The Catholic University of America

Robert Theodore Meyer Papers

An inventory of The Robert Theodore Meyer Papers at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: lib-archives@cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Robert Theodore Meyer
Title: Robert Theodore Meyer Papers
Dates: 1905-1986
Extent: 12.25 linear feet; 22 boxes
Abstract: Robert Theodore Meyer (1911-1987), a native of Ohio, graduated from John Carroll University with an M.A. in classical languages and a doctorate in classics at Michigan University. He first came to The Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1947 as an instructor in German and comparative philology. He became assistant professor, then associate professor, full professor, and finally, in 1953, he became chair of the Celtic Studies Department. He gained the title of Professor Emeritus of the Department of Modern Languages from CUA in 1976 when he retired. His personal papers, which includes his diaries, correspondence, postcards, research notes as well as different manuscripts from works that he had written. Lastly, there are a collection of his personal publications as well as newspaper clippings.
Collection Number: 62
Language: English

Biographical Note

Robert Theodore Meyer was born on August 6, 1911 to Louis and Clara Meyer in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child he attended local Catholic schools and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1929, with a focus in Classics. He then attended John Carroll University in Cleveland where he got his bachelor's and master's degrees in Classical Languages and Philosophy, in 1933 and 1934, respectively. Following his graduation, Meyer worked for the Baker Publishing Company while researching on a fellowship in Classics and German Philology at Western Reserve University. In 1937, he married Dorothy E. Deex in Berea, Ohio; they would have four children and remained married until Meyer's death.

After four years at Western Reserve, Meyer began his doctoral work at the University of Michigan in 1939, and received his Ph.D. in 1943 in Indo-European Linguistics. His dissertation was a study of the sources for the fourteenth century text, "Sonyhurst Medulla". Due to a condition of high myopia Meyer did not serve during World War II but worked for the engineering department of the King-Seeley Corporation from 1943 to 1946. During the early forties he also received several fellowships at the Linguistics Institute at the University of Michigan as well at the University of North Carolina. After spending one year as an English Philology instructor at St. Louis University, he became an instructor of Comparative Philology at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1947.

During his career at CUA he held the Order of the Hibernians Chair in Celtic Studies from 1953-1976, he took over following the death of James A. Geary in 1953. Meyer was versed in Latin, Greek, Celtic, early Christian writings, German, and Icelandic. He also served as a fellow from 1947-1950 at John Hopkins University where he researched Romance Philology, Sanskrit, and Old Icelandic. He also taught English there from 1948-1949. He also spent three summers at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Celtic Philology, 1953-1955. This is where he published his most important work, "Merugud Uilix Meic Leirtis", in 1958.

Meyer also published works on the Life of St. Anthony, St. Athanasius, and the life of St. John Chrysostom. He also lectured at Jesus College, Oxford, in Celtic Studies in 1961, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, as well as a semester at Harvard University in 1970. MHe was a member of many linguistic organizations including; The Linguistic Society of America, The Medieval Academy of America, The Modern Language Association of America, and the American Philological Association. Also a devout Catholic he was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1971, for Campus Ministry at Catholic University.

At the age of sixty-five Meyer retired from Catholic University, following his retirement he split his time in Washington and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. He continued to teach a course a semester at CUA and continued his research at CUA and abroad. Robert Theodore Meyer died on October 3, 1987 in Swansea, Wales, after a bout of encephalitis. At the time of his death he had been touring Wales following a conference he attended. Meyer was considered at the time of his death one of the leading experts in Celtic Studies and Comparative Philology.

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Scope and Contents

The Robert Theodore Meyer Papers has nine series.

The first series are two boxes of Meyer's personal diaries of his daily activities. Most of the information therein is related to research that he was conducting each particular day as well as meetings and events he was going to attend.

The second series contains postcards and notes that were originally in his diaries. Most of these are from friends of his traveling abroad, as well as ticket stubs and travel materials that he saved from his trips in Europe as well as around the United States.

