Skip to main content

Cyrus Gordon papers

Identifier: 03-MWalb01650A

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the life and career of Professor Cyrus Gordon, scholar of ancient languages and Near East cultures. Document types include correspondence, personal documents, photographs, research materials, typescripts and publications, course materials, and documents related to the administration of the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Brandeis.

Cyrus Gordon was a Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Brandeis from 1956-1973. He founded and served as Chairman of the Department of Mediterranean Studies from 1958-1973. Gordon wrote numerous publications, and was perhaps best known as a leading authority on the Ugaritic language, publishing his first book on the subject in 1940.

Source: "Cyrus Gordon Dies at 92; Studied Ancient Languages," The New York Times, April 9, 2001


  • 1929-2001

Conditions Governing Access

This collection has not yet been fully reviewed for restricted materials, though some possible restrictions have been identified in Boxes 1, 2, 14, 16, 19, 22. Other boxes may also contain restricted materials. Please contact the University Archives & Special Collections in advance to request access.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


38.75 Linear Feet (36 record center boxes, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials



Some alphabetical arrangement has been imposed within boxes that contain correspondence, but that arrangment scheme is not consistent across the collection.

Custodial History

This collection was transferred to the Archives in 3 accessions between 1968-2011. Professor Gordon donated materials related to his published works, "Forgotten Scripts" and "Evidence for the Minoan Language," in 1968 and 1969. Professor Gordon then donated the bulk of this collection to Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, in 2001. In 2011, Hebrew College planned to alter its facilities, and the archival holdings from the collection were transferred to the Brandeis Archives by Sarah Krakauer, daughter of Professor Gordon, on behalf of their family. The aforementioned collections were subsequently merged in 2011.

Processing Information

The collection was surveyed, and some boxes arranged, between 2019-2022.

Collection was reorganized by the Archives to facilitate research use.

A small amount of weeding was performed on the collection in 2021, and publications were removed.

Some original folder titles remain from the creator, while others were assigned by a previous processor.

For more detailed box descriptions, please refer to the spreadsheet stored in the internal collection file.

Cyrus Gordon papers
Kate McNally
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections