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Mary Hamilton Swindler 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

Mary Hamilton Swindler first came to Bryn Mawr College in 1906 as a graduate scholar in Greek. From 1912 until 1949 she taught Archaeology and Classics at the college, a role in which she inspired many students to enter to field, including Dorothy Burr Thompson (class of 1923) and Lucy Shoe Meritt (class of 1927). Swindler is also known for having spent 14 years as editor of the American Journal of Archaeology, and having written the well received and influential book Ancient Painting.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1884, Swindler graduated from the University of Indiana in 1905 and received her master's degree from the same university in 1906. Her fellowship at Bryn Mawr lasted from 1906 until 1909 when the Mary E. Garrett European Fellowship permitted her to study at Oxford, the University of Berlin, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. She also traveled to Greece and Crete.

From 1910 to 1912 Swindler taught Latin at the Shipley School and the Wright School and served as acting dean of women at the University of Indiana during the summers of 1911 and 1913. Swindler received her PhD. from Bryn Mawr College in 1912. Her teaching career at Bryn Mawr began in 1912 with positions as Reader in Latin and Demonstrator in Archaeology. She became professor of Classical Archaeology in 1931. Swindler introduced the major in archaeology at Bryn Mawr, organized the excavation of Tarsus, and founded the college's Ella Riegel Memorial Museum.

Swindler spent fifteen years researching her book Ancient Painting, which was published in 1929. She planned a second major work to be titled The Beginning of Greek Art, but never finalized her manuscript. He editorship of the American Journal of Archaeology lasted from 1932 to 1946 and is said to have transformed the journal into a more professional periodical with more field coverage. She was also well known as a lecturer.

Upon her retirement in 1949, she was appointed research fellow at the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and also taught at the University of Michigan. She died in 1967.

For more information see "Exploring Ancient Worlds: The Life of Mary Hamilton Swindler," by Catherine E. Forrest Weber published in the journal Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Spring 2005, pps. 6-11.

The Mary Hamilton Swindler papers contain the personal papers of Mary Swindler, professor of Archaeology and Classics at Bryn Mawr. The collection, which ranges from 1906 to 1949, principally consists of correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and notebooks.

The collection is divided into five series: "Series I: Correspondence and Scrapbooks," "Series II: Typed Manuscripts," "Series III: Manuscript-The Beginnings of Greek Art," "Series IV: Biographical Notes, Personal Materials, Notes," and "Series V: Notebooks."

"Series I: Correspondence and Scrapbooks" contains loose correspondence received from the Archaeology Department and scrapbooks. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The scrapbooks, apparently assembled by Swindler herself, also contain much correspondence. She arranged these materials chronologically and they document the key events of her life. "Series II: Typed Manuscripts" contains Swindler's manuscripts, which cover a variety of topics and are often hand-edited. Most do not indicate whether they were drafts for articles or lectures. They have been arranged by title, or topic when untitled. "Series III: Manuscript-The Beginning of Greek Art" contains what are believed to be the latest drafts of The Beginning of Greek Art are housed in folders 26 and 27 in Box 3. "Series IV: Biographical Notes, Personal Materials, Notes" contains Swindler's CV and biographical information; her dissertation: Cretan Elements in the Cults and Ritual of Apollo; various awards received by Swindler; correspondence related to her academic posts; and "notes on cards." These are notes in Swindler's hand transcribed on sheets of cardboard that Swindler obtained from male members of the faculty, who saved them for her when they had their shirts professionally laundered. Swindler's students are said to have found this amusing. These personal materials and information relating to Swindler's various awards are among the items that have resided the longest in the college archives. "Series V: Notebooks" consists of titled notebooks and untitled notebooks. Sarah Immerwahr, who donated them, was uncertain as to the purpose of Swindler's notebooks. However, when contacted in 2005, she guessed that they had been collections of material that Swindler might have intended someday to use for articles, lectures, or other projects. They are organized by topic. Eleven notebooks are untitled and contain miscellaneous information.

Swindler was a highly respected archaeologist, who studied and published on ancient painting and Greek art and introduced the archaeology major to Bryn Mawr College. This collection provides insight into her professional and academic careers. It would be of value to those interested in the founding of the Bryn Mawr Archaeology Department, Swindler's topics of research, the Tarsus excavation, etc.

Materials in the collection were received by the college archives in stages over the course of several years. Most of the personal materials and scrapbooks have been in the college archives since the early 1970s, provenance unknown. During the 1990s a faculty member, possibly Machteld Mellink, delivered what she believed to be the latest version of Swindler's unpublished manuscript: The Beginning of Greek Art. In 2000 Swindler's student and friend Sarah Immerwahr mailed the notebooks to the college without accompanying documentation. The remainder of the materials (manuscripts, correspondence, and other drafts of the unfinished book) were stored in the Archaeology Department for many years after having been removed from Arnecliffe, where Swindler resided for some time. These materials were organized during the summer of 2005 and received by the college archives where the entire collection was reorganized and rehoused.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Lorett Treese, Melissa Torquato
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Mary Hamilton Swindler papers are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College's Special Collections department. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

Collection Inventory

Alphabetized Miscellaneous Correspondence.
Box 1 Folder 1
Miscellaneous Correspondence without Correspondents' Surnames or with Illegible Surnames.
Box 1 Folder 2
Letters and Telegrams of Congratulations on Swindler's Eightieth Birthday.
Box 1 Folder 3
E.O. Forrer Correspondence and Papers, 1934. 2 folders.
Box 1 Folder 4
Scope and Contents

5 letters in English from E.O. Forrer to Mary Hamilton Swindler, 1934, relating to his involvement in a proposed Bryn Mawr excavation in Syria. Included is his 8 page report in German about his tour of northern Syria, with accompanying photographs.

Physical Description

2 folders

Scrapbook Volume One.
Box 1
Scrapbook Volume Two.
Box 1
Scrapbook Volume Three.
Box 1
Scrapbook Volume Four.
Box 1
Scrapbook Volume Five.
Box 1
Scrapbook Volume Six.
Box 1

Ancient Pottery.
Box 2 Folder 1
Archaeology at Bryn Mawr.
Box 2 Folder 2
Archaeological Discoveries in Greece during the War [WWII].
Box 2 Folder 3
Art of the Prehistoric Hunter.
Box 2 Folder 4
Attic Black Figure Vases.
Box 2 Folder 5
The Cretan Tomb.
Box 2 Folder 6
Cretan Sculpture and Related Monuments of the VIIth Century B.C.
Box 2 Folder 7
Delos and the Birthplace of Apollo.
Box 2 Folder 8
Box 2 Folder 9
[Re: Dorians] Untitled.
Box 2 Folder 10
Box 2 Folder 11
Excavations at Seleucia on the Tigris, Seaons 1936-37.
Box 2 Folder 12
The Goddess with Upraised Arms.
Box 2 Folder 13
Greek Sculpture.
Box 2 Folder 14
Horace and the Art of His Age.
Box 2 Folder 15
Horsehead Amphorae.
Box 2 Folder 16
Indiana University Commencement Address, 1941.
Box 2 Folder 17
Interior Decorations at Pompeii and the Greek Painters who Inspired Them.
Box 2 Folder 18
Box 2 Folder 19
Jewelry: Pins.
Box 2 Folder 20
Late Geometric.
Box 2 Folder 21
New Archaeological Discoveries.
Box 2 Folder 22
New Archaeological Worlds to Conquer.
Box 2 Folder 23
Box 2 Folder 24
New Discoveries at Delphi and Olympia.
Box 2 Folder 25
Box 2 Folder 26
Box 2 Folder 27
[Poems, presumably by Swindler].
Box 2 Folder 28
The Prehistoric and Regal Periods in Italy.
Box 2 Folder 29
Problems Connected with the Parthenon and Certain Earlier Structures on the Acropolis.
Box 2 Folder 30
Proto Attic Pottery.
Box 2 Folder 31
A Reconnaissance of Turkish Sites of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries.
Box 2 Folder 32
Seminar I [re: Greek Art].
Box 2 Folder 33
Box 2 Folder 34
Box 2 Folder 35
State of Archaeology During and After Wold War II.
Box 2 Folder 36
Box 2 Folder 37
Thirty Years of Archaeology at Bryn Mawr.
Box 2 Folder 38
What is New and Significant in Archaeology.
Box 2 Folder 39

Table of Contents.
Box 3 Folder 1
Working Sheets Chapter I (recent).
Box 3 Folder 2
Old Ch. I (superceded?) MJM.
Box 3 Folder 3
Ch. I superceded.
Box 3 Folder 4
Preface Chapater I [This folder also contains a critique of the chapter possibly written by Sara Immerwahr.].
Box 3 Folder 5
Bibliography-Early & Myc Chapter I [This folder also contains a critique of the chapter possibly written by Sara Immerwahr.].
Box 3 Folder 6
Chapter II and Ch. III BK-Dupl Ms [appears to be Chapter II, preface and two pages of Chapter I, also some miscellaneous notes.].
Box 3 Folder 7
Chapter II, Copy 3, Inc.
Box 3 Folder 8
Chapter II pre final stage.
Box 3 Folder 9
Chapter II final version MJM pp. 32-39.
Box 3 Folder 10
Chapter II carbon of final stage complete & critique [This folder also contains a critique of the chapter possibly written by Sara Immerwahr.].
Box 3 Folder 11
III [Appears to be rough draft and notes for Chapter III.].
Box 3 Folder 12
Old IV.
Box 3 Folder 13
Ch. IV End missing to ms.
Box 3 Folder 14
Ch. V, p. 128 missing.
Box 3 Folder 15
Ch. VI.
Box 3 Folder 16
Old VII.
Box 3 Folder 17
Ch. VII.
Box 3 Folder 18
Box 3 Folder 19
[Originally housed in unmarked envelope. Appears to be drafts of Chapter VIII and miscellaneous notes.].
Box 3 Folder 20
Ch. IX [multiple drafted copies].
Box 3 Folder 21
[Comments on Ch IX by Sara Immerwahr].
Box 3 Folder 22
Ch IX (revised ed.).
Box 3 Folder 23
Duplicate Ch IX.
Box 3 Folder 24
Box 3 Folder 25
[Chapters 1, 4, 7, 8, latest version?].
Box 3 Folder 26
[Chapters 2, 9, 3, 1, latest version?].
Box 3 Folder 27
Box 3 Folder 28

CV and Biographical Information.
Box 4 Folder 1
Dissertation: Cretan Elements in the Cults and Ritual of Apollo.
Box 4 Folder 2
Personal Address Books.
Box 4 Folder 3
Passports, Visas and Miscellaneous Travel Documents.
Box 4 Folder 4
Re: Award, Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
Box 4 Folder 5
Re: Award, American Council of Learned Societies.
Box 4 Folder 6
Re: Bryn Mawr College Citation for Distinguished Service.
Box 4 Folder 7
Presentation Album: Names of Recipients of Swindler Scholarship Fund.
Box 4 Folder 8
Academic Posts, Bryn Mawr College.
Box 4 Folder 9
Academic Posts, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
Box 4 Folder 10
Academic Posts, American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Box 4 Folder 11
Academic Posts, Other Institutions.
Box 4 Folder 12
Miscellaneous Photos [those stored in separate bag had been stored separately and identified as "Petra."].
Box 4 Folder 13
Box 4 Folder 14
Notes on Cards: Cave Painting.
Box 4 Folder 15
Notes on Cards: Cycladic Art.
Box 4 Folder 16
Notes on Cards: Chronology, part 1.
Box 4 Folder 17
Notes on Cards: Chronology, part 2.
Box 4 Folder 18
Notes on Cards: Egypt.
Box 4 Folder 19
Notes on Cards: Troy.
Box 4 Folder 20
Two Undated Travel Diaries with Miscellaneous Notes.
Box 4 Folder 21

Box 5-Titled Notebooks.
Box 5
Box 6-Titled Notebooks.
Box 6
Box 7-Untitled Notebooks.
Box 7

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