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Edward William Bok correspondence


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Edward William Bok was a publisher who came to the United States from the Netherlands with his parents at the age of six. He began working in publishing at the age of thirteen. He founded the Brooklyn Magazine and, in 1886, he established the Bok Syndicate Press. Mr. Bok became editor of Ladies' Home Journal in 1889. In 1896, Bok married Mary Louise Curtis (1876-1970), the daughter of Ladies' Home Journal publisher, Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis (1850-1933). He worked as an editor at Curtis Publishing for thirty years before retiring at the end of 1919. He wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography entitled the Americanization of Edward Bok. Mr. Bok also had an autograph letter collection that he kept and expanded throughout his life.

This collection contains correspondence to Bok from various writers and actors spanning the years 1881 to 1913. Some letters from authors are in response to requests by Bok for stories or poems. Other letters are requests meetings and social events. Some letters respond to articles printed in Ladies' Home Journal. The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent and some letters are undated.

There is original poetry and verse included in the correspondence as well. There are two typescript poems by James Whitcomb Riley (Folder 13). Correspondence from Oliver Wendell Holmes contains an original verse and a signed photograph to Bok dated 1890 (Folder 7). A letter from Eugene Field contains a clipping of a false engagement, relating to a practical joke he played on Bok (Folder 2). Another letter from Field contains an original Valentine verse. Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote a note fulfilling Bok's request for an autograph (Folder 14). There is one image signed by Frederic William Goudy.

Sold by David J. Holmes Autographs (Hamilton, New York), 2013.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Nicole Love
Finding Aid Date
2015 April 14
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Alcott, Louisa May, 1853-1888.
Box 1 Folder 1
Field, Eugene, 1891-1892.
Box 1 Folder 2
Fiske, Minnie Madden, undated.
Box 1 Folder 3
Forbes-Robertson, Johnston, Sir, 1913.
Box 1 Folder 4
Garland, Hamlin, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), undated.
Box 1 Folder 6
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1881-1890.
Box 1 Folder 7
Howe, Julia Ward, 1881-1891.
Box 1 Folder 8
Jefferson, Joseph, 1903.
Box 1 Folder 9
Mansfield, Richard, 1900.
Box 1 Folder 10
Palmer, Alice Freeman, 1886.
Box 1 Folder 11
Patti, Adelina, 1882-1892.
Box 1 Folder 12
Riley, James Whitcomb, 1888-1892.
Box 1 Folder 13
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1884.
Box 1 Folder 15
Wilson, Francis, 1891.
Box 1 Folder 16

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