Fonds 13-006 - Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani fonds. 2013 additions

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Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani fonds. 2013 additions

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

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  • 1898-1985 (Creation)
    Bagnani, Gilbert and Stewart

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1 m of textual records
ca. 380 photographs

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Biographical history

Gilbert Forrest Bagnani was born April 26, 1900, in Rome, to General Ugo Bagnani, of Rome and later London as military attache at the Italian Embassy, and Florence Dewar, daughter of Dr. James Dewar of Cobourg, Ontario. Gilbert spoke both English and Italian and later learned to speak Greek, Latin, Arabic, French and German. He was educated at the Nobile Collegio del Nazzareno in Rome and at a preparatory school called Gibbs' in London. His schooling was interrupted by World War I. He served as a Second Lieutenant of artillery towards the end of the War. After the War he returned to the University of Rome where he received his doctorate. Instead of entering law as he had planned, he turned to the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens to study antiquities which were becoming a strong interest of his.

In 1929 Gilbert married Mary Augusta Stewart Houston of Toronto, daughter of Stewart Houston (editor of "The Financial Post") and Augusta Robinson (daughter of John Beverley Robinson, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and granddaughter of Sir John Beverley Robinson, Chief Justice and Attorney-General of Upper Canada). Stewart's father died while she was young and her mother took her to Europe for a more cosmopolitan education than she could receive in Canada. Gilbert and Stewart had an apartment in Rome and for seven seasons worked, in the Sahara Desert, with the Royal Archaeological Mission to Egypt.

In 1937 they fled fascist Italy and purchased a 200 acre farm and house built around 1845 near Port Hope, Ontario and named it "Vogrie". They added a large, forty foot long, two storeys high addition in which they housed their library, oil paintings, drawings, tapestries and ceramics. In 1945 Gilbert was invited to teach ancient history at the University of Toronto and in 1958 he became a Professor. He retired from the University of Toronto in 1965. During the time that the Bagnanis were in Toronto, Gilbert was a founding member and president of the Oriental Club of Toronto, a supporter of the Art Gallery of Ontario and an active member of the Archaeological Institute of America, of which he was vice-president from 1951 to 1954. Stewart was head of Extension at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1951 to 1963. In 1965 the Bagnanis returned to "Vogrie". In the same year, Gilbert was asked to accept a term-appointment at Trent University. He was honoured with a LL.D. by Trent in 1971 and he continued to teach as a Professor of Ancient History until 1975. During the period between 1965 and 1975 Stewart remained active, lecturing on art in various venues and developing the Mackenzie Gallery at Trent University. Gilbert and Stewart did not have children. On February 10, 1985 Gilbert Forrest Bagnani died. Stewart moved to their Toronto home. In May of 1996 Mary Stewart Houston Bagnani died. The "Vogrie" property was inherited by Trent University after the death of Gilbert in 1985. Antiquities, art works, furniture, books and documents were bequeathed to a number of institutions, including Trent University, after the deaths of Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani.

Custodial history

Fonds was bequeathed to Trent University Archives by Professor Gilbert Bagnani via Stewart Bagnani. Acquired through the Bagnani trust committee in 2012.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, manuscripts, published articles, memos, and notes related to the careers of Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani.

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Physical condition

Some of the materials are in fragile condition. Handle with care.

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds was retrieved from storage at McWilliams Moving & Storage Ltd., Peterborough, in 2012 by Trent University Library and Archives staff and with the assistance of the Bagnani Trust Committee.


Items in this fonds were randomly boxed amongst books and artifacts in a storage unit; arrangement has been imposed by Archives staff.

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This fonds along with 97-003 and 08-009 is an addition to 94-016.

General note

Box 1

Notebooks, Diaries, Journals, Photographs


  1. Photographs (7): subjects include paintings, woman on horseback, Middle Eastern people

  2. Postcards (18): subjects include cavalry, archaeology

  3. Photographic reproductions from Public Archives Canada (46): subjects include people and scenery from 19th century Northern Ontario and Western Canada (includes index from Public Archives of Canada; note: some originals were taken in 1885 and are related to the trial of Louis Riel)

  4. Published Music: “Chopin Mazurkas”- Fr. Chopin’s Sammtliche Pianoforte- Werke (cover inscribed F.R. Dewar)

Loose in Box:

Books (tied in a bundle):
Kaiser Diokletians Palust by F. Bulic
The Baby’s Opera by Walter Crane
The Junto by Teresa Merz
Introduction a la vie devote par Francois de Sales

Notebooks (tied in a bundle):
Inscriptions, drawings
Topography- Empire, Dec. 6 ‘07
Edith Pritchard
A to Z directory used for notations
Prof. Carter, Roman Religion, Oct. 20
Lecture XVIII. From death of Julius Caesar to the definite formation of the Empire 44-29(?)
“The Penates were the spirits of the stores on which the family subsisted…”
S. Houston- 12 Via Emilio del Cavaliere, Rom. 36, Savelli

Diaries (tied in a bundle):
Rough Diary, 1934
Daily Journal, 1939

Address Book, Library Catalogue (tied in a bundle)

"News Cuttings" (large red book): includes article titled "William Pitt and the Great War"; also newspaper articles and handwritten notes in Italian

Photograph Books (tied in a bundle):
Photograph book: Inscription “To dear Pency from Florence and Ugo, Xmas 1898" (all unidentified)
Photo book (green hardcover) (all unidentified)
Quaderno (black)- includes captions and annotations written in Italian; main subject may be Ugo Bagnani (these small-sized photographs are numbered 1 to 240)
Quaderno (black)- these small-sized photographs are numbered 241-472

Two books and one map added July 2015:

An Anthology of Modern Verse / chosen by A. Methuen. 1927 edition. Insert: a card with note to Madame Bagnani, Rome, from Lady Marjorie Beckett.

I Salmi, tradotti dall' ebraico e corredati d'introduzioni e di note / 1917. Inscribed with note from [OS.] Gori to Gilbert Bagnani, 1917; also loosely inserted small letter from [OS.] to Gilbert Bagnani, 1917.

Map (folded): Fiumicino, Ponte Galera, Foce del Tevere, Castel Porziano. Ulderico Bossi, Roma.

Box 2

The Illustrated London News: various pages 1920s, 1930s related to Archaeology

Box 3


  1. Correspondence to Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani:
    Henry W. Kent, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1933
    EWB, The Dominion Bank, 1934
    Rex?, Musee Egyptien, Le Caire, 1934
    Sr. B?, Musee Greco-Romain d’Alexandrie, 1934 (four handwritten notes, Feb., March)
    Carlo?, R. Universita Di Padua, 1934
    H. Gauthier, Service des Antiquites, le Caire, 1934 and H. Gauthier to E. Breccia, Musee Greco-Romain, Alexandrie
    Fausto Franco, R. Soprintendenza All’ Arte Medioevale E Moderna, Milano 193?
    H. Mitchell, McMaster University, 1940
    H. Mitchell, McMaster University, 1947
    Vittorio Lombardi, Milano, 1951
    Lucien Goldschmidt, 1961 (includes catalogue No. 29, Mannerism)
    J.A. Reynolds Insurance, 1963
    Agnes (“Nan”) Michels, Bryn Mawr College, 1964
    P.J. Lewis, Trent University, 1966
    Prof. Dr. Ludwig H. Heydenreich, Zentral instut fur Kuntsgesichte in Munchen, 1967
    Donald Greene, University of Wisconsin, 1968
    T.H.B. Symons, Trent University, 1970
    R.H. Sadleir, Trent University, 1971 (includes convocation program)
    T.H.B. Symons, Trent University, 1971
    Harvey ?, U of T, 1974
    Donald Philp, 1974
    Johanna H. Stuckey, York University, 1977
    John Grube, 1978 (includes GUT Magazine 1978)
    John D. Blackwell, Kingston, ON, 1981
    Alexander Reford, St. Michael’s College, Toronto, 1982
    Fred H. Armstrong, University of Western Ontario, 1982
    Catherine Weir- hand drawn note, undated
    Signature not identified, undated
    James Matheson, Salmon Arm, B.C., undated

  2. Correspondence from Bagnanis:
    Agnes “Nan” Michels, Bryn Mawr, 1964
    Professor Nind, Trent University, undated
    Leonore Kennedy, Toronto, 1976

  3. Published Articles by Gilbert Bagnani, 1921-1960:
    “The Fortnightly Review,” July 1920 (includes article by Gilbert Bagnani)
    Faenza- Num. IV, 1933 (includes article by Gilbert Bagnani)
    “Storia E Letteratura”- Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Honor of Berthold Louis Ullman, Roma 1964 (includes article by Gilbert Bagnani)
    “Hellenistic Sculpture from Cyrene” (Reprint from Journal of Hellenistic Studies), 1921
    “The Knights of St. John in Rhodes and Asia Minor,” 1922
    “I Tesori del Santuorio e la storia di Dzodi,” 1933
    “La Spedizione di Sesostri e la fugo di Sinuhe,” 1933
    “La novella mitologica nella letteratura egiziana,” 1934
    “Il Primo Intendente del Palazzo, Imenhotpe, detto Huy,” from Aegyptus, 1934
    “Gli Scavi Di Tebtunis,” from Aegyptus, 1934
    “On Fakes and Forgeries” (Reprint from The Phoenix), 1960
    “Propin Facientes,” undated

  4. Articles/ Lecture Notes by Gilbert Bagnani:
    “The Classical Scholarship of the Augustans,” undated
    “Gli Scavi di Tebtunis”
    Lecture notes from University of Michigan
    Untitled- four papers

  5. Statuette Egizie Di Danzatrici, by G.B.

6-7. Articles/ Lecture Notes presumed to be authored by Gilbert Bagnani:
“Forty-four years ago…” three versions, 1965?
“Sixty years ago…”
Untitled- notes for a talk on Petronius
Untitled- Psychology and History
Untitled- Prof. Sage and Petronius
Untitled- Gastronomy
“An Arab Troubador”
Untitled- Roman Empire
Untitled- Napoleon
Untitled- Tebtunis (Italian)
“Music and Food”
Untitled- Dumas
Untitled- en francais
“The Influence of the Teaching of Philosophy in Literature”
Untitled- Bi-Culturalism and Bi-Lingualism
Untitled- multi-page manuscript of translation
“Santa Rosa of Viterbo”
Untitled- The Rule of Mussolini
“The Streets and Shops”
“Note on the Translation” (Nodot’s text)
“Strictly Confidential”
Untitled- Dreