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A Guide to the Leon Pomerance Papers

Finding aid created by Alexandra von Mering

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2012

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pomerance, Leon
Title: Leon Pomerance Papers
Dates: 1941-1983
Abstract: Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, correspondence, and other papers of Leon Pomerance, collector of archaeological artifacts and art.
Extent: 0.42 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS Group 314
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1907, Leon Pomerance was a first generation American. His father founded Forest Paper Company in 1918 and worked to establish it as a successful business. The business would support Pomerance through his adulthood and enable his collecting of artifacts. Pomerance attended New York University where he received a law degree in 1929. During his time in law school, and for a short time after, Pomerance worked for the ACLU. He married in 1936. After his work in law, Pomerance continued with the Forest Paper Company and took on leadership after his father's death in 1945.

Pomerance did a considerable amount of traveling, and one particular trip to Mexico in 1928 ignited his interest in archaeology. Pomerance would accumulate an impressive collection of artifacts, which would eventually be on exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1966. Pomerance served on the Board of Trustees for the American Archaeological Association (AIA) and was president of the New York Society from 1969-1971. Leon Pomerance established the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement and the Harriet Pomerance Fellowship in Archaeology in honor of his wife who passed in 1972.

One of Pomerance's most important contributions to the field of archaeology was a grant to aid the Greek Archaeological Society. From 1962 until 1972, Pomerance, along with his wife, aided in the excavation of the palace at Kato Zakro which was made possible by his grant. An award to be given with the Harriet Pomerance Fellowship, the Leon Pomerance Fellowship, was named in his honor by the AIA after his death in 1988.

Scope and Content

The Leon Pomerance Collection contains newspaper clippings, magazine articles, correspondence, publications, art exhibit pamphlets, photographs and an oral history.

The newspaper clippings in this collection include biographical information on both Leon and Harriet Pomerance, information on their involvements in New York City, and writings on Kato Zakro. Magazine articles contained in the collection pertain mainly to Kato Zakro, however, some also reference Pomerance's vast art collection. The correspondence is mainly personal, between Leon Pomerance and his brother and sister-in-law, Marc and Nettie Rosenblum. Nettie Rosenblum was Harriet Pomerance's older sister. Many of the letters contain personal information, but many also contain glimpses into the business life of Leon Pomerance and his involvement with others in the field of archaeology. The correspondence in the collection spans from 1941 to 1983 with the bulk of the exchanges occurred from 1968 to 1981.

Publications included in this collection are sources written by Pomerance and also sources that reference or include his work. Pomerance's publications in the collection are: The Phaestos Disc - An Astrological Text?, The Possible Role of Tomb Robbers and Viziers of the 18th Dynasty in Confusing Minoan Chronology, Improbability of a Theran Collapse During the New Kingdom, 1503-1447 B.C., The Final Collapse of Santorini (Thera) 1400 B.C. or 1200 B.C.?, and The Peripatetic Santorini Tephra.

The oral history was conducted by John Hyslop from May 17th 1985 to November 13th 1985 and includes 15 session of recorded conversation of John Hyslop and Leon Pomerance about his work and personal life.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Leon Pomerance Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The Leon Pomerance Collection was acquired by Classics professor Karelisa Hartigan.

Contents List

1 Personal Correspondence. 1941
1 Personal Correspondence. Circa 1960
1 Personal Correspondence. 1966-1967
1 Personal Correspondence. 1968-1969
1 Personal Correspondence. 1970-1971
1 Personal Correspondence. 1972-1973
1 Personal Correspondence. 1974-1975
1 Personal Correspondence. 1976-1977
1 Personal Correspondence. 1978-1979
1 Personal Correspondence. 1980-1981
1 Personal Correspondence. 1982-1983
1 Miscellaneous Correspondence 1 of 2: Undated Letters exchanged between Leon Pomerance and Marc Rosenblum, Harriet and Nettie, and Leon Pomerance and Michael Ovenda. Not dated
1 Miscellaneous Correspondence 2 of 2: Letters Exchanged between Karelisa Hartigan and others explaining some aspects of the Leon Pomerance Collection (20 Oct 1970; 2 May 1974; 11 Sept 1985; 14 Nov 1988; 4 Dec 1989; 25 Jul 1992; Nov 20 1992;15 June 1993; 5 Apr 1994; 20 Oct 1994). 1970-1994
1 Kato Zakro: Materials about the archaeological dig site at Kato Zakro, Greece.
1 Kato Zakro Photographs: Photographs take by Leon Pomerance at the archaeological dig site at Kato Zakro, Greece.
1 Pomerance's Art Collection and Art Exhibit Information: Materials pertaining to Pomerance's extensive art collection and exhibits pieces that comprised the collection were included in.
1 Publications: Pomerance's published written works.
1 Pomerance in the New Yorker: Editions in which Pomerance appeared.
1 Items Referencing to Pomerance or His Work: Publications and Pieces by other scholars that include references to Pomerance.
1 "An Oral History With Leon Pomerance" by John Hyslop, New York City. 1985

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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