Scope and Content Note


Based on the date span of these records, it appears that a portion of this material represents the earlier work of the Development office, operating jointly with Membership, under the Administration division of the Museum, while the bulk appears to have been generated after 1982, when Development became a separate department within the organizational structure. In the event of future review, this material may be divided and transferred to one of the two record groups representing the Development office before 1982 (Development and Membership Department Records) and after (Development Department Records).

The "General department records" series consists of three subseries. The "Subject" subseries includes form letters, records of gift funds, office accounts and photographs, as well as an outline of development and membership activities during the 1970s. Approximately 10 linear feet of material comprises the "Deceased donors" subseries, which primarily documents testamentary gifts to the Museum made by trustees and associates through at least 1995. An alphabetical folder-level inventory is available in the Archives. The "Mailings" subseries consists of various ephemera produced between the late 1960s and mid-1990s. Based on the earliest dated material, members received brochure-size newsletters on a monthly basis. Later, the mailings were seasonal and in magazine format. Also included are monthly calendars of special exhibitions and events.

The second series pertains to specific programs that have become standard developmental categories, with assigned personnel. The "Planned Giving" subseries includes documentation compiled to arrange a symposium in 1981, as well as certain fund reports up to 1996. The "Friends/Young Friends" subseries pertains to two groups of Museum supporters who sponsor activities and events in order to raise funds for Museum acquisitions. A number of folders document the planning of benefit parties held approximately from 1989 to 1997 at noted Philadelphia venues such as the Horticultural Center and Ritz-Carlton. Photographs of events and members are also included.

The third series pertains to special fundraising initiatives, designed to meet specific goals within a specified period of time. The earliest initiative in this record group is documented in the "Second Century Fund" subseries. The project was initiated in 1977 in response to a federal grant challenge. The National Endowment of the Humanities would grant the Museum $900,000 over a three-year period if the Museum could match that amount each of the three years. The title of the campaign referred to the Museum beginning its 101st year (1977). The subseries consists of a scrapbook of reports, mailings, press releases and clippings, and ephemera. The goal of the "Landmark Renewal Fund," which is documented in the final subseries, was to raise $50 million through private funding over a five-year period, 1986-1991. Specifically, the funds were intended to enhance the presentation of the Museum's collections, make necessary restorations and repairs to the "landmark" building, and reinforce the institution's financial basis. Documentation traces the campaign's progress, consisting of pre-campaign proposals and feasibility studies, material from previous programs, drafts of programs and solicitation proposals, minutes of various committee meetings, publicity and reference material, including videotapes, and a campaign summary.