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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Ira M. Price Papers 1875-1964

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Price, Ira M. Papers

Dates:

1875-1964

Size:

35.75 linear feet (27 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Ira Maurice Price (1856-1939) was a founding faculty member of the University of Chicago, serving as a professor of ancient languages and literatures from 1892 until 1925. Price was committed to religious education in the wider community as an active member of the Baptist Church and an author of popular histories of the Old Testament. The Ira M. Price Papers include personal and professional correspondence, family papers, photographs, scrapbooks, teaching and research notes, and drafts of his scholarly and popular writings

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Price, Ira M. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Ira Maurice Price (1856-1939) was a professor of Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. He was among the University’s original faculty. He was a leading figure in the Baptist Church.

Price was born in Granville, Ohio. He came from a farming family, though all five of his brothers distinguished themselves in academic, legal, and religious careers. Price was educated at Denison University and the Baptist Union Theological Seminary in Morgan Park, south Chicago. He taught modern and classical languages at Des Moines University and Wheaton Theological Seminary before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1886. He then returned to Chicago, teaching at the Baptist Union Theological Seminary. When the Seminary left Morgan Park to be incorporated into the new University of Chicago in 1892, Price became a faculty member there, remaining until his retirement in 1925.

Price’s career in Morgan Park and at the University of Chicago was concurrent with that of University founder and president William Rainey Harper, with whom he shared an interest in Hebrew scholarship. Price’s interest in biblical history and ancient languages also brought him into contact with leading American Orientalists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including William Hayes Ward and James Henry Breasted.

In addition to his scholarly work on Sumerian and Assyrian languages, Price published books for a broader audience on the history of the Old Testament: A Syllabus of Old Testament History, 1890; Monuments and the Old Testament, 1899; The Ancestry of Our English Bible, 1907; and The Dramatic Story of the Old Testament, 1935. These achieved widespread popularity and went through numerous editions and translations.

Price’s interest in biblical history stemmed from a personal commitment to religious education. Price was a leading figure in the Baptist Church, particularly the Baptist Young Peoples Union and the International Sunday School Association. He was secretary of the Association’s Lesson Committee between 1908 and 1914.

Along with his wife, Elizabeth, Price enjoyed the outdoors at their summer home in Olympia, Washington. He climbed Mount Rainier at the age of 65 and was remembered by his friends as an amateur naturalist with an interest in ferns.

Scope Note

The Ira M. Price Papers span the years 1875-1964. They are organized into four series:

Series I: Family, contains papers of the extended Price family from the 1880s through the 1960s. Particularly represented are Price’s brother, Orlo Price, his wife, Elizabeth Price, and his niece, Florence (“Flossie”) Bateson. It includes correspondence, financial papers, photographs, glass lantern slides, and scrapbooks.

Series II: Professional, contains material related to Price’s academic career, which spanned the 1880s through 1930s. It includes correspondence with other scholars and with his colleagues at the Baptist Union Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago. It also contains lecture notes for courses Price taught or at both institutions. Of note is his scrapbook documenting the early history of the University of Chicago, and his correspondence with its first president, William Rainey Harper.

Series III: Church Organizations, series documents Price’s involvement with the Baptist Young People’s Union of America and the International Sunday School Lesson Committee between 1892 and 1932. It includes bible course materials, notes, and clippings.

Series IV: Research and Writings, contains research notes related to Price’s scholarly interest in biblical history and ancient languages. It also contains drafts, books reviews, articles, and book manuscripts. It includes articles written by other scholars and spans 1880-1936.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Family

This series contains papers of the extended Price family from the 1880s through the 1960s. Particularly represented are Price’s brother, Orlo Price, his wife, Elizabeth Price, and his niece, Florence ("Flossie") Bateson. It includes correspondence, financial papers, photographs, glass lantern slides, and scrapbooks.

Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence, Orlo Price to Ira M. Price, circa 1908-1930

Box 1   Folder 2

Correspondence, Ira M. and Elizabeth Price to Florence and Ada Benson, 1928-1947

Box 1   Folder 3

Correspondence, Royal Price to Ira M. Price, 1936

Box 1   Folder 4

School reports, Ira Price II and Owen F. Price, circa 1930s

Box 1   Folder 5

Obituaries, Ira M. Price and letters to Elizabeth Price, 1939

Box 1   Folder 6

Memorial for Price in the Journal of Semitic Languages, 1940

Box 1   Folder 7

Correspondence, memorials for Ira M. Price, 1942-1962

Box 1   Folder 8

Correspondence, Price and Bateson families, 1962-1963

Box 1   Folder 9

University memorial service program for Elizabeth Price, 1962

Box 1   Folder 10

Correspondence, Ira M. Price II, 1964

Box 1   Folder 11

Correspondence, "Price Family Letter Number 3," 1964

Box 1   Folder 12

Genealogical notes on the Price family from the eighteenth century,

  • by Ira M. Price
Box 1   Folder 13

Biographical sketch of Enoch Jones Price by Ira M. Price

Box 1   Folder 14

Photographs, Price family, circa 1913-1934

Box 1   Folder 15

Newspaper clipping, "Pasquin," Granville, Ohio, 1878

Box 1   Folder 16

Newspaper clippings, "The Madras Mail," 1951

Box 1   Folder 17

Recipe for peppermint chews, undated

Box 1A   Folder 1

Bound and indexed picture scrapbook of Ira M. Price, 1898-1904

Box 2   Folder 1

Newspaper clippings related to Ira M. Price, circa 1880s-1930s

Box 2   Folder 2

Articles by Orlo J. Price, 1929

Box 2   Folder 3

Expense book, Price family, 1882-1889

Box 2   Folder 4

Expense book, Ira M. Price, 1911-1926

Box 2   Folder 5

Accounts, Price family and Homer Price, Evergreen Farm, circa.

  • 1911-1919
Box 2   Folder 6

Accounts and investments, Ira M. Price, 1911-1926

Box 2   Folder 7

Legal and financial papers, Ira M. Price, circa 1930s

Box 2   Folder 8

Correspondence, Leipzig book dealers, circa 1920s

Box 2   Folder 9

Correspondence, French book dealers, circa 1920s-1930s

Box 2   Folder 10

Last will and testament of Ira M. Price, 1936

Box 2   Folder 11

Financial papers, Elizabeth Price, 1925-1955

Box 3

Account book, Ira M. Price, 1911-1939

Box 3

Personal scrapbook, circa 1874-1908

Box 4

"Personal Reminiscences," Ira M. Price, 1933

Box 4

Notes on the collection, 1972

Box 5

Glass lantern slides, Price family and Morgan Park, 1899-1900, undated

Series II: Professional

This series contains material related to Price’s academic career. It includes correspondence with other scholars and with his colleagues at the Baptist Union Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago. It also contains lecture notes for courses Price taught at both institutions. Price’s "University of Chicago" scrapbook documents critical moments in the establishment of the University. Of related note is his correspondence with William Rainey Harper, covering the period during which Harper was a faculty member of the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, as well as his early presidency at the University of Chicago. Also of note is his correspondence with William Hayes Ward, which includes the shards of an ancient cylinder and Price’s attempt to decode its inscription. This series also contains correspondence by other University of Chicago faculty, including James Henry Breasted of the Oriental Institute.

Box 6   Folder 1

Correspondence, William Rainey Harper, circa 1880s-1890s

Box 6   Folder 2

"Personal recollections of William Rainey Harper prior to 1892," undated

Box 6   Folder 3

Correspondence, Edward C. Mitchell, 1890-1902

Box 6   Folder 4

Correspondence with William Hayes Ward, circa 1902-1909, includes artifact and "Notes on Homonyms in Sumerian Texts," undated

Box 6   Folder 5-6

Correspondence, professional, 1887-1939

Box 6   Folder 7

Correspondence by other faculty, 1901-1939

Box 6   Folder 8

Lecture notes, "Messianic Prophecies" and "Hebrew Literature and

  • Poetry," Morgan Park,1888-1889
Box 7   Folder 1

Lecture notes, "Messianic Prophecies" and "The Minor Prophets," Morgan Park, 1889-1890

Box 7   Folder 2

Lecture notes, "General Introduction to the Old Testament" and "Special Introduction to the Old Testament," University of Chicago, 1892-1893

Box 7   Folder 3

Lecture notes, "Kings," University of Chicago, 1903

Box 7   Folder 4

Lecture notes, sacred literature course, University of Chicago, undated

Box 7   Folder 5

Lecture notes, Old Testament history course, University of Chicago, undated

Box 7   Folder 6

Appreciation of Ira M. Price, read by the Hebrew language class, 1905

Box 7   Folder 7

Lecture notes, "History of Feudal England," Professor Terry, 1923-1924

Box 8   Folder 1

Papers related to Hebrew study organizations, circa 1880s-1890s

Box 8   Folder 2

College catalogues, 1875-1928

Box 8   Folder 3

"Who’s Who Among Biblical Scholars," compiled by Ira M. Price, undated

Box 9

University of Chicago Scrapbook, 1889-1908

Series III: Church Organizations

This series documents Price’s involvement with the Baptist Young People’s Union of America and the International Sunday School Lesson Committee, of which he was secretary between 1908 and 1914. It includes bible course materials, notes, and clippings and spans the years between 1892 and 1932.

Box 8   Folder 4

Papers, International Sunday School Lesson Committee, 1914-1929

Box 8   Folder 5

Notes and clippings, Sunday School periodicals, circa 1910-1932

Box 10

Baptist Young People’s Union: Bible Readers’ Course, 1892-1896

Box 11

Baptist Young People’s Union: Bible Readers’ Course, 1896-1900

Box 12

Baptist Young People’s Union: Bible Readers’ Course, 1900-1904

Box 13

Baptist Young People’s Union: Bible Readers’ Course, 1904-1912

Box 14

Baptist Young People’s Union: Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament, 1902-1903.

Series IV: Research and Writings

This series contains research notes, drafts, books reviews, articles, and book manuscripts. This series is divided into three subseries and spans 1880-1936.

Subseries 1: Research Materials, contains notes, translations, photographs, and clippings related to Price’s scholarly interest in biblical history and ancient languages.

Subseries 2: Writings, contains drafts, book reviews, articles, and manuscripts by Price, including his unpublished Social Life in Ancient Israel.

Subseries 3: Writings by Others, contains copies of articles written by other scholars on biblical history, the ancient world, and contemporary religion.

Subseries 1: Research Materials

Box 8   Folder 6

Translations of the Hebrew Book of Genesis, 1880-1881

Box 8   Folder 7

Notes on translations of the Books of Judge, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, 1881

Box 8   Folder 8

Ethiopische Woerterbuch, 1885

Box 15   Folder 1

DeSarzec transliterations, circa 1885

Box 15   Folder 2

Notes on Hebrew manuscripts in the Cambridge Library, 1901

Box 15   Folder 3

Chart, "Age of the Prophets," 1906

Box 15   Folder 4

Notes on tablets and seal, circa 1909-1930s

Box 15   Folder 5

Clippings on theology and the Old Testament, circa 1904-1916

Box 15   Folder 6

Notes and clippings on archaeology and the Bible, circa 1920s

Box 15   Folder 7

Hittite glossary, 1931

Box 15   Folder 8

Notes on Hittite codes and Sumerian laws, undated

Box 15   Folder 9

Notes on ancient legal codes in cuneiform, undated

Box 15   Folder 10

Notes on Isaiah, undated

Box 15   Folder 11

Egyptian photographs, undated

Box 15   Folder 12

Materials related to the ancestry of the Bible, undated

Box 16   Folder 1

Notebook, "Syllables," undated

Box 17

Oriental Seals, 1879

Box 17

Thesaurus of Biblical and Indian Scholars, 1889

Box 18

Archaic Signs, 1885

Box 18

Egyptian Photos, undated

Box 19

Bible references, undated

Box 19

German English Dictionary

Box 19

Notes on Hebrew Poetry, undated

Subseries 2: Writings

Box 16   Folder 2

Leipzig thesis manuscript, 1881

Box 16   Folder 3

Notes, "Life in Old Testament Times," 1909

Box 16   Folder 4

Correspondence and clippings, "The Ancestry of Our English Bible," 1904-1935

Box 16   Folder 5

Draft, "Covenant in the Old Testament," undated

Box 16   Folder 6

Drafts, "Adoption in Early Babylonia" and "Is the Bible Like Other Books?" undated

Box 16   Folder 7

Drafts, writings on biblical history, undated

Box 16   Folder 8

Draft, "The Dramatic Story of Old Testament History," 1928

Box 19

Dramatic History of the Old Testament, 1929

Box 20   Folder 1

Draft, "The Dramatic Story of Old Testament History," undated

Box 20   Folder 2

Pamphlets on "Monuments and the Old Testament," undated

Box 20   Folder 3

Draft, "Monuments and the Old Testament," 1925 edition

Box 20   Folder 4

Draft, "Monuments and the Old Testament," chapters 1-18, undated

Box 21   Folder 1

Draft, "Monuments and the Old Testament," chapters 19-25 and index,

  • undated
Box 21   Folder 2

Correspondence related to the Great Cylinders of Gudea, circa 1920s (in French

  • and German)
Box 21   Folder 3

Original transcription of the Great Cylinders of Gudea, undated

Box 21   Folder 4

Draft, "Great Cylinder Inscriptions of Gudea," circa 1926

Box 21   Folder 5

"A Sketch of the History of the Theological Faculties Union of Chicago and

  • Vicinity," undated
Box 21   Folder 6

"Biographical Sketch of Frederick Carl Eiselen," undated

Box 21   Folder 7

"Literary Remains of Rim-Sin (Arioch)", 1904

Box 21   Folder 8

"Syllabus of Old Testament History for Private Study and Classroom," 1910

Box 22   Folder 1

"Varia," articles on seals and inscriptions, circa 1904-1910

Box 22   Folder 2

"An Ancient Babylonian (Ax-head) Inscription," 1905

Box 22   Folder 3

"The So-called Levirate-Marriage in Hittite and Assyrian Laws," 1926

Box 22   Folder 4

"The Story of the Uniform Lessons," with John. R. Sampey, 1930

Box 22   Folder 5

Translation, "Tel-el-amarna letters," undated

Box 22   Folder 6

Book reviews, 1930-1932

Box 24

Great Cylinder Inscriptions of Gudea Part 1, 1899

Box 25

Great Cylinder Inscriptions of Gudea Part 2, 1899

Box 26

Book reviews, 1882-1900

Box 27

Book reviews, 1888-1908

Box 22   Folder 7-10

Manuscript, "Social Life in Ancient Israel," undated

Box 23   Folder 1-2

Manuscript, "Social Life in Ancient Israel," undated

Box 23   Folder 3

Photographs and illustrations, "Social Life in Ancient Israel," undated

Box 23   Folder 4

Correspondence with University of Chicago Press, "Social Life in Ancient Israel," 1911, 1919

Subseries 3: Writings by Others

Box 23   Folder 5

American Tract Society, "The Orphan Girl and "Opening Blind Eyes," undated

Box 23   Folder 6

Reverend Frederick Anderson, "An Analysis of the Gospel of John," 1904

Box 23   Folder 7

Anonymous, Explanation of Baurath Dr. Schick’s Models," undated

Box 23   Folder 8

William Rainey Harper, "Studies in Hebrew," circa 1881-1884

Box 23   Folder 9

Theophile Meek, "The Poetry of Jeremiah," 1924

Box 23   Folder 10

A.T. Olmstead, articles on Oriental imperialism, 1918

Box 23   Folder 11

Maurice T. Price, "Our Amateurishness in Promoting International

  • Goodwill," 1935
Box 23   Folder 12

Georg Reiner, commissioner, "Ba’albek Excavation Photos," 1905

Box 23   Folder 13

T.V. Smith, "Two Voices," 1936

Box 23   Folder 14

Wilbur M. Smith, "Bibliographies of Theological Literature," 1931

Box 23   Folder 15

E.H. Sturtevant, "Position of Hittite Among Indo-European

  • Languages," undated
Box 23   Folder 14

Clyde W. Votaw, "The Modern Jewish View of Jesus," 1905

Box 23   Folder 15

Arnold Walther, "The Hittite Code," 1931