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Hamilton, Edith, 1867-1963. Papers of Edith Hamilton, 1895-1970: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: D-12
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Edith Hamilton, 1867-1963
Title: Papers of Edith Hamilton, 1895-1970
Date(s): 1895-1970
Quantity: .83 linear feet (2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence and photographs of classicist Edith Hamilton.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

These papers of Edith Hamilton were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in July 1984 and March 1992 by Elizabeth Reid Pfeiffer (via Barbara Sicherman).

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: July 1984
By: Margaret Espy
Additional material added: November 2015
By: Johanna Carll

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Edith Hamilton as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Edith Hamilton Papers, 1895-1970; item description, dates. D-12, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Alice Hamilton papers, 1909-1987 (A-22); Hamilton family papers, 1818-1974 (MC 278); Hamilton family papers, 1879-1947 (84-M210); and Hamilton family additional papers, 1850-1976 (83-M175).


Edith Hamilton, classicist, was born on August 12, 1867, to Gertrude (Pond) and Montgomery Hamilton. She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, attended Miss Porter's School (1884-1886), and entered Bryn Mawr College in 1891. She was graduated in 1894 with A.B. and A.M. degrees and a fellowship that enabled her and her sister Alice to study in Germany. Hamilton was headmistress of the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore from 1896 to 1922. Encouraged by friends to write on her specialty, classical antiquity, she published The Greek Way (1930) and The Roman Way (1932). She translated Greek dramas, wrote on biblical antiquity, and was made an honorary citizen of Athens. She shared homes in Maine, New York, and Washington with Doris Fielding Reid until Hamilton's death in Washington in 1963.


The papers consist of correspondence between Hamilton and her sisters and cousins from 1929 to 1961. The letters from Alice describe her role in the Sacco and Vanzetti case, and Edith's early letters discuss her Latin studies and friendships at Bryn Mawr College. Later letters contain family news and chronicle her trips to Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Greece (1955-1957). The final letters are brief; in some she writes philosophically about her own death.
Materials received in 1992 (#8-30) include correspondence and clippings. Correspondence includes reader responses to Hamilton's books and articles, invitations to Hamilton to speak and receive awards, letters from publishers, and small number of letters from friends and family. Letters are addressed to both Edith Hamilton and Doris Fielding Reid. Clippings are mostly reviews of Hamilton's books. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Container List

Container List

Additional Index Terms

American literature
College students
Europe--Description and travel
Family records
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921
Voyages and travels
Washington (D.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
Bryn Mawr School
Hamilton, Agnes, 1868-1961
Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970
Hamilton family
Hamilton, Jessie, 1866-1960
Hamilton, Margaret, 1871-1969
Hamilton, Norah, 1873-1945
Hollingsworth, Buckner
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972
Reid, Doris Fielding
Weske, Dorothy Bruce