Skip to main content

Paul Nixon papers

Identifier: M140

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Content

The collection contains Nixon's speeches and writings, including his Bowdoin College Chapel talks, Bowdoin Latin class materials and a journal of his travels in England and Europe, 1904-1906. Also included are business and personal letters to and from Nixon; Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, Robert Peter Tristram Coffin, and Mary Ellen Chase are among the correspondents. Other materials include a signed typescript poem about Paul Nixon by Robert Peter Tristram Coffin.


  • Creation: 1904-1956, undated


Biographical/Historical Note

Paul Nixon was born May 23, 1882, in Des Moines, Iowa, and prepared for college at Thayer Academy. In 1904 he was graduated from Wesleyan University, where he majored in classics. Nixon was selected as the first Rhodes Scholar from Connecticut (1904) and studied at Oxford University in England for three years. Before coming to Bowdoin College in 1909 he taught at Princeton University and Dartmouth College. From 1909-1952 Nixon taught classics, history and Latin at Bowdoin and was named Winkley Professor of Latin Language and Literature in 1946. He also served as dean at Bowdoin from 1918 until 1947. During this time he worked closely with the admissions program until the Admissions Office was established in 1935, and he was informal director of placement until the Placement Bureau was established in 1944. Nixon served in the military during World War I, first with the Maine National Guard and then with the United States Infantry. As dean at Bowdoin he corresponded with Bowdoin students and graduates serving in World War II (see Kenneth C.M. Sills Administrative Records for President Sills' and Dean Nixon's World War II correspondence). Nixon received many honorary degrees including a Doctor of Humane Letters from Bowdoin in 1943. In 1966 a room in Bowdoin's Hawthorne-Longfellow Library was dedicated in his memory. Nixon was the author of a number of books, most of them well known and widely used translations of Latin works. His translations of Plautus and Martial were especially popular.

Nixon married Dorothea Thompson on July 30, 1907. She died October 3, 1917. On July 7, 1919, he married Mathilde Spengler. Nixon died on October 27, 1956, at his home in Brunswick. He was survived by his wife, Mathilde, and his children, Philip and Katrina.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Paul Nixon's correspondence, speeches, writings, including his Bowdoin College Chapel talks, Bowdoin Latin class materials and a journal of his travels in England and Europe, 1904-1906.

Guide to the Paul Nixon Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288