Fonds F2171 - Samuel A.B. Mercer fonds

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Samuel A.B. Mercer fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA ON00335 F2171

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1916-1942 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

13 cm of textual records
101 lantern slides : b&w ; 8 x 8 cm

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1880-1969)

Biographical history

Samuel Alfred Browne Mercer, BD, MA, PhD, DLitt, LlD, DD, FRGS (Ang.), was an Episcopalian minister who became Canada’s foremost Egyptologist during his lengthy career at the University of Toronto. He was a distinguished orientalist and authority on Egyptian hieroglyphics. Mercer was born in 1879 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Browne Mercer. His early education was in St John’s and later at Harvard University. From 1922 to 1923, Dr Mercer was Dean of Bexley Hall at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. On 1 October 1923, he was appointed to University of Toronto’s Trinity College as Dean and Professor of Divinity and remained there from 1924 to his retirement as Professor of Semitic Languages and Egyptology. In 1946 he retired to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he devoted himself to the first translation and commentary of the ancient Pyramid Texts. It was published in 1952.

An active scholar, he held 12 degrees from various universities, published 29 books in his field, and read more than 50 ancient and modern languages. During one of his many trips to the Middle East and Africa, he was present at the opening of the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922. On another field trip to Ethiopia, he discovered a manuscript of the Book of Ecclesiastes that was 200 years older than any previously known.

Mercer married Genevieve, daughter of John Lewis Magee, on 15 August 1910. He died in Toronto on 10 January 1969 at the age of 89, leaving his daughter, Mrs Donald (Harriet) Briggs
of Burbank, California, and two sisters, Miss Ethel Mercer and Mrs Ross (Charlotte) Spaulding, both of Toronto.

Custodial history

Found in Trinity College by Harold Nahabedian in 1981, possibly received from Mercer’s sister’s husband, Ross Spaulding. The original box was received in Toronto on 9 November 1960 from Attelborough, Massachusetts. An undated letter from Spaulding with the list
of textual material outlines why these manuscripts were not published.

Scope and content

Fonds comprises handwritten and carbon copies of the manuscripts for two books: “A Study in the Idea of God” and “Civilization in the Making.” As well, there is a Sign-List for Pre-Hammurabi Contract Tablets. There are some 100 lantern slides that Mercer was famous for using in his lectures. Some of these slides by photographer A.J. Reading show titles for the images; however there is no listing of them.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Received from Harold Nahabedian in 1981.

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Condition and fragility of slides may affect access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Public domain

Finding aids

Finding aid and file list available. Finding aid attached.

Associated materials

See <i>Trinity University Review</i>, volume LIX, Christmas 1946, report upon Mercer’s retirement from Trinity.

Related materials

Accruals

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres