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Archaeological Institute of America, Baltimore Society records

 Collection
Identifier: RG-15-070
The Archaeological Institute of America, Baltimore Society was the first established, local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. The Baltimore Society was officially formed in 1888 by faculty of The Johns Hopkins University and other Baltimoreans who shared a scholarly interest in antiquities and classical studies. Though officially formed in 1888, minutes of the organization show that in 1886, an early iteration of the group was known as the Archaeological Society of The Johns Hopkins University. The records date from 1885 to 1939 and 1982 to 1985, consisting largely of the correspondence among the various officers and with members concerning membership dues, acceptance and resignation notices, the annual reports of the secretary and the treasurer, and schedules of lecture series and announcements of special Society events.

Dates

  • 1885-1939, 1982-1985
  • Majority of material found within 1915 - 1935

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

0.76 Cubic Feet (1 letter size document box, 2 letter half-size document boxes)

Biographical / Historical

The Archaeological Institute of America, Baltimore Society was the first established, local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. The Baltimore Society was officially formed in 1888 by faculty of The Johns Hopkins University and other Baltimoreans who shared a scholarly interest in antiquities and classical studies. Though officially formed in 1888, the earliest minutes of the organization show that in 1886, an early iteration of the group was known as the Archaeological Society of The Johns Hopkins University. Faculty members included President Daniel Coit Gilman, Professors Arthur L. Frothingham, Herbert Baxter Adams, Basil L. Gildersleeve, and Kirby Flower Smith. Well-known Baltimoreans included Reverdy Johnson, John W. McCoy, Charles J. Bonaparte, S. Teakle Wallis, and Henry Walters. Regular meetings were held on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University, and at the homes of members, during which reports were presented describing recent excavations of the Institute and its American Schools of Classical Studies in Athens and Rome.

The Archaeological Institute of America began an official journal in 1885 which was titled American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of Fine Arts. The journal was published in Baltimore and Dr. Arthur L. Frothingham was a contributor and the managing editor. Several members of the Baltimore Society agreed to contribute to a reserve fund of $2000.00 in order to secure the stability of the journal during the first five years of its publication. The record of the Minutes of the Baltimore Society indicate that Dr. Frothingham reported on the progress of the journal at the annual meeting on May 5, 1886. At the annual meeting on March 17, 1887, President Gilman motioned that the society place on record "its appreciation of the high qualities and important work of the journal." In 1897, the title of the journal changed to American Journal of Archaeology.

The University sponsored the 1909 joint convention of the Philological Association and the Archaeological Institute. By 1912 Basil Gildersleeve, the first full professor at Johns Hopkins, was honorary president of the Society. Though not specifically University oriented, the Society boasted among its members such Hopkins luminaries as David Robinson, professor of Greek archaeology and epigraphy, Eugene Levering, Trustee, John Work Garrett, alumnus, John Franklin Goucher, second president of Goucher College, and Ralph Magoffin, professor of classical history. Although much of the material is concerned with the day to day business of the Society, there are several sections of particular interest. Signs of the times are evident in the records of the Depression era, especially 1930-1931, when numerous members resigned or let their dues fall into arrears "until times are better." Correspondence concerning the University's exhibition of the Society's Minoan art reproductions and their subsequent removal to a new archaeological wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Dr. Robinson's request for funding to pursue excavations at the Greek city of Olynthos in Thrace, which he first uncovered in 1928, are also included. In addition, the Society supported the work of the American Academies at Athens and Rome, and published a sixty four page magazine, which was discontinued around 1929. The Johns Hopkins University became a member of the Society in perpetuity in 1924.

Scope and Contents

The records of the Archaeological Institute of America, Baltimore Society, date from 1885 to 1939 and 1982 to 1985. The records are most complete from 1915 to 1935, consisting largely of the correspondence among the various officers and with members concerning membership dues, acceptance and resignation notices, the annual reports of the secretary and the treasurer, and schedules of lecture series and announcements of special Society events. The records also include some minutes and a membership booklet published by the organization.

Custodial History

Former collections MS.0223 and MS.0326 have been reprocessed into this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These records were transferred to the Archives by Dr. Diskin Clay, Professor and Chairman of the Classics Department, and Catherine Myers, Administrative Assistant, Classics Department. Other records were transferred by Classics professor, James H. Oliver, August 1978.

Accruals

Accession Number: 84.47, 88.41

Processing Information

Processed by Margaret E. Burns and Charlene Mendoza [date unknown]; Joan Grattan in June 1989 and May 1992; and in March 2017 by Annie Tang.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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