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COLLECTION Identifier: D-12

Papers of Edith Hamilton, 1895-1970


Correspondence and photographs of classicist Edith Hamilton.


  • Creation: 1895-1970

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

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.


.83 linear feet (2 file boxes)

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.


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.

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).

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).

Container List

  1. Box 1: Folders 1-6, 8-14
  2. Box 2: Folders 15-30

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: July 1984

By: Margaret Espy

Additional material added: November 2015

By: Johanna Carll

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
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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