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Wilhelmina Feemster Jashemski (1910-2007) was a faculty member in the University of Maryland History Department renowned for her expertise in Roman gardens, specifically those in Pompeii. Through her research and excavation work, she helped to develop the field of garden archaeology. Jashemski began teaching at Maryland in 1946 and remained until her retirement in 1980. This collection chronicles Jashemski's archaeological trips to Pompeii and other Roman ruins and includes her research notes on the subject of Roman gardens, extensive drafts from several of her books and essays, grant applications, speeches, teaching materials, and awards. In addition, there is a significant amount of correspondence from publishers, faculty, and other Roman scholars, as well as personal correspondence from family members and friends. Highlights in the collection consist mainly of drafts, notes, and correspondence related to two of her notable publications The Gardens of Pompeii and A Pompeian Herbal. An entire box is devoted to essays, maps, and correspondence from Gardens of the Roman Empire, a scholarly compilation edited by Jashemski and published after her death. Drafts of letters to be included in Letters from Pompeii, Jashemski's epistolary-style book for young people, are also included.
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13.50 Linear Feet
Wilhelmina Mary Feemster was born on July 10, 1910, in York, Nebraska, the oldest of four children to parents Howard C. Feemster and Emma L. Groelz. She married physicist Stanley Jashemski in 1946 and moved to the Washington, D.C., area shortly thereafter. Jashemski died on December 24, 2007, at the age of 97.
Jashemski earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics and Latin from York College, Nebraska, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1931. She then served as a public school teacher in Walthill, Nebraska, before beginning the history graduate program at the University of Chicago. She received her doctorate in ancient history from the university in 1942 and specialized in Roman law. Jashemski taught at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, from 1942 to 1945. After moving east in 1946, Jashemski began her 34-year tenure in the History Department at the University of Maryland, College Park.
During the course of her career, Jashemski established herself as an expert on the history of the gardens of Pompeii, Italy. She first visited Pompeii in 1955 and became the first non-Italian to conduct archaeological excavations there. Jashemski spent 16 summers in Pompeii and examined more than 600 ancient gardens. Her excavations and research helped develop the field of garden archaeology and led to the publication of her two-volume masterpiece, The Gardens of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villa Destroyed by Vesuvius (volumes published in 1979 and 1993). Later publications include A Pompeian Herbal: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants (1999) and The Natural History of Pompeii (2002). At the time of her death, Jashemski was editing a volume on the gardens of the Roman Empire, published after her death.
This collection is arranged into one series
The collection was donated by Dr. Henry Ferry in July 2012.
This collection is minimally processed mean the majority of the collection remains in the order in which it was received from the donor. Some limited arrangement was performed within boxes to group related materials together. Some folders have been replaced with new acid-free folders. Most photographs are individually sleeved or housed in archival envelopes.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives