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Alison Frantz Papers

Consists of papers of Alison Frantz, a classicist and photographer. She was the photographer and specialist in Early Christian and Byzantine archaeology for the Agora excavations at Athens from 1933 to 1968 for the American School of Classical Studies. In 1967 she received a grant from the American Philosophical Society to study, draw and photograph the temple ruins (circa 200-300 A.D.) on the island of Silinos in the Aegean Sea. Frantz also served as Cultural Attache (1946-1949) for the U.S. Embassy in Athens and later was a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study. Included in the papers are hundreds of black and white photographs of different sizes of classical and Byzantine architecture, sculpture, monuments, ornamental motifs, inscriptions and artifacts primarily of the Agora excavations in Athens, and Greece, but also documenting her work at various other sites in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. There are also photographs of vernacular architecture, scenes of daily life, and of manuscripts at the Megaspelaion Monastery, which were later destroyed in a fire. Also present are drawings, sketches, notecards, notecards with photographs, photo study cards, notebooks, and negative files relating to her studies of the Agora excavations, sculpture and other sites in Turkey, Greece, the Peloponnese and elsewhere.

The papers also contain student notes, lectures, book reviews, and articles by Frantz, such as “The Crusaders in Greece,” “Multum in Parvo, the Aegean Island of Sikinos,” many articles and notes concerning the post-classical habitation of the Athenian Agora, and “Geography and Politics in Early Christian Ornament in Greece,” written for a festschrift for Kurt Weitzmann. A correspondence file includes personal and professional correspondents such as The American Philosophical Society, The Archaeological Institute of American, Rhys Carpenter, Peter Megaw, Smith College, Homer Thompson, John Travlos, Harper & Row, the Phaidon Press, and letters (1925-1948) to her mother, Mary K. Frantz. In addition there are personal photographs of herself, family, friends and pets, documents, medals, printed matter, and a volume of genealogical information entitled “Our Family.”