More Squeezes: the Avery-McDonald Collection

September 6, 2017
Squeeze of a treaty between Athens and Samos, with Athena and Hera shaking hands.


This May, the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies received the gift of a considerable collection of squeezes of Greek inscriptions. The collection came to us thanks to Professor John Newell and Assistant Professor Carrie Weaver, both at the University of Pittsburgh (who acted on information from our own Katie Rask, now at Duquesne University, who graduated from GISRAM in 2014); it was made in the 1971/72 by Professor Harry Avery, emeritus professor in Classics at the University of Pittsburgh, and handed over after his retirement to his younger colleague, Prof. Newell.

The collection consists of more than 120 squeezes of Athenian inscriptions that are almost all in the Greek Epigraphical Museum at Athens and date almost exclusively from the fifth and fourth centuries. Professor Avery had commissioned them from the Epigraphical Museum during his year as a fellow at the American School. They are outstandingly well made and often retain even a part of a votive relief above the inscription: thus, they often replace a squeeze we already own with a more beautiful example and are a great help for teaching and research.  Of course, we will put them on the net as soon as possible.

The Center will retain this important collection as the Avery-McDonald squeeze collection, in honor of the donor and his late wife, Jo Ann McDonald Avery. Which adds another link between the collection and the Center: she was the daughter of William F. McDonald who from 1931-1969 taught Greek and Roman History in our History Department. As Professor Avery writes, “my wife and her father would be pleased by this further connection with Ohio State”.