Oscar Broneer’s Slide Collection

The Oscar Broneer Papers are kept in the Archives of the Blegen Library. The School acquired the collection fairly recently (2-3 years ago), and it was previously stored in Elizabeth Gebhard’s home in Ancient Corinth. Broneer (famously) found the temple of Poseidon at Isthmia on the first day of excavation in 1952 and then remained as director of the project until 1967. He is also known for his excavations of the Odeion and South Stoa in Ancient Corinth, his typology of Corinthian lamps (a first), and as the director of Triumph Over Time, a fundraising film the American School issued shortly after WWII (well worth watching for its documentation of Greece at the time). The archive is vast—over 20 boxes, each of which has several folders of material. It contains many of the things one would expect: his correspondence (personal and professional), lectures, notes (for classes, trips and sites), some manuscripts, photographs, personal documents, stories and poems that Broneer wrote, excavation materials (for Isthmia and elsewhere), and so on.

Recently, Broneer’s slide collection was digitized by the School’s Archivist, Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan:

“In February-March 2011 a small collection of 66 lantern slides, which Oscar Broneer used for his lectures, were digitized under the care of Ms. Jennifer Bakatselou. The collection includes views of ancient and modern monuments of Athens, and other parts of Greece, taken in the late 19th/early 20th century. The slides are the products of photographic studios such as Nichols Slides (Chicago), Chicago Transparency (Chicago), T.H. McAllister Co. (New York), and Underwood & Underwood, N.Y. (New York).”

They’re well worth looking at–for the contrast between the modern and traditional in Greece at the time; the beautiful landscape shots; and (more specifically) the picture of a man being hoisted up to Varlaam Monastery at Meteora in a net (some 180 feet).

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5 Responses to Oscar Broneer’s Slide Collection

  1. nakassis says:

    What is the deal with all the Greeks in traditional dress standing in front of Classical monuments? Part of me is offended…

    • Dallas DeForest says:

      I’m not sure, Dimitri. But I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by it, since the collection is the work of a mid-20th c. classical archaeologist.

      • nakassis says:

        Oh, I don’t blame Broneer! Those images were largely prepared by studios for mass consumption, I assume, not by or for archaeologists.

  2. Dallas DeForest says:

    Good point–I had assumed Broneer’s direct involvement, but Natalia’s note does single out the studios.

  3. Pingback: Friday Varia and Quick Hits « The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World

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