Marion Steven and the Logie Collection
Marion Kerr Steven (1912–1999), founder of the James Logie Memorial Collection at the University of Canterbury, has been a significant and yet elusive figure in the university’s history. A recent oral history project in the Department of Classics has built up a vivid impression of Steven’s character and personal influence on her students. Prior to this, Steven’s travel diary from 30 November 1958 to 13 July 1959 was donated to the Logie Collection and transcribed in 2017. This article, resulting from research in relation to the transcription, situates Steven in context as a woman in the then male-dominated academic world, and explores her role in reshaping classics as a discipline at the University of Canterbury. The diary records her journeys to London, Rome, and various sites across Greece as she conducted research for teaching purposes, scouted out new objects for the Collection, and participated in meetings of academic organisations. While the period was perceived by many in the field as a time of crisis for classics, Steven appears to have instead seized the opportunity to extend the potential of the discipline.
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