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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lillian B. Lawler papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1911-1968
Creator: Lawler, Lillian B. (1898-1990)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0034
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Scholar at the State University of Iowa in 1923.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in box 1

Access: The papers are open for research.


Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 34) were donated by Lillian Lawler in 1984.

Preferred Citation: Lillian B. Lawler papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Lillian Beatrice Lawler was born June 30, 1898, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor's degree in 1919 from the University of Pittsburgh, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa in 1921 and 1925. From 1923 to 1925, she was an instructor in classics and art history at the University of Iowa. After a year of further study at the American Academy in Rome, she was an assistant professor of classics at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, from 1926 to 1929.

By far the largest portion of Lillian Lawler's career took place at Hunter College in New York. Beginning as an instructor in 1929, she underwent a series of changes in title and responsibilities, culminating in her achievement of the rank of full professor in 1955 and professor emeritus status in 1959. In the years from 1928 to 1935, she was also an Archeological Institute of America travelling lecturer. She was a visiting professor at the University of Iowa from 1961 to 1967, and remained a resident of the Iowa City area until her death on December 13, 1990.

The Lillian Lawler papers measure 2.5 linear inches and date from 1911 to 1968.  The bulk of the contents date from Lawler's years teaching at Hunter College, traveling, photographing, and publishing articles (1930 to 1960).  The papers are arranged in four series: Reprints, Journals, Photographs, and Miscellaneous.

The Reprints series consists of reprints of twenty-seven articles by Lawler, primarily on the subject of dance in ancient Greece, but also on such topics as marriage in ancient Italy and women's fashion in Roman Africa, reprinted from the American Journal of Philology, The Classical Journal, Classical Philology, Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association, and Studies Presented to David Moore Robinson.

Journals include accounts of journeys to Rome and around Europe in 1925, including a visit with Pope Pius XI and much visiting of ancient sites of classical interest; and trips to Bermuda in 1931, to Greece in 1936, and to Australia.  There is also a list of plays staged by the State University of Iowa (University of Iowa) from 1959 to 1968.

The Miscellaneous series is comprised of a Pittsburgh High Schools Christmas 1911 issue of High School Journal; a pamphlet advertising an educational Mediterranean cruise for students of Teachers College, Columbia University, to be taught on shipboard and on location by Lawler; and a pamphlet entitled "How the Romans Dressed," by Dr. Lillian Wilson, of Teachers' College.

The Photographs are largely of places and things encountered in travel, as well as of persons with whom Lawler traveled.  There are many images here of ruins and artifacts of Greece, many of scenery and countryside.  Probably of greatest interest are the photos of classical Greek pottery art.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: REPRINTS
Series 2: JOURNALS

  • Series 1: REPRINTS
  • Box 1:
  • "Married Life in C.I.L. IX" - 1929
  • "Two Portraits from Tertullian" - 1929
  • "Zoologically Speaking" - 1930
  • "Some Lesser Lights" - 1934
  • "A Classicist in Far Cathay" - 1936
  • "Lucida Veste" - 1938
  • "The Dance of the Owl..." - 1939
  • "The Dance of the Pinakides" - 1940
  • "Ichthues Choreutai" - 1941
  • "Ballgame Dances" - 1941
  • "Blinding Radiance and the Greek Dance" - 1941
  • "The Dance of the Holy Birds" - 1942
  • "Four Dancers in the Birds of Aristophanes" - 1942
  • "Dancing with the Elbows" - 1942
  • "Orchesis Ionike" - 1943
  • "'The Lily' in the Dance" - 1944
  • "The Dance of the Ancient Mariners" - 1944
  • "The 'Thracian Pig Dance'" - 1945
  • "Orchesis Phobera" - 1946
  • "The Geranos Dance--a New Interpretation" - 1946
  • "Pindar and some Animal Dances" - 1946
  • "The Dance in Ancient Greece" - 1947
  • "Orchesis Kallinikos" - 1948
  • "The Dance in Metaphor" - 1951
  • "The Dance in Classical Greek Drama", undated
  • "Are They Dancing?", The Classical Journal - 1965
  • "The Dance in Ancient Crete", undated
  • Series 2: JOURNALS
  • Box 1:
  • Journals - 1925-1968
  • Box 1:
  • Miscellaneous
  • Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 1:
  • Photographs - 1926