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Sylvanus G. Morley professional papers, 1915-1945

 Sub-Series — Carton: 67, Folder: 7-12
Identifier: MSS 1587 Series 2 Sub-Series 2

Scope and Contents

The Sylvanus Morley professional papers include book contracts, articles, and other papers related to archaeology, excavations, and the Maya. Most of the papers are notes, contracts, and dust jackets related to Morley's book The Ancient Maya. Most of Morley's research was conducted in the Yucatan Peninsula at Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and many of the notes and research for his book comes from excavations at those two sites.


  • 1915-1945


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

From the Series:

Sylvanus (Vanus or Vay) Griswold Morley was born June 7, 1883 to Benjamin F. Morley and Sarah Eleanor Constance De Lannoy. Sylvanus attended school at Harvard University, where he received bachelors and masters degrees in archaeology. In 1908, he married Alice Gallinger Williams, and they had one child, Alice Virginia Morley. Sylvanus and Alice got divorced around 1914. After finishing school, Sylvanus worked with the Carnegie Institute and investigated the ancient Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula. He also visited sites throughout Mesoamerica, including Copan, Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Uxmal. His interests included heiroglyphics, monumental architecture, and the Classic and Postclassic Maya. In 1927, Sylvanus G. Morley married Frances Louella Rhoads, and she began to accompany him on excavations and they owned houses in Mexico and Sante Fe. In 1946, Morley wrote The Ancient Maya, a large volume detailing Maya archaeology. Sylvanus died on September 2, 1948.


6 folders

Language of Materials