1972 - Professor Mary Boyce

Scope and Content

Correspondence and a newspaper cutting concerning the conferment of the Burton Memorial Medal on Professor Mary Boyce.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nora Elisabeth Mary Boyce was born in India in 1920. She graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge with a double first. She joined the faculty of the Royal Holloway College, University of London in 1944, where she taught Anglo-Saxon literature and archaeology until 1946. Simultaneously she continued her studies, this time in Persian languages,under the guidance of Vladimir Minorsky at the School of Oriental and African Studies from 1945 to 1947. There she met Walter Bruno Henning, under whose tutelage she began to study Middle Iranian languages.
In 1948, Boyce was appointed lecturer of Iranian Studies at SOAS, specialising in Manichaean, Zoroastrian Middle Persian and Parthian texts. In 1952, she was awarded a doctorate in Oriental Studies from the University of Cambridge. At SOAS, she was promoted to Reader (1958–1961) and subsequently awarded the University of London's professorship in Iranian Studies following Henning's transfer to the University of California at Berkeley.
Boyce remained professor at SOAS until her retirement in 1982, continuing as Professor Emerita and a professorial research associate until her death in 2006. Her speciality remained the religions of speakers of Eastern Iranian languages, in particular Manichaeanism and Zoroastrianism.


The material was divided into two sub-series for correspondence and printed material.

Related Material

The Minutes of the Council Meeting may provide additional details of the award to Professor Mary Boyce. The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1973, p.197 record the presentation of the Burton Memorial Medal to Professor Boyce as part of the Anniversary Report.