University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Denise Schmandt-Besserat Papers, 1953-2008



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Schmandt-Besserat, Denise.
Title: Denise Schmandt-Besserat Papers
Dates: 1953-2008
Abstract: Denise Schmandt-Besserat is a professor emerita of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and a scholar of the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Her papers include research materials, manuscript drafts, subject files, correspondence, reviews, clippings, publications, and teaching materials.
Accession No.: 92-234; 93-293; 2000-147; 2003-031; 2003-054; 2003-101; 2007-100; 2009-052; 2009-250; 2009-305; 2013-240
Extent: 44 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English and French.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Denise Schmandt-Besserat is a professor emerita of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Schmandt-Besserat studies the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Her research has focused on the origin of writing and counting, and her published works include: Before Writing (1992), How Writing Came About (1996), The History of Counting (1999), and When Writing Met Art (2007). Dr. Schmandt-Besserat trained at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, France. She received an honorary doctorate from Kenyon College in 2008.


Scope and Contents

Research materials, manuscript drafts, page proofs, and editorial materials document the creation of Denise Schmandt-Besserat’s published works, including Before Writing (1992), How Writing Came About (1996), When Writing Met Art (2007), and scholarly articles. Also included in the collection are subject files, correspondence, reviews and press clippings, publications, teaching materials, and research materials that document Dr. Schmandt-Besserat’s scholarly activities, research, teaching, lectures, and travel.

Note that the inventory below is in abridged form. For a complete folder listing, contact the repository.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Access to portions of this collection are restricted. See inventory below for details. Contact repository for further information.

Use Restrictions

A portion of these papers is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Schmandt-Besserat, Denise -- Archives.
Subjects
Writing and art -- Middle East.
Art, Ancient -- Middle East.
Art, Prehistoric -- Middle East.
Writing -- History.
Archaeology and art--Middle East
Places
Middle East--Antiquities.
Middle EAst--Studying and teaching.
Middle East -- Antiquities.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Artifact Collection.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Denise Schmandt-Besserat Papers, 1953-2008, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Onsite at SRH:

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2.325/D8c Galley proofs of Before Writing, Vols. 1 and 2
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2.325/T63a Page proofs of How Writing Came About, 1996
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3X138c Filmstrips:
‘Origin of Writing,’ The Reading Laboratory, Inc., Archaeological Perspectives on Man, undated
‘How Writing Began,’ The Reading Laboratory, Inc., undated
VHS Tapes:
‘Treasures from the Royal Graves of Ur’ The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, undated
‘Origins of Writing,’ Discover Magazine, undated
‘How Writing Began,’ Alarion Press, History through Art and Archaeology, 1987
‘The Origin of Writing,’ First UU Church of Austin Public Affairs Forum, undated
‘Origins of Writing,’ Scotch home tape, undated
‘Origins of Writing,’ Scotch home tape, undated ‘Ain Ghazal’ Edit, TRT 10 mins, February 1999
‘How writing began’ Alarion Press, History through Art and Archaeology, 12 mins, undated
Umatic Tapes:
‘The Royal Archives of Elba,’ undated
‘Science Magazine, Show #3, Interview with Denise Schmandt-Besserat, discussion of the Origin of Writing’ CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, undated
‘Odyssey – Key to the Land of Silence’, undated
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2X83c Audio material:
Origins of Writing Event, 9658-59 3037/Quad, Tapes 1-6, August 10-11, 1990
Mexico, Denise Schmandt-Besserat, February 8, 1993
Utah Public Radio Interview Broadcast, February 9, 2000
Origin and Development of Writing, automatic, undated
Madison lecture, Symbols, April 1988
Canadian Broadcast Corporation Broadcast, Tapes 1-2, January 19, 1994
Frontiers of Communication, Tape 2, Media Centre Audio Production Services, undated
Una’s Lecture, “Origin of Writing” Tapes 1-2, March 7, 1989
Lecture on the “Origins of Writing” Oriental Lab, April 16, 1980
Held in the residence of Ms. Safeya Binzagr, undated
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science Update, “Numbers and Taxes,” April 1989
“How Writing Began,” 1987 (Includes a short filmstrip, VHS tape and maps at 3X138c)
“Archaeological perspectives on man; The Origin and Development of Writing,” 1980 (Includes a short filmstrip, VHS tape and maps at 3X138c)
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2/FILM E70 Search for Solutions flat film
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2.325/D20b Certificate
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2W15 Computer printout of token discovery location, size, shape and museum location
Display Cards showing token shapes
Map of Token locations
Photographic paper of Token illustrations
box
3Y387 Photographs of tokens with a colorized overlay. Separated in envelopes by figure numbers from the book “Before Writing”
box
3So100 Illustrations in small envelopes
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3R38a Diskettes (77)
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3W105 VHS Introduction I
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2.325/P17 Subject files:
Letters of recommendation, educational certificates, early professional history, 1953-1984
Notes (Photocopied articles and book excerpts), 1981-2005
Language Origins Society, 1991, 2002
W. W. Norton & Company, correspondence, 1992-1993
Japan (Translations of Schmandt-Besserat’s works), 2000-2008
Retirement, 2001-2002
The Warburg Institute – London (Colloquium on “Iconography without Texts,” June 2005), 2004-2005
Handbook of Writing Research (chapter contribution), 2004-2006
Elsevier (Article on “Writing Systems” for the Encyclopedia of Archeology), 2005-2007
Henri Contenson (Article for Syria in his honor), 2006-2007
Georgia (Paper presented to the Georgian National Academy of Sciences), 2007
92nd Street Y, Young Men & Young Women’s Hebrew Association – New York (October lecture), 2007
Archeological Institute of America lecture (Talks for Seattle, Spokane, and Walla Walla societies), 2007
Chicago (American Accounting Association lecture), 2007
Correspondence and applications, 2007
New York Y, 92nd Street Young Men & Young Women’s Hebrew Association (May lecture), 2007
Ravenna (XIX International Conference on South Asian Archeology, Italy), 2007
UT Business School (lecture), 2007
Kenyon College (honorary doctoral degree conferral), 2007-2008
New Orleans – Charles Bazerman (Conference on College Composition and Communication, “Writing Realities, Changing Realities”), 2007-2008
Business (correspondence), 2008
Georgia (Tblisi visit), 2008
Neolithic – Leiden (Conference on “Interpreting the Late Neolithic of Upper Mesopotamia”), 2008
University of Oklahoma (speaking engagement), 2008
Illustrations for When Writing Met Art, University of Texas Press, 2007
Publications:
Korean translation of The History of Counting, 2007
Assorted collected publications, 2007-2008
Diploma, honorary doctorate, Kenyon College, May 17, 2008
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4C768 [2013-240]:
Correspondence
General, 2008-2010
Lambros MALEURIS, 2007-2008
Ovideo, 2009
Papers
Ain Ghazal Figurines-BASOK, 2009-2010
Alex Marshack, 2005-2006, 2008-2010
Oxford Companion, 2010
Cambridge Encyclopedia, 2010
Glottologia, 2004-2012, undated
Anne Kilmer, 2008-2011
Scripta, 2008-2011
Writing: a Mosaic of Perspectives, 2008-2012
Wroclaw, 2011
Legacy of the Middle East, undated
Grants
American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR), 2001, 2008, 2011
Publication Fellowship, 2011
Conferences
Cambridge
Society of American Archaeology, 2010-2013
Seoul Symposium, 2008
Lecture: Bazermann/Writing Research Across Borders II, 2011
Quotes, 1985, 1992, 1998-2012
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2.325/E486 RESTRICTED:
Personal and financial information [2009-052], 1933-2007
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Offsite at the LSF:

