Deanery Files, Bryn Mawr College
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
The Deanery was the home of the first Dean and second President of Bryn Mawr College, M. Carey Thomas. When she moved there in 1885 at the age of 28, it was a modest Victorian cottage of five rooms, situated to the west of what was then the central campus building, Taylor Hall. Thomas lived in the Deanery for almost five decades, sharing it first with Mamie Gwinn and later with Mary Garrett, both friends she had made growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1896 and again in 1908, the building was renovated and expanded, ultimately becoming a sprawling 46-room mansion filled with the art and furniture that Thomas and Garret collected on their travels. While Thomas lived there, she entertained such famous figures as Henry James, Bertrand Russell, and Anna Howard Shaw, as well as holding Senior receptions and other events for Bryn Mawr students. Upon the death of M. Carey Thomas, the building and most of its contents were left to the Alumnae Association for use as an Alumnae Center and Inn. The Deanery was demolished in the spring of 1968; Canaday Library stands on the site today.
The collection is comprised primarily of Deanery records, mostly inventories of the building, and the files of Carol Campbell, Curator of Art and Artifacts in Bryn Mawr College's Special Collections. Campbell's files include data sheets for individual objects in the Deanery collection as well as background research on people, objects, places, and the BMC Archives (including the M. Carey Thomas Papers). Another part of the collection consists of notes, labels, and research materials for the exhibition, "The Deanery Remembered," which took place in the foyer of Canaday Library in 1985 as part of the college's centennial celebration.
The Deanery records include inventories and appraisals, the latter performed by the Manufacturers' Appraisal Company in 1949, 1954, and 1963. In 1969 the company also performed an appraisal of the contents of Wyndham Hall, the building that became the college's new Alumnae Center and Inn upon the demolition of the Deanery in 1968, to which the majority of the Deanery furniture and furnishings were moved. Other appraisals in the collection include one performed in 1966 of the Victorian Art Glass (primarily of favrile glass made by Tiffany and Co.), as well as a 1968 report on the Oriental carpets in the Deanery. Special Collections also performed a survey of heritage objects on campus in 1988, and Carol Campbell compiled a list of Lockwood de Forest tabourets in 1999.
The data sheets created by Special Collections staff for objects in the Deanery collection are sorted by location at the time of the survey, including the Dorothy Vernon Room (in Haffner), the Wyndham Alumnae House, Taylor Hall, the President's house (Pen-y-Groes), and other locations on campus. The conservation reports deal primarily with a project undertaken by Special Collections in 1990 for the refurbishing of the Dorothy Vernon Room.
The background research material in the collection was compiled primarily by Carol Campbell, but many notes were taken by other staff members and students working for Special Collections during the 1980s and 1990s. Material relating to the 1985 exhibition "The Deanery Remembered" is divided into such categories as exhibition labels, research for the displays, photo-duplication orders, preparation material for the opening of the exhibition, and Carol Campbell's personal notes. These personal notes include drafts of label text, sketches of exhibit designs, a bibliography sheet, a list of objects to request for the exhibition, and miscellaneous drawings and notes.
The collection originated at Bryn Mawr College.
- Thomas, M. Carey (Martha Carey), 1857-1935
- Garrett, Mary Elizabeth
- De Forest, Lockwood
- Campbell, Carol W.
- Bryn Mawr College
- Finding Aid Author
- Barbara Ward Grubb, Carol Campbell, Rachel Starry, Nancy Halli, Melissa Torquato
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
The Deanery files are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, belong variously to the College and to the authors or their heirs and assigns.