Personal Papers of Eugenie Strong

Scope and Content

The papers include personal and biographical records, academic and personal correspondence, family correspondence, and working papers concerning publications and lectures. Correspondents include literary figures, archaeologists, Roman Catholic dignitaries, diplomats, artists and academics. Perhaps the most striking feature of the papers is the almost complete chronological series of 44 files of general correspondence [chiefly in-letters], 1879-1943, at GCPP Strong 2/1. The catalogue entry for this series is brief, giving file numbers and covering dates, but a separate document has been compiled in Word, listing the names of frequent and/or famous correspondents in this series.

Administrative / Biographical History

Eugenie Strong was born on March 25, 1860. Educated in France, she came up to Girton College in 1879 to read for the Classical Tripos, which she took in 1882. On leaving Girton she spent several years training for a career in archaeology. She taught in London for a time, then spent time studying and working at the British School at Athens and in Germany, where she worked with Adolf Furtwangler. In 1897, she married Sandford Arthur Strong, orientalist and Librarian to the House of Lords and also Librarian and Keeper of the Duke of Devonshire's books and statuary at Chatsworth. After Arthur Strong's death in 1904 she carried on his work at Chatsworth till 1909, when she was appointed Assistant Director of the British School at Rome. She spent the rest of her life in Rome. During this period she returned to the Roman Catholic faith which was a very strong influence in her later years. She was elected Girton's first Research Fellow in 1910 and was also a Life Fellow of the College. She received many honours, but in particular she was made, in 1927, a CBE, and in 1938 she was awarded the Serena gold medal for Italian studies by the British Academy. She died in Rome on September 16, 1943. The bulk of Eugenie Strong's papers were deposited in the Library of Girton College in 1949. Correspondence concerning the acquisition of the papers, including some letters written by Maurice Baring to ES, 1955-66, is to be found in the papers of Mary Cartwright at GCAR 1/13/1/3. [NB: further papers are held by the British School at Rome. There are also letters from Maurice Baring to ES held by the Sterling Memorial Library of Yale University - see GCPP Strong 3/2.] It would appear that Eugenie Strong and/or her younger sister Charlotte Leigh Smith conducted a large degree of sorting of the papers and this arrangement has been left broadly intact.


The papers are arranged as Strong 1: Personal and biographical records; Strong 2: General correspondence; Strong 3: Individual correspondents; Strong 4: Strong correspondence; Strong 5: Chatsworth; Strong 6: British School at Rome; Strong 7: Publications, lectures and working papers.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Girton College Archive, Girton College Cambridge. A prior appointment is always necessary.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of Eugenie Strong's papers were deposited in the Library of Girton College in 1949 by her younger sister, Charlotte Leigh-Smith.

Other Finding Aids

As at Sep 2008 an online catalogue was available at Various rough lists of the papers at Girton have been made since 1949, including a rough inventory made by the then Mistress, K T Butler, in 1949. A classified list in Microsoft Word and a database catalogue in Microsoft Access were compiled in 2001. There is also an index available as a Word document to frequent and /or famous correspondents within GCPP Strong 2/1 General Chronological Correspondence Series.

Archivist's Note

Collection Description taken from JANUS in Sep 2008 as part of Genesis 2008 Project

Conditions Governing Use

Please cite as Girton College Archive, Cambridge, Personal Papers of Eugenie Strong, GCPP Strong

Related Material

GCAR 1/13/1/3 ( Correspondence about Baring letters); GCAR 10/1/6 (Kate Martin's postcard collection) The British School at Rome; Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University


Stephen L Dyson,' Eugenie Sellers Strong: Portrait of an Archaeologist', London: Duckworth, 2004; Gladys Scott Thomson, 'Mrs Arthur Strong: a Memoir', London: Cohen and West, 1949; obituaries for ES in the Girton Review, Michaelmas Term, 1943 and in the Cambridge Review, Nov 20 1943; biographical details in the Girton Register Vol.1, 1869-1946; Mary Beard, 'The Invention of Jane Harrison' Harvard University Press, 2000 (early Chapters discuss at some length Strong/Harrison connections)