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2.325/F36 Manuscript, rough draft and galley proofs, Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform, Vol. 1
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CDL2/L335 Before Writing, book:
Permissions, 1990
UT Press, correspondence and publications, 1990-1991
Readers, 1989
Preface, correspondence, 1990-1991
Book edition, 1990
Corrections
Index
Vol. II, catalog
Map
Drawings
Original manuscript to UT Press, August 3, 1989
Illustrations
Proofs
Galleys
box
CDL2/L336 Drafts of book
Chapters on Iraq, Iran, tablets
Tokens: Cones; Spheres; Discs; Cylinders; Tetrahedrons; Others
Clay analysis
Correspondence, circa 1979 - circa 1989
box
CDL2/L337 Grants, circa 1980 - circa 1990
Articles on origin of writing
Correspondence, 1980-1985
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CDL2/L338 Articles on origin of writing, 1980s
Correspondence, 1980s
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CDL2/L339 Articles on origin of writing, 1980s
Correspondence, 1980s
Critics' press reaction, magazines, and newspaper clippings
box
CDL2/L340 Computer printouts:
Key to computer program
Per Millennia
Reserve
Envelopes
Tablets
box
CDL2/L341 Data forms file
Computer tapes
box
CDL2/L342 Token catalogs:
Syria
Turkey
Iraq
Iran
Palestine
Statistics
Masters
Sites
Tokens
Envelopes
Tablets
Token charts
Tokens typed per millennium
Eighth Millennium
Subtypes
Forms
Computer masters
Coded sheets
box
CDL2/L343 Data sheets, notes, printed material
Seals: Bullae, Tablets
Impressed tablets
Envelopes
Pictographic tablets
box
CDL2/L344 Site files:
Uruk, miscellaneous materials
box
CDL2/L345 Syria
box
CDL2/L346 Iraq
Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, and others
box
CDL2/L347 Iran
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CDL2/N205 Miscellaneous oversized files
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2000-147/1 Before Writing, Abridged Version:
Figures, May 15, 1995
Copy 2, May 15, 1995
Corrected by Teresa, February 16, 1995
American Scientist, “The Top 100 Science Books of the Century,” reprint, 1999
box
2000-147/2 How Writing Came About, edited drafts, circa 1995
Before Writing, Abridged Version, copy 1, May 15, 1995
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2003-054/1 Teaching materials, 1998-2002
Book Lists, 1974-2000
Course Descriptions, 1981-1994
Course Manuals
box
2003-054/2 Publications, 1967-1995, undated
box
2003-054/3 Publications, 1977-1994, undated
box
2003-054/4 Art and Token letters, 1993-2002
Tokens, 1979-1998
Visible Language, undated
Written Communication, undated
Art, 1993-2002
Man, undated
Written Communication Xerox, undated
Internationale de l’ Imaginaire. Editor Cherif Khaznadar, Maison Des Cultures Du Monde: Paris, 1985
Visible Language. Volume 20:3. Editors David Olson, Derrick de Kerckove, Visible Language: Cleveland, Ohio, 1986
Journal of Library History, 1986
Tokens and Pictography, undated
Xerox – International Encyclopedia of Communications, undated
Strasbourg, undated
Visible Language Volume 8:1 Editor Merald E. Wrolstad, Visible Language: Ohio, 1984
Collected Papers of the Society for Near Eastern Studies, Volume 2. Editor Robert Chadwick, Society for Near East Studies: Quebec, 1984
Clay in Anatolia, undated
Clay in Syria, undated
Syria reprints, undated
On the Invention of Writing, undated
The Legacy of Sumer, undated
Immortal Egypt, undated
On the Origins of Writing, undated
Early Technologies-Technology and Cultures
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2003-054/5 Newspaper clippings, 1975-2001
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2003-054/6 Lectures, 1985-2000, undated
Material for children's books, 1994-1999, undated
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2003-031/1 Research material, 1977-2001, undated
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2003-031/2 Quotes, 1977-2002, undated
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2003-031/3 Publications, A-Z by title, 1967-2000
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2003-101/1 Reviews, 1992-1999, undated
Citation: Art, 2003
Salary: Past annual reports, letters
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2003-101/2 Reviews, 2000-2003, undated
Computer Printouts, 1986
Cones, Spheres, Discs
Vessels
Tools
Biconoid
Paraboloid
Oviod
Tetrahedron
Animal
Miscellaneous
Bent Coil
Oval
Cylinder
Rectangle
Triangle
Publications
Drawings used in Volume 1 of Before Writing
Drawing references
Volume 1, Before Writing
Photocopies: Printout of Token location, number, museum location and size
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box
2009-250/1 Course Notes:
Syria sites
Jordon
Lebanon
Liban
Palestine
Islamic Era
box
2009-250/2 Turkey
Materials--metal
Persia-symbols/writing, 1997.
Islamic Persia
Islamic Iran
Luristan
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2009-250/3 Egypt:
Paleo/pre-dynasty
Amarna/late
Everyday life
Middle Kingdom
Topics
Early New Kingdom
Old Kingdom
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2009-250/4 Late Egypt
Religion:
Death
Pantheon
Sumer:
Sites
Topics--economy, warfare
Babylon
Uruk:
Civilization
Artifacts
box
2009-250/5 Assun:
Topics
Reliefs
Texts
Magic
Art
Akkad
UrIII
box
2009-250/6 Achaemenian:
History and objects
Sites
Reliefs
Elam
Iran
box
2009-250/7 Theory
Early Mesopotamia, Zawi-Cheri, Ubald
Spychet [Uruk notes in French].
Diskettes, 1996-1997
AG
Articles
Class
Seminars
Kid books
Diskettes, 1998-2000
Accounts
AG
Articles
Class
Kid books
Diskettes, 2001
AG
Articles
Class
302
Kid books (none on "articles")
Grants
Lecture
Recom[mendations?]
Reviews
Writing
box
2009-305/1 Photo albums:
Family, 1997-2001
Turkey, 2005
Egypt, 2000
Reunions, 2006
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2009-305/2 Family, 1987-2000
Schmandt Chronicles for mama’s fiftieth birthday [articles by Jurgen, Phillip, and Alex Schmandt]
Course notes:
Kings I
Kings II
Sumer topics
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2009-305/3 Ed
Ed art
Photo album, 1990-1994
Floppy disks:
Book part I: Intro – outline – chap. 1-4. Abbrev. Title. Title pt. I., March 1, 1990
(3 disks)
Drawer Uruk/Berlin, 1987, Final. Map. Photos. Tiefschmitt, May 25, 1989
Book II. Chap 5-9 – concl – title cat – title pt. 2 charts, March 1, 1990
(3 disks)
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2009-305/4 Teaching and writing files
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2009-305/5 Rolled negatives



 

Offsite at CDL 3, Range 66, Section 1:

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2007-100/1 Research materials for the book When Writing Met Art
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2007-100/2 Research materials for the book When Writing Met Art
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2007-100/3 Business, 2003-2006
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2007-100/4 Business, 2007
Middle Eastern tours, 2001-2006
Lectures