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Rhys Carpenter papers


Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. 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

Rhys Carpenter was born in 1889, in Cotuit, Massachusetts. At the age of 19, he took an A.B. degree from Columbia University, shortly thereafter being selected as a Rhodes Scholar. Carpenter then studied at Balliol of Oxford University, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. In 1913, Carpenter founded the Department of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College, which he headed for more than five decades. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1916. Two years later, Carpenter married Bryn Mawr graduate Eleanor Houston Hill (class of 1916). In 1919, Carpenter joined the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris. Carpenter's primary areas of research were the transmission of the alphabet; the cultural geography of the Mediterranean region; studies of folktales; and major studies of Greek art, history, archaeology, and literature. In addition to heading the Department of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr, Carpenter was the director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and a lecturer or professor at a number of other universities and colleges, including the University of California and the American Archaeological Institute. Additionally, Carpenter was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Archaeological Institute of America, the American Philological Association, the Linguistics Society of America, the Hispanic Society of America, and Phi Beta Kappa. Carpenter retired in 1955, but lectured throughout the world and wrote extensively, including books on poetry, travel, and classical archaeology. Carpenter died January 2, 1980 in Devon, Pennsylvania.

The Rhys Carpenter papers comprise the publications and lectures of Rhys Carpenter, archaeologist, scholar, and humanitarian. These papers highlight some of his many research contributions.

The collection holds two document boxes, both of which house the publications, lectures, and notes of Carpenter.

The first document box contains over 20 of Carpenter's lectures on classical art, archaeology, history, and literature, including "Why is Greek Sculpture Good," "Aesthetics of Greek Architectures," "Diffusion of the Greek Alphabet," his Cleveland Museum address, "An Archaeologist Looks at the Atomic Age," and many more. Additionally, this box contains letters written to James Oliver, F.F. Jones, and postcards to Carpenter's wife. The second document box contains notes for Carpenter's memoirs, an annotated copy of Works of Homer, and information on the Rhys Carpenter exhibit for Carpenter Library at Bryn Mawr College.

Carpenter was one of the leading classical archaeologists of his day, and was responsible for founding and heading the Department of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College for more than five decades. His work, both what is shown in this collection and what is outside of it, continues to be influential today. The collection would be of interest to classics scholars and students.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Cassidy Gruber Baruth
Finding Aid Date
January 13, 2018
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

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