The PASP Archives contain two collections of primary source material of early researchers of Linear B.

Ventris-Kober Archives

The PASP Archives include primary source materials of early researchers in Linear B such as Alice Kober and Michael Ventris. Finding aids for these collections are now available online; links to the Word and PDF versions are listed below.

The Ventris material consists mainly of letters that Mr. Ventris sent to Emmett L. Bennett, Jr. and Alice E. Kober, and photocopies of correspondence with Sir John Myres (courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford). A pilot project to digitize selected letters of Ventris is now underway in cooperation with the Digital Library Services Division-Digitization Center of the General Libraries. PASP thanks Mark McFarland, Chad Hutchens, Uri Kolodney, Aaron Choate, Maria Esteva, Sue Trombley, Stephie Nikoloudis and Kevin Pluta for their participation in this project. Funding has come from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and the Dickson Centennial Professorship.

The Ventris materials have long been stored in acid-free conditions and the paper on which most of the letters were written, in Ventris’ elegant architectural hand, was of good quality and the ink is still strong.

During academic year 2003-2004, the Kober materials were professionally indexed and archived, and stored in better conditions for preservation, by Sue Trombley of the School of Information here at UT Austin. The major part of the Kober collection consists of ca. 186,000 ‘cigarette-carton’ note cards, each hand cut from notebook and other kinds of paper. Ms. Kober used different inks as she edited the dense notes on each card. Some of the fountain pen ink is now badly fading. It is in great need of digitizing, since scholarly interest in Ms. Kober’s work has increased following the anniversary of the decipherment of Linear B in 2002 and the inevitable comparison of Ms. Kober’s contribution to it and that of Rosalind Franklin to the discovery of DNA.

PASP is also fortunate to keep photocopies of Ms. Kober’s correspondence with Sir John Myres (courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford), photocopies of the correspondence of Arne Furumark with Ventris (courtesy of the University of Uppsala), and Ms. Kober’s offprints and unpublished scholarly papers and drafts. Ms. Kober gave this material to Emmett L. Bennett, Jr. in the months preceding her death and instructed her brother to give the remaining materials to Prof. Bennett. Professor Bennett gave these materials to Prof. Palaima who retains ownership of them.

PASP also houses the offprint collection of Emmett. L. Bennett, Jr., likewise given to Prof. Palaima who retains ownership, as well as valuable works of scholarship with annotations by such figures as the late Leonard R. Palmer, purchased by Prof. Palaima.

Michael Ventris Papers Finding Aid: Word PDF
Alice E. Kober Papers Finding Aid: Word PDF

Bennett Archives

The PASP Archives recently obtained the papers of Emmett L. Bennett, Jr., one of the world’s most distinguished and reputable Classics scholars and the founding father of the study of Mycenaean scripts. His systematic and meticulous analysis of Linear B was instrumental in its decipherment by British scholar Michael Ventris in 1952.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, M.S.I.S. candidate Christy Costlow of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information arranged, indexed, and rehoused the materials into archival enclosures.

The collection, consisting of 6,193 items, is comprised of the research material, publications, manuscripts, lecture notes, education and teaching material, correspondence, and photographic material created and compiled by Bennett during his professional career. The bulk of the material include items related to the study of Linear B and Bennett’s correspondence with other scholars and colleagues in the Classical Studies field.

Bennett was a passionate scholar whose extraordinary precision and attention to detail are well illustrated by the numerous grids, graphs, and statistical calculations he completed in his work on Linear B. His roles also included those of a mentor, encourager and collaborator, and as a reputable and greatly respected scholar in the field, Bennett received frequent correspondence and papers for review from colleagues and amateurs alike. Prior to and around the time of the decipherment of Linear B, Bennett collaborated closely with Michael Ventris (these letters are included within PASP’s Michael Ventris archival collection), and for years afterwards he remained close with those such as Carl Blegen, his former teacher, and John Chadwick, a frequent collaborator.

Bennett donated the materials to PASP under the custody of Prof. Palaima. Related materials are found in PASP’s collections of the papers of Michael Ventris and Alice E. Kober. Additionally, PASP houses the offprint collection of Emmett. L. Bennett, Jr., also given to Prof. Palaima who retains ownership.

Emmett L. Bennett, Jr. Papers Finding Aid: Word PDF

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