Main content

Dorothy Wyckoff 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

Dorothy Wyckoff was born July 22, 1900 in Topsfield, Massachusetts. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she received her AB in Greek and Latin in 1921 and her PhD in Geology in 1932. In 1930, she accepted a position as a demonstrator in Bryn Mawr's geology department and remained with the college until her retirement as a full professor in 1966. Wyckoff was an expert in the petrology of metamorphic rocks and a scholar of medieval Latin. In 1928, she received a fellowship for two years of study at the University of Oslo. During World War II she worked at the Military Geology Unit of The U.S. Geological Survey in Washington where she prepared terrain diagrams which were used for planning assault operations. In 1967, she published the biography and translation "Albert the Great and his Book of Minerals." Wyckoff died July 15, 1982 at the home of her sister in Chester, Vermont.

The Dorothy Wyckoff papers comprise the professional and academic papers of Dorothy Wyckoff, Professor of Geology at Bryn Mawr College from 1930-1966. The collection spans from circa 1920-1981 and contains Wyckoff's notes, travel diaries, correspondence, etc., as well as some photographs and articles that are also relevant to Wyckoff, but were not created by her.

The collection is housed in four boxes. Box 1 contains course outlines and notes and translations. Box 2 contains materials related to Wyckoff's translation of Albert the Great's Book of Minerals. Box 3 contains writings, personal finances, and thesis materials. Box 4 contains photographs and articles.

The papers in Box 1, Folders 1-7 contain course outlines. Folders 8-40 contain notes and translations of works by various scientists. These translations were probably used as reserve readings in courses taught by Wyckoff and many of them have notes by Wyckoff. Folders 40-45 and 59 contain either handwritten copies or photostats of works by medieval scientists. Folders 46-57 contain Wyckoff's dissertation, articles, manuscripts, NSF lectures and fieldbooks, and some correspondence concerning articles. Folders 1-32 in Box 2 contain materials relating to Wyckoff's translation of Albert the Great's Book of Minerals. The materials include correspondence with the Clarendon Press, reviews of the book, photostats of Albert's works, notes, typescripts of some chapters, and an unbound copy of the book. Folders 37-44 contain notes and library records. Box 3 contains travel diaries, correspondence, personal finance records, and maps drawn by Wyckoff for her thesis. Box 4 contains photographs and articles. The articles are not by Wyckoff, but either mention her, are marked by her, or are relevant in some other way.

Dorothy Wyckoff was an expert in the petrology of metamorphic rocks and a scholar of medieval Latin. Her research and translation of Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great) and his study of minerals married her two academic fields of expertise, emphasizing her mastery of both. This collection offers an excellent view of Wyckoff's research and writing process for Albert the Great and his Book of Minerals, as well as providing additional insight into Wyckoff's methods as an instructor of geology. It would be of value to anyone interested in Albert the Great, the Bryn Mawr Geology Department in the 1930s-1960s, and Dorothy Wyckoff.

The maps in Box 3 were given to the College Archives by M. L. Crawford fo the Geology department in August 1985. Three folders were given to the Archives in October 1990 by William Crawford (Box 4, Folders 12-14). The probable donor for the rest of the collection is Dorothy Burr Thompson (there is no accession number).

Many of the papers were removed from three ring folders. Whenever possible, Wyckoff's folder titles were used when the papers were placed in acid free folders. Several of Wyckoff's folders had labels but were empty. Some materials separated from the collection and moved (see Separated Materials).

Copies of the "Lantern" (Fall 1920, Christmas 1920, November 1921) and the "Bryn Mawr Review" (April 1919, November 1919, December 1919, May 1920) which contain work by Wyckoff were merged with the core collection. Some unmarked reprints of articles were given to the library's acquisitions department. (A full list of these reprints may be found in the collection, Box 4). A photograph of Florence Bascom was transferred to the photograph collection.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
?, Cassidy Gruber Baruth
Finding Aid Date
2019 February 27
Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply to materials found in Box 3, concerning Wyckoff's personal finances and her re-appointment to Bryn Mawr's faculty. The remainder of the collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Course Outlines.
Box 1 Folder 1-7
Notes and Translations of Scientists.
Box 1 Folder 8-40
Photostats of Works by Medieval Scientists.
Box 1 Folder 40-45, 58
Dissertation, Articles, Manuscripts, NSF Lectures and Fieldbooks, Correspondence.
Box 1 Folder 46-57
Albert the Great and his Book of Minerals.
Box 2 Folder 1-36
Notes and Library Records.
Box 2 Folder 37-44
Thesis Materials.
Box 3 Folder 1-15
Photographs and Articles.
Box 4 Folder 1-14

Print, Suggest