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Johns Hopkins University Philological Association records

 Collection
Identifier: RG-15-010
On May 31, 1877, at the behest of President Daniel Coit Gilman, Basil Gildersleeve, the first full professor of the Johns Hopkins University, organized the Johns Hopkins Philological Association, for the purpose of "that mutual and informal interchange of opinion ... which is so confessedly essential to the development of the true scholar." The records of the Johns Hopkins Philological Association consist of five bound volumes documenting early seminars and meetings of the department, as well as event records documenting department-sponsored events. The collections spans 1877-1995.

Dates

  • 1877-1995

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.28 Cubic Feet (1 flat box (15.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches))

Biographical / Historical

On May 31, 1877, at the behest of President Daniel Coit Gilman, Basil Gildersleeve, the first full professor of the Johns Hopkins University, organized the Johns Hopkins Philological Association, for the purpose of "that mutual and informal interchange of opinion ... which is so confessedly essential to the development of the true scholar." It was proposed that the Association, originally composed of professors of languages, literature and history, should meet on the first Friday of every month during the academic year to hear a formal paper, one or more "minor communications," and summaries of important journal articles. These eight meetings were open to the public. Dr. Gildersleeve was named the Association's first president, in which capacity he served until his advanced years dictated that he step down from this office, as well as retiring from his position as Professor of Greek at the University, in 1915, at the age of 84. The papers and communications were nearly always presented by members of the Association, mainly on topics relating to the study of the Latin, Greek, Semitic and Sanskrit languages and literature, but also in the fields of history, archaeology and modern languages. Early on, abstracts of the long papers were included in the minutes, but this practice was discontinued in December of 1877 and was not resumed until May 1916, when lengthy, often typewritten or even typeset abstracts begin to appear again: hence the sudden drop in the number of meetings' minutes per volume. Attempts in 1921 and again in 1925 to have the Association's proceedings published regularly in the Johns Hopkins University Circular or in the American Philology Journal met with no success.

Until his resignation in 1915, Dr. Gildersleeve had been the Association's only president, with Charles Lanman, Minton Warren, and Edward Spieker serving as secretaries. After 1915, however, elections were held annually for the offices of the President, Vice President and Secretary. The meetings themselves were held downtown through most of this period, in Hopkins Hall from 1877 to 1890, in the original Levering Hall from 1890 to 1894, then in the original McCoy Hall, finally moving to the Homewood campus in 1916.

On the death of a member the Association regularly resolved to send letters of appreciation to the families of the deceased. One occurrence of this was for Dr. Gildersleeve himself, who died in 1924 at the age of ninety two. These resolutions are included in full in the minutes.

Scope and Contents

The records of the Johns Hopkins Philological Association consist of five bound volumes and event records. Regarding the volumes, one contains announcements of meeting dates and locations, and the titles and authors of the papers to be presented, from October 6, 1877 to May 6, 1887; the other four contain the Association minutes: Volume 1, May 31, 1877 to February 20, 1914; Volume 2, March 20, 1914 to May 16, 1919; Volume 3, October 17, 1919 to April 15, 1926; and 1926-1995. The minutes include meeting dates and locations, member attendance lists, speakers, paper titles, announcements, and abstracts from important papers from October to December, 1877, and after 1915.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The announcements and meeting minute volume were transferred to the Archives by Ann Gwyn, Assistant Director for Special Collections of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. See series descriptions for more information about additional accruals to the collection.

Accruals

Accession Number: 81.44, 2009.31, 2014-15.UA.028

Processing Information

Processed by Margaret E. Burns.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA