Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Mount Holyoke College seal
Blake papers, ca. 1913-1964.
1 box (5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0721 (LD 7092.8 Blake)

Abstract:
Blake, Marion Elizabeth, 1892-1961; teacher and professor. Mount Holyoke College Graduate, 1909; Cornell University graduate, M.A. (1917) and Ph.D. (1921). Mount Holyoke College Associate Professor of Greek, 1929-1936. Papers consist of correspondence; a travel diary; writings, including academic papers for her masters and Ph.D. degrees and two published archaeological articles; biographical information; archaeological photographs and sketches; photographs of Blake. Much of the correspondence dates from World War II when Blake was living in Europe.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Marion Elizabeth Blake was born on March 23, 1892 in New Britain, Connecticut to Arthur C. and Elizabeth Snow Blake. She attended New Haven High School and arrived at Mount Holyoke College in 1909, earning her B.A. in 1913 with majors in Greek and Latin. She earned her M.A. (1917) and her Ph.D. (1921) from Cornell University. Blake was a teacher at Wethersfield (Connecticut) High School, 1913-1917; an instructor of Latin and Greek at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, 1921-1922; an assistant and associate professor of Greek and Latin at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1922-1928; an associate professor of Greek at Mount Holyoke College, 1929-1936; an associate professor of Art and Archaeology at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia, 1936; a Latin professor at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 1937-1938; and a research associate on Roman Archaeology at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, D.C., 1938-1947. She then worked and lived in Rome, Italy as a researcher at the American Academy Library, where she studied Roman construction from 1947 to 1961. Blake died in Rome on September 11, 1961 at the age of seventy-three.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Marion Elizabeth Blake Papers consist of correspondence; a travel diary; writings, including academic papers for her masters and Ph.D. degrees (Cornell University) and two published archaeological articles; biographical information; archaeological photographs and sketches; photographs of Blake, and photographs taken on a visit to Scandinavia in 1930. Of particular note are the letters she wrote to Cora L. Eastman, 1937-1961, discussing her life in Rome at the start of World War II and her research conducted in Roman construction at the American Academy in Rome, and her writings, all of which deal with Roman construction and archaeology, a topic which occupied a significant part of her life. The letters discuss people and events at the American Academy in Rome, social conditions, visits to the opera, events in the deDaehn family, with whom Blake boarded, travels in Italy, air raids in Sicily, bombings, wartime shortages and restrictions, Mussolini's power, and the Marshall Plan. Also of particular note is the travel diary from Blake's trip to Scandinavia in 1930, in which she documents the itinerary of her stops in Oslo, Norway, Stockholm, Sweden, Danzig, Poland, and Visby, Gotland, Sweden, and her thoughts on each destination along the trip.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Marion Elizabeth Blake Papers, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Mass.

History of the Collection


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1937-1961
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of typed and edited letters that Blake wrote to her friend, Cora L. Eastman, between 1937-1961. The letters date from August 1, 1937 to April 14, 1940, when Blake was a researcher at the American Academy in Rome, then from 1948-1961, when she returned to the Academy after spending the World War II years in the United States. Blake's letters discuss visitors to the Academy, the many different nationalities represented at the Academy, and the lectures given there. The letters also discuss excavations, the opera, and trips taken to Cortona and Cassino. In addition, the letters mention the deDaehn family with whom Blake boarded while in Italy. Blake's letters then go on to report on problems with maids and wartime and postwar shortages of food, coal, cooking gas, water, and electricity. The letters also discuss Mussolini, wartime rationing, and the impact of the Marshall Plan on Italy after 1948. The correspondence also includes a short letter from Blake written to Mary Woolley, President of Mount Holyoke College, in 1937, inquiring if a teaching position may be open for her and Woolley's reply.

Letter to Mary Woolley,
1937

Box 1: folder 1
Letters to Cora L. Eastman,
1937-1961

Box 1: folder 2
Diary,
1930
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The diary is a personal account of a trip Blake took to the North Cape in Scandinavia in 1930. The diary documents Blake's trip to Norway, Sweden, and Northern Poland. The diary is eleven pages long and includes her thoughts of people and places she saw along her trip. It documents her stops in Visby, Gotland, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden; Danzig, Poland; and Oslo, Norway. Included in the diary are pictures of sites. Included is a brochure describing the itinerary of this trip.

Diary,
1930

Box 1: folder 3
Writings,
1918-1948
5 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The writings include a thesis Marion Blake submitted to Cornell University in 1918, for fulfillment of her Master of Arts degree, with a concentration on Latin and archaeology. Her bound thesis is entitled "The Reliefs of the Arch of Constantine." The series also includes the dissertation she submitted to Cornell University in 1921, as a partial fulfillment of the requirement for her Ph.D. Her dissertation is entitled, "A Laboratory Manual for the Study of Pre-Euclidean Attic Inscriptions. Part I. Inscriptions Prior to 480." Also included is a manuscript paper entitled "The Pavement of Rome and its Vicinity of the Republican and Augustan Epochs" by Marion Blake,(1925) which includes archaeological photographs. The paper is accompanied by a letter to Blake from William Buren, written in 1926, at the American Academy in Rome Library regarding her research in Rome and her application for a Guggenheim Fellowship The letter also includes corrections and changes to the paper. At the back of the paper is another letter to Blake from the Archaeological Institute of America acknowledging that the paper will be read at their next meeting. Also included is a handwritten "Chronological Study of the Cement Pavements of Pompeii," (circa 1929) which was to be published in the memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. Also included in the series are published works by Blake including "The Pavements of the Roman Buildings of the Republic and Early Empire," 1930, "Roman Mosaics of the Second Century in Italy," 1936, and "Roman Mosaics of the Third Century After Christ," 1940. The series also includes a published paper by Blake entitled "Ancient Roman Construction in Italy from the Prehistoric Period to Augustus (1948).

Masters Thesis,
1918

Box 1: folder 4
Ph.D. Dissertation,
1921

Box 1: folder 5
The Pavements of Rome and its Vicinity of the Republican and Augustan Epoch,
1925

Box 1: folder 6
Chronological Study of the Cement Pavements,
circa 1929

Box 1: folder 7
The Pavements of Rome and its Vicinity of the Republican and Augustan Epoch,
published manuscript, 1930

Folio
Roman Mosaics,
published manuscript, 1936

Folio
Roman Mosaics,
published manuscript, 1940

Folio
Ancient Roman article,
1948

Folio
Biographical Information,
1918-1961, 1963, 1964
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The biographical information included Blake's resume, newspaper clippings, an announcement of Blake's renewed Guggenheim fellowship, a report composed through the Carnegie Institute of Washington about Blake and her research, two telegrams to Cora Eastman from her brother, Azel Blake, regarding Marion Blake's death and funeral arrangements, an obituary note, a letter from the American Academy in Rome sent to Cora Eastman concerning Blake's death, a copy of the Classical Society of the American Academy in Rome's Fall Newsletter announcing Blake's death, and a collection of four letters from Doris Bishop of the American Academy in Rome to Cora Eastman, written between October 1963-January 1964, which discusses the details of Blake's work and the people who Blake may have worked with in Rome.

Biographical Information,
1918-1961

Box 1: folder 12
Dora Bishop Letters,
1963, 1964

Box 1: folder 13
Archaeological Material,
1920
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The archaeological material includes a sketch plan of Mausoleum and Nereid Mon, sketches of building structures, several sketches of the Todi Mosaic, a sheet of sketch of the different shapes of vases, archaeological photographs, and pictures of Roman mosaics. According to a note found with this material, these sketches and photographs date from 1920.



Box : folder 1
Archaeological Material,
1920

Box 1: folder 14
Photographs,
circa 1913-circa 1962
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

This series includes a photograph of Blake probably taken when she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in circa 1913, a snapshot of her from the 1920s or 1930s, and two snapshots of Blake taken late in life and printed in April 1962. There is also a collection of mostly unlabeled photographs collected by Cora Eastman which were apparently taken in Italy and include snapshot of buildings, people, and scenes. Blake may be in some of the photographs. Included in the series are five photographs of Scandinavian people from Blake's trip to Scandinavia in 1930.

Photographs of Blake,
circa 1913-circa 1961

Box 1: folder 15
Photographs taken in Scandanavia,
1930

Box 1: folder 16

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Blake, Marion Elizabeth, 1892-1961.
  • American Academy in Rome.
  • Archaeologists - Italy - Biography.
  • Archaeology - Italy - Rome.
  • Archaeology - Study and teaching.
  • Gdansk (Poland) - Description and travel
  • Italy - Description and travel
  • Italy - Social conditions - 1918-1945
  • Italy - Social conditions - 1945-1976
  • Marshall Plan
  • Norway - Description and travel
  • Oslo (Norway) - Description and travel
  • Pavements, Mosaic - Italy - Rome.
  • Poland - Description and travel
  • Scandinavia - Description and travel
  • Scandinavia - Description and travel.
  • Stockholm (Sweden) - Description and travel
  • Visby (Sweden) - Description and travel
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Women archaeologists - Italy - Biography
  • Women travelers - Scandinavia
  • World War, 1939-1945 - Italy.

Contributors
  • Eastman, Cora L.

Genre terms
  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Letters
  • Photographs


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