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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 29

Papers of William S.A. Dale, 1946-1949


The collection includes student course materials of William S.A. Dale (Harvard class of 1955)


  • 1946 - 1949

Conditions on Access


Conditions on Use

Copyright: The donor has transferred any copyright held in these papers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing from any material in the collection.

Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.


1 linear feet (1 half file box)
The collection primarily contains course materials generated during Dale's postgraduate years studying Fine Arts at Harvard University. His class notes make up the majority of the collection; these detail classes taught by Wilhelm Reinhold Koehler, Ernst Kitzinger, and Robert Blake. Student handouts, an exam, and library book request slips from both Harvard and the British Museum Library, from his time studying in London, are included as well. Some of the class notes contain bibliographic information for the specific course or seminar. The collection also contains two booklets of contact lists given to students who took Paul J. Sachs’ “Museum Work and Museum Problems” course. These lists contain the names and contact information of art dealers, curators, and scholars across Europe and North America and were intended to aid students in creating a network of professionals after their departure from Harvard. As 1946 was the last year that Sachs’ taught the course, these booklets were the final versions distributed to his students.

All materials have been rehoused into acid free folders and boxes. Fragile materials have been placed in Mylar sleeves to mitigate further damage. Materials have been kept in the original order in which they were received. Information added by the processor (titles/dates) is placed in square brackets [ ].


William Scott Abell Dale was born in Toronto, Ontario, on September 18, 1921. Dale studied Fine Arts at Trinity College, Toronto, where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the university in 1944 and 1946, respectively. He attended Harvard University from 1946-1948, where he continued studying Fine Arts and obtained his Ph.D. in 1955. During his time in the Harvard Fine Arts program, Dale took Paul J. Sachs' course “Museum Work and Museum Problems,” in 1946, the last year it was taught before Sachs’ retirement. Dale’s focus throughout his studies centered on Medieval Art. He took classes taught by Medievalists Wilhelm Reinhold Koehler and Ernst Kitzinger, and based his dissertation, “English Ivories, 925-1175,” around the subject. In addition to time spent at Harvard, Dale studied at the Courtauld Institute in London from 1948-1950 and at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library as a research fellow from 1956-1957.

Following his education, Dale began working at the National Gallery of Canada, beginning as a research assistant, and eventually becoming the gallery’s Research Curator. From 1955-1956 he served on the Board of Directors for the College Art Association of America (CAA). In 1967, Dale began teaching classes in Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario, continuing to focus on Medieval Art, and received a tenured position at the university in 1970 where he taught until his retirement. Dale married his wife Jane in 1952 and has three sons.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The William S.A. Dale Papers were given to the Harvard Art Museums Archives in 2016 by William S.A. Dale and Jane Dale.

Related Material:

The dissertation submitted by William S.A. Dale is located in Harvard University Archives. Additionally, the professional papers of Professor Wilhelm Reinhold Koehler and Professor Ernst Kitzinger can be found in Harvard University Archives. The Paul J. Sachs Papers (HC 3) are held at the Harvard Art Museums Archives.

Box and Folder Locations

  1. Box 1: Folders 1-12
  1. Dale, William Scott Abell, 1921-
  2. Kitzinger, Ernst, 1912-2003
  3. Koehler, Wilhelm Reinhold Walter, 1884-1959
  4. Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965
  1. Art—History
  2. Art--History--Study and teaching--United States
  3. Art--History--Study and teaching—Massachusetts
  4. Art in universities and college--Massachusetts—Cambridge
  5. Art, Medieval
  6. Harvard University-Alumnae and alumni

Processing Information

The collection was processed from February 2018 to April 2018 by Melissa Walker under the supervision of Megan Schwenke.
Link to catalog
Papers of William S.A. Dale, (SC 29), 1946-1949: A Guide
Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Art Museums Archives Repository

The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 1895 to the present. Its collections include significant papers of individuals and groups associated with the museums' history, as well as correspondence with collectors, gallery owners, museum professionals, and notables throughout the twentieth century. Its holdings also document the formation of the museums' collections and its mission as a teaching institution.

32 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA