2012 Julian Siggers 2012-

Collection Inventory

University Archaeological Association 1887-1889.

Box

Babylonian Exploration Fund (BEF) 1887-1892.

1

BEF Meeting Minutes 1894-1903.

1

BEF Financial correspondence 1896-1920.

1

Correspondence 1890-1899.

1

Membership lists 1890-1891.

1

Membership lists 1892-1895.

1

Constitution and By-laws 1894.

1

Treasurer's reports 1890-1893.

1

American Exploration Society 1897.

Box

Founding correspondence 1892-1897.

1

Charter/Officers 1897-1898.

1

Stevenson-Wells correspondence 1899-1905.

1

Correspondence 1898-Feb. 1905.

1

Correspondence April 1905-1907.

1

Financial 1898-1908.

1

Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, 1889-1897.

Box

Pepper-Macauley Correspondence 1889.

1

Pepper-Macauley Correspondence 1890.

1

Constitution and By-laws 1894-1904.

2

Officers and Committees 1894-1895.

2

Constitution revisions (1933.1954,1964,1979,1983,1995).

2

President Charlemagne Tower.

Box

Correspondence 1892.

2

Correspondence 1893.

2

Acquisitions from Columbian Exposition 1892-1896.

2

Cramp Collection.

2

Proposed Guatemalan expedition 1893.

2

Correspondence 1894.

2

Museum documents 1890-1897. .

2

Museum land acquisition 1895.

2

Rules/Relationship to Trustees of University 1897.

2

Museum Appropriations 1894-1895.

2

Acquisitions 1892-1895.

2

Pepper-Stevenson Correspondence 1893.

3

Pepper-Stevenson Correspondence 1893-1894.

3

Pepper-Stevenson Correspondence 1894.

3

Pepper-Stevenson Correspondence 1895.

3

President William Pepper.

Box

Museum appropriation 1894-1895.

3

Correspondence 1895.

3

Atlanta Cotton Exposition 1895.

3

C.C. Harrison-Trustees Controversy 1895-1896.

3

Correspondence 1896.

3

Correspondence 1897.

3

Yucatan Expedition 1896-1898.

3

Staff 1897-1902.

4

Financial-Subscriptions 1894-1898.

4

Annual Reports 1894-1898.

4

Treasurer's Reports 1894-1898.

4

Receipts-Snow Ball and Ice Carnival 1895.

4

President Daniel Baugh.

Box

Correspondence 1898.

4

Correspondence 1899.

4

Correspondence 1900-1901.

4

Correspondence-Board appointments 1897-1903.

4

Correspondence-National Export Exposition 1899-1901.

4

Correspondence-S.Y. Stevenson-Robert Brock 1899-1903.

4

Correspondence-Pepper Memorial and statue 1898-1901.

4

Correspondence-Collections 1896-1901.

4

Museum Opening Program 1899.

5

Paris Exposition Correspondence 1899-1900.

5

Paris Exposition Labela 1899-1900.

5

Correspondence-Staff 1898-1903.

5

Annual reports 1900-1901. ..

5

Treasurer's reports 1898.

5

Treasurer's reports 1898-1901.

5

Treasurer's correspondence 1899-1902.

5

President Justus C. Strawbridge.

Box

Correspondence 1901.

5

Correspondence 1902.

5

Acquisitions 1901-1903.

5

Gift to Georgia school 1902.

5

Bodine Correspondence 1902-1903.

5

Correspondence 1903.

5

Wren bequest 1903.

5

Collections offered 1902-1904.

6

Culin resignation 1903.

6

Culin settlement (1 of 2).

6

Culin settlement (2 of 2).

6

Ethnology section candidates 1903.

6

Treasurer's bond 1901-1902.

6

Treasurer's reports 1902.

6

President Sara Yorke Stevenson.

Box

Correspondence 1904.

6

Correspondence 1905.

6

Bodine Correspondence 1904-1905.

6

Financial 1904-1905.

6

President Samuel F. Houston, 1905-1909.

Box

Correspondence 1905.

7

McHugh Correspondence 1905-1909.

7

Correspondence 1906.

7

Correspondence 1907. .

7

Correspondence 1908.

7

Correspondence 1909.

7

Financial 1906-1909.

7

Museum Essay Contest 1904-1909.

7

Oversize materials, 1890-1900.

Drawer

"Museum of Archaeology and Palaeontology" Hours open to the public and list of curators in attendance in the galleries (Abbott, Hilprecht,Stevenson), ca. 1890-92. Two copies.

P-4

"University of Pennsylvania, Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology, General rules", ca. 1890-92. Two copies.

P-4

University Archaeological Association- Certificate of Honorary Membership.

P-5

Charter of the American Exploration Society.

M-5

Labels for the Paris Exposition 1900.

M-5

Award Certificate from World's Columbian Exposition- Chicago, 1893.

M-5