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USCC - Bureau of Awards

[Record group 230-22]
Agency Function

Agency History
For the final report of the Bureau of Awards, see Final Report of the Director-General.

There were many problems experienced with the awards systems at previous international exhibitions, principally those encountered at the English exhibitions of 1851 and 1862 and the French exhibitions of 1855 and 1867. The United States Centennial Commission set up an award system that was largely based upon the reforms agreed upon by the Commissioners-General of France, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Italy and the United States, following the close of the 1867 Exhibition. A summary of the system was reported in the Final Report of the Director-General.

1. International jury and awards by graduated prize medals were abolished.
2. A body of 250 judges was substituted, each one to be chosen for his qualifications for particular classes of work to be assigned to him.
3. Awards to be based on reports made in writing by the judges setting forth the inherent and comparative merits of each product adjudged, and such reports to be attested by the signatures of their authors.
4. Awards to consist of a diploma signed by the executive officers; a uniform bronze medal or memorial alike for all, and a certified copy of the special report of the judges on the subject of the awards.

The Bureau of Awards was responsible for the judging the various exhibits and the final awards. The judges were appointed by the governments of their respective countries but they became paid members of the Commission staff during the course of their adjudication. The number of judges necessary for each grouping was determined by the Bureau of Awards.

Archival Records
230-22.1 Correspondence and Papers (1875-1878)

230-22.2 Reports of Awards (1876)

230-22.3 Register, Diplomas and Medals Awarded (1877-1878)

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Last updated on November 3, 2000