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Hetty Goldman papers

Identifier: BMC-Goldman, Hetty

Scope and Contents

The Hetty Goldman papers house a small collection of letters, speeches, awards and photographs related to Goldman’s archaeological work. Much of this materials relates to other collections that originated in Bryn Mawr College’s archeology department. This collection, which dates from 1901 to 1966, contains insight into both Goldman’s career and her archaeological work. The strengths of the collection lie in its photographs of Goldman herself as well as sites she excavated, as well as in a typed speech she delivered at Bryn Mawr College in 1955.

The collection is arranged in five series of varying size: “Series I: Correspondence”, “Series II: Speeches”, “Series III: Photographs”, “Series IV: Miscellaneous”, and “Series V: Publication Negatives”. In addition to this scope description, there is also a detailed spreadsheet listing every object in “Extra Files”.

“Series I: Correspondence” contains letters, notes and cards to and from Hetty Goldman, dating between 1901 and 1966. The bulk of the letters are after 1930 however. The letters mostly pertain to Goldman’s archeological work. Several include photographs or drawings related to exhibitions. “Series II: Speeches” contains two speeches: one typewritten speech from 1955 and one audio tape from 1966. The audio-tape has not be digitized. “Series III: Photographs” contains lantern slides and black and white photographs, and small albums from 1911 to 1951. There are several unique images of Hetty Goldman that are currently unpublished. Most of these images are of Goldman herself, with a minority pertaining to site photography. “Series IV: Miscellaneous” contains The “Miscellaneous” series contains: two notebooks used while traveling, Hetty Goldman’s business card, an award medal, and a place card from an unknown dinner event. “Series V: Publication Negatives” contains 87 large, glass plate negatives (5 x7 inches, or 9.25 x 7 inches). Many of the negatives were used to produce illustrations for several publications by Hetty Goldman, but there are images that were not published. The publications were: A. L. Walker and Hetty Goldman, “Report on Excavations at Halae,” AJA 19 (1915) 418-37; Hetty Goldman, “The Acropolis of Halae,” Hesperia IX (1940) 381-514; Hetty Goldman and Frances Jones, “Terracottas from the Necropolis of Halae,” Hesperia 11 (1942) 365-421. Note: the plates are in a poor state of conservation and a very fragile. No record of the date for the plates has been preserved; a broad date of 1911 to 1942 has been based on the date of the publications, although an earlier date is probable. In addition to these series, other Goldman materials not located in this collection, but that are sited at Bryn Mawr College, are described in the “Related Materials Notes.”


  • Creation: circa 1901--1966
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1911-1950


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Biographical / Historical

Hetty’s Goldman’s career in archaeology was conducted against the backdrop of a series of world upheavals, yet throughout, she persevered not only in her desire to engage in field archaeology, but also in her philanthropic devotion to those people in the Mediterranean touched by turbulent times. Goldman was part of the first generation of American archaeologists to work in the Mediterranean, and she became the first American woman to direct an archaeological excavation on mainland Greece. Remembered as a woman of exceptional wit and humor and a scholar of unshakable principles and determination, Goldman left behind a legacy worthy of her pioneering spirit.

Goldman (1881-1972) was born in New York City to a wealthy banking family. She entered Bryn Mawr College in 1899, pursuing a double major in English and Greek, completing her undergraduate degree in 1903. She then began graduate studies at Columbia University in Ancient Greek, where she remained for several years. In 1909 she enrolled in the graduate department for classical languages and archaeology at Radcliffe College. From 1910 to 1912, she completed a Charles Eliot Norton Fellowship from Harvard University for Greek Studies at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. During her fellowship, she began her first excavation on acropolis in Halae with Alice Leslie Walker, a fellow student, in May of 1911. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Goldman went back to the United States and earned her Ph.D in 1916 at Radcliffe College.

In 1922 Goldman excavated Colophon in Ionia with Carl W. Blegen, but the excavation was shut down by the Graeco-Turkish war. She directed her next excavation at the site of a Eutresis in Boeotia investigating prehistoric times (1924-1927). In 1932, Goldman’s cousin connected her with the team for the archaeological survey through Yugoslavia and later the excavation of Starčevo that revealed Neolithic remains. In 1934, Goldman joined the Department of Archaeology of Bryn Mawr College in Tarsus, Cilicia, on the Southeast coast of Turkey. Her work there, alongside Bryn Mawr professors and students, lasted for several seasons, ending finally with the outbreak of World War II.

Goldman’s charitable work often claimed her time during war times. She volunteered as a nurse for the American Red Cross Commission to Greece in 1913. She continued to work with the American Red Cross Home Service Department, the Department of Public Information in Washington D.C. and the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the US for many years.

Goldman returned to academia in 1936 as a professor in the School of Humanities Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey; she was the institute’s first woman professor. Upon the agreement that allowed her to continue to Tarsus, Goldman worked on publications of Tarsus, Halae, and other interests at IAS during the war years. She retired from IAS in 1947, and worked with the publication of the Tarsus volumes. Goldman would receive many honors in the field of archaeology and classical studies for her archaeological career.

Hetty Goldman was not only an important early 20th century archaeologist, she was a pioneering figure in the field. As the first women to lead an excavation (in Tarsus with Bryn Mawr College), and one of the first women ever to receive a PhD in the field, Goldman and her work are part of an important period in the history of archaeology. This collection focuses doubly on Goldman’s life through photographs and correspondence, and on her important work in collaboration with Bryn Mawr in Tarsus through photographs and notebooks. The collection’s largest strength lies in the access it gives to Goldman’s life and thinking through photographs, letters, and speeches.


3 boxes ; 2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Hetty Goldman Collection is a small collection of photographs, correspondence, and other documents relevant to Hetty Goldman—pioneering archaeologist, classicist, scholar—whose excavations in the first half of the twentieth expanded the knowledge of the ancient past in the Mediterranean region. The strength of the collection is in several unpublished photographs of Hetty Goldman from the early twentieth century, correspondence, and the typed text of a speech that she delivered at Bryn Mawr College in 1955.

Related Materials

See also Machteld J. Mellink (1939-2006) papers for a series of letters between Hetty Goldman and Machteld Mellink.

Additionally, a collection of digitized notebooks from Goldman's archaeological excavations in Tarsus, Turkey can be found in Shared Shelf. Several of the notebooks are by Goldman herself, though the majority are notes from others at the site. The physical notebooks can be found in the Tarsus Collection. Clcik here to access "Tarsus Notebooks" at Shared Shelf.

Hetty Goldman Collection
Elliot Krasnopoler, with notes from Joan Riley
October 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Bryn Mawr College Library

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