The third series contains four boxes of academic correspondences. These are mainly with universities that Meyer was working with as well as correspondence within Catholic University.

The fourth series contains business correspondence, with three boxes mainly concerning travel arrangements, as well as correspondence with different academic organizations. There is also some correspondence with the Order of the Ancient Hibernians (AOH), which funded the department Meyer chaired.

The fifth series contains two boxes of Meyer's personal correspondence. Most of these are with family and friends from different academic circles as well as former classmates of his from his years at John Carroll University and the University of Michigan.

The sixth series contains correspondence from research that Meyer did as well as his notes from that research, mostly on Celtic Philology as well as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval texts.

The seventh series are Meyer's manuscripts of works that he published as well as a few unpublished manuscripts. Most of these manuscripts are on Celtic Philology, as well as a copy of his dissertation and a reprint of his book "Megund Uilix Meic Leirtis".

The eighth series has financial records, which includes receipts, banking forms, and correspondences.

The final series has three boxes of publications that include personal publications as well as clippings he had collected through the years. There are also a few books and pamphlets on different philological writings.

Overall, the Robert Theodore Meyer Papers is a useful collection for any researcher doing work on Celtic Studies or philology.

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Arrangement

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities consists of three series:










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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the CUA Archives after Meyer's death in October of 1987.

Processing Information

Processing completed in 2013 by Raymond Moore. EAD markup completed in 2013 by Raymond Moore.

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Related Material

James Aloysius Geary Papers

Robert Richard Madden Papers

Bernard Mann Peebles Papers

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Bernard Mann Peebles
James Aloysius Geary

Organizations:
Order of the Ancient Hibernians
Oxford University
The Catholic University of America

Places:
Dublin, Ireland
Oxford, England
Washington, DC

Subjects:
Celtic
Gaelic
Irish Studies
Philology


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Bibliography

"Academic Vice President Letter" Announcing Meyer's Death October 6, 1987 "Catholic Standard Obituary" October 15, 1987 "Washington Post Obituary" October 7, 1987 "16 to be Ordained Permanent Deacons Here" Catholic Standard September 9, 1971 "Personal Curriculum Vitae" September 1, 1981

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Personal Diaries, 1932-1983 (2 Boxes)
Personal diaries, with most of the entries concerning daily research as well as his personal schedule. Also included are entries concerning family and friends.
Box Folder
1 1 Diary, 1932
  2 Diary, 1933-1934
  3 Diary, 1934-1935
  4 Diary, 1935-1936
  5 Diary, 1936
  6 Diary, 1937
  7 Diary, 1939
  8 Diary, 1940
  9 Diary, 1943
  10 Diary, 1944
  11 Diary, 1945
  12 Diary, 1946
  13 Diary, 1947
  14 Diary, 1948
  15 Diary, 1949
  16 Diary, 1950
  17 Diary, 1951
  18 Diary, 1952
  19 Diary, 1953
  20 Diary, 1954
  21 Diary, 1955
  22 Diary, 1956
  23 Diary, 1957
  24 Diary, 1958
  25 Diary, 1959
  26 Diary, 1960
  27 Diary, 1961
  28 Diary, 1962
  29 Diary, 1963
  30 Diary, 1964
  31 Diary, 1965
  32 Diary, 1966
  33 Diary, 1967
  34 Diary, 1968
  35 Diary, 1969
  36 Diary, 1970
  37 Diary, 1971
  38 Diary, 1972
Box Folder
2 1 Diary, 1973
  2 Diary, 1974
  3 Diary, 1975
  4 Diary, 1976
  5 Diary, 1977
  6 Diary, 1978
  7 Diary, 1979
  8 Diary, 1980
  9 Diary, 1981
  10 Diary, 1982
  11 Diary, 1983
                       
Series 2: Postcards and Notes, 1932-1983 (1 Box)
Notes, clippings, postcards, and travel materials that were pulled from Meyer's diaries. Most of these are from friends or are travel items such as bus ticket stubs. There is also a folder of photos, mostly of himself, family and friends.
Box Folder
3 1 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1932-1985
  2 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1932-1985
  3 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1932-1985
  4 Personal Photos, 1940-1983
  5 Postcards and Notes, 1932-1983
  6 Prayer Card, n.d
        This was a perpetual membership in the St. Columban's Society for Meyer's parents following his mother's death in 1962.
                       
Series 3: Academic Correspondence, 1931-1985 (4 Boxes)
Ccorrespondences with different academic institutions, such as Harvard University, Oxford University, and John Hopkins University. There are also correspondence with friends within academia from his alma maters as well as various Celtic Studies programs. Lastly, there is correspondence within Catholic University with academics and administrators.
Box Folder
4 1 Academic Correspondence, 1952-1958
  2 Academic Correspondence, 1947-1982
        Also includes correspondences from CUA
  3 Academic Correspondence, 1967-1976
  4 Academic Correspondence, 1962
        Mainly correspondence with Oxford University
  5 Academic Correspondences, 1954-1978
  6 Academic Correspondence, 1938-1979
        Includes correspondences concerning his doctoral work at the University of Michigan
  7 Academic Correspondence, 1948-1974
Box Folder
5 1 Academic Correspondence, 1969-1979
  2 Academic Correspondence, 1931-1947
        Includes correspondence dating back to Meyer's undergraduate tenure through earning his doctorate as well as with CUA when he was hired by the university in 1947.
  3 Academic Correspondence, 1942-1973
        Mainly CUA correspondence
  4 CUA Events Correspondence, 1956-1974
        Invitations and correspondence inviting Meyer to lectures and events on campus
  5 Correspondence Addressed to CUA Office, 1980-1982
  6 CUA Correspondence 1945-1956
        Includes correspondence with the university for research prior to being hired
  7 CUA Related Correspondence, 1974-1976
  8 CUA Correspondence, 1963-1964
  9 Oxford University Correspondence, 1963-1981
Box Folder
6 1 Oxford Correspondence, 1961-1969
        all typed
  2 Faculty Correspondence, 1947-1975
        Mainly with various academic friends of Meyer
  3 University Correspondence, 1975-1978
  4 University Correspondence, 1967-1981
  5 University Correspondence, 1953-1977
  6 Celtic Studies Correspondence, 1957-1963
  7 Celtic Studies Correspondence, 1982
Box Folder
7 1 Department Correspondence, 1981
  2 Irish Language Library Correspondence, 1974-1977
        Includes correspondence with CUA libraries as well as Oxford
  3 Celtic Studies Correspondence, 1966-1984
  4 Celtic Philology Correspondence, 1960-1963
  5 Irish Studies Correspondence, 1982-1983
  6 Medieval Society Correspondence, 1981-1982
  7 American Catholic History Society Correspondence, 1982-1985
  8 Teaching Correspondence, 1985
  9 Teaching Correspondence, 1958-1982
        Mainly CUA correspondence concerning classes Meyer was teaching
  10 Teaching Correspondence, 1979-1981
                       
Series 4: Business Correspondence, 1935-1984 3 Boxes
Correspondences with organizations that Meyer was involved with as well as with different publishers. There are also correspondences concerning travel arrangements.
Box Folder
8 1 Ancient Order of Hibernians Correspondence, 1961-1971
        Two copies
  2 Linguistic Society of America, 1935-1958
  3 Patristic Society Correspondence, 1982
  4 Travel Correspondence, 1960-1980
        Includes correspondence with Newman Press concerning book purchases for the Celtic Studies Department
  5 Publisher Correspondence, 1941-1981
  6 Letters to the Editor, 1955-1962
        Mainly for corrections of improper use of Irish names, or incorrect Irish history
  7 Miscellaneous Business Correspondence, 1949-1953
Box Folder
9 1 Publisher Correspondence, 1961-1964
  2 Publishing Correspondence, 1959
  3 Departmental Correspondence, 1969-1976
  4 Rare Books Correspondence, 1932-1979
        Work with rare books throughout Meyer's academic career
  5 Organizational Correspondence, 1971-1976
  6 Columbia School of Broadcasting Correspondence, 1972
  7 Donation Correspondence, 1984-1985
  8 Travel Correspondence, 1968-1979
        Mainly concerns arrangements
Box Folder
10 1 Cunard Lines Correspondence, 1953
        For Ireland sabbatical trip
  2 Travel Correspondence, 1976-1981
  3 Travel Correspondence, 1938-1984
  4 Travel Correspondence, 1946-1981
                       
Series 5: Personal Correspondence, 1928-1986 2 Boxes
Personal correspondence with friends and family. There are invitations to events such as banquets and lectures.
Box Folder
11 1 Invitations and Correspondence, 1980-1983
  2 Library Correspondence, 1965-1967
        Correspondence with friends at CUA libraries and Oxford
  3 Event Invitations and Correspondence, 1982-1983
  4 Ireland Correspondence, 1963-1964
  5 Harpers Ferry Correspondence, 1975-1980
        Correspondence from Meyer's summer residence in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
  6 Family Correspondence, 1928-1979
  7 Personal Correspondence, 1958-1979
  8 Personal Correspondence, 1942-1950
Box Folder
12 1 Personal Correspondence, 1950-1956
  2 Personal Correspondence, 1948-1986
  3 Personal Correspondence, 1949-1979
  4 Personal Correspondence, 1944-1980
  5 Personal Correspondence, 1934-1978
                       
Series 6: Research Notes and Correspondence, 1905-1985 5 Boxes
Research notes with some correspondence on manuscript projects that Meyer had worked on. This includes "The Stonyhurst Medulla", the early Church such as St. Augustine, Philology, and different Celtic Notes.
Box Folder
13 1 The Stonyhurst Medulla Notes, 1967
  2 The Stonyhurst Medulla Notes 2, 1967
  3 Celtic Notes, n.d
  4 The Stonyhurst Meyer Notes, 1967
  5 The Stonyhurst Medulla Notes 3, 1967
  6 Philology Notes, 1975-1976
  7 St. Augustine Notes, 1938
  8 Research Notes and Essays, 1938-1981
        Essays are on Celtic words and translations
Box Folder
14 1 Research Correspondence, 1982
  2 Translation of St. John Chrysostom, 1979
  3 Research Notes/Correspondence, 1963-1981
  4 Research Notes/Correspondence, 1972
  5 Research Correspondence, 1960-1980
  6 St. Bernard of Clairvaux Translation, n.d
  7 Reflections on Tolkien, 1978
  8 Classics Thesis, 1933-1934
        Essays written for BA and MA at John Carroll University
  9 Celtic Philology Correspondence, 1961-1963
Box Folder
15 1 Michigan Medieval Conference, 1985
  2 Celtic Notes, 1971-1976
  3 Merugud Uilix Maic Leirtis Research Notes, 1958-1974
  4 Academic Essays, 1961-1963
        Drafts for different articles for academic journals
  5 Middle Cornish Notes, 1961-1968
        Includes essay on these notes
  6 Historical Reviews, 1970
        Book reviews
  7 Aristotle Notes, 1905 and 1966
        In addition to these notes there is a notebook that Meyer collected from 1905
  8 Class Exams and Lecture Notes, 1971-1981
  9 Research Correspondence, 1971-1981
  10 Early Irish Monasticism Essay, 1960
Box Folder
16 1 Book Reviews, 1981
  2 Ireland Trip Research, n.d
  3 Anglo-Saxon Language Research, 1961-1963
  4 Irish Poetry Notes, 1967
  5 Medieval Studies Notes, 1973-1978
  6 Liturgical Research and Correspondence, 1966-1975
  7 Latin Notes, 1967-1975
Box Folder
17 1 Celtic Syntax Notes, 1957
  2 Celtic Vocabulary, 1946
  3 Celtic Notes, n.d
  4 Celtic Studies Notes and Essays, 1969
  5 Latin Notes, 1967-1975
  6 The New Catholic Encyclopedia Entry, 1966
  7 Bibliography of Books on Greek, 1958
        Compiled by Meyer, with notes
                       
Series 7: Manuscripts, n.d-1982 2 Boxes
Copies of manuscripts, many with written annotations, that Meyer wrote for publication as well as one unpublished manuscript. Also included is a bound reprint of his 1943 dissertation with two post cards from a former classmate from England.
Box Folder
18 1 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 1
  2 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 2
  3 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 3
  4 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 4
  5 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 5
  6 "The Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
        Part 6
  7 Meyer's Dissertation, 1982
        Reprint of 1943 original titled, "The Sources of the Stonyhurst Medulla: A Chapter in English Lexicography"
Box Folder
19 1 "St. Bernard of Clairvaux" Translation, 1978
  2 "St. Bernard of Clairvaux" Translation 2, 1978
  3 "Stonyhurst Medulla" Manuscript, n.d
  4 "Stonyhurst Medulla Manuscript", n.d
  5 "Stonyhurst Medulla", n.d
                       
Series 8: Financials, 1934-1985 1 Box
Personal finances such as banking receipts and old checks. There are also miscellaneous receipts and bills as well as some financial records related to his administrative work as chair of Celtic Studies.
Box Folder
20 1 Travel Materials, 1971-1980
        Includes tickets and receipts
  2 Miscellaneous Financials, 1972-1985
  3 Citizens Savings and Loans Correspondence, 1976
  4 Financial Correspondence, 1934-1941
  5 Financials, 1982
        Banking receipts
  6 Financial Correspondence, 1939-1966
                       
Series 9: Publications, 1915-1985 3 Boxes
Publications that Meyer collected through the years, including clippings from newspapers concerning Celtic words and phrases. There are also articles about achievements of his academic friends, booklets from different organizations that Meyer belonged to, and a small collection of articles that Meyer had published.
Box Folder
20 7 Booklets, 1947-1970
        Includes four booklets; two are from the Modern Language Association of America. The last two are from the American Council of Learned Societies.
  8 Booklets and Newspapers, 1941-1980
        The two booklets are from CUA and include an article written by Meyer and one by his friend Bernard Mann Peebles. There are also several clippings from England and Ireland concerning Celtic Studies.
Box Folder
21 1 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1929-1980
  2 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1954-1977
        Includes a booklet from the Seventh annual conference of the Patristic Society
  3 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1915-1983
        University of Chicago Graduate Studies Guide, included
  4 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1929-1980
  5 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1958-1978
        Includes newspaper clippings and newsletters on different Irish Studies programs
  6 Miscellaneous Clippings, 1976-1984
        Mainly newspaper clippings from different universities Meyer was associated with
Box Folder
22 1 University Clippings, 1948-1982
        Mainly newspaper clippings from different universities Meyer was associated with, including Msgr. John K. Ryan obituary
  2 Newsletter Clippings, 1973-1979
        From different universities and library associations
  3 Personal Publications (1), 1952-1970
        Academic journals written by Meyer
  4 Personal Publications (2), 1963-1967
        Academic journals written by Meyer
  5 Personal Publications (3), 1956-1966
        Academic journals written by Meyer
  6 Personal Publications (4), 1956-1969
        Academic journals written by Meyer
  7 Celtic Dictionary, n.d
        excerpts from a unnamed dictionary

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Diaries, 1932-1983

Series 2: Postcards and Notes, 1932-1983

Series 3: Academic Correspondence, 1931-1985

Series 4: Business Correspondence, 1935-1984

Series 5: Personal Correspondence, 1928-1986

Series 6: Research Notes and Correspondence, 1905-1985

Series 7: Manuscripts, n.d-1982

Series 8: Financials, 1934-1985

Series 9: Publications, 1915-1985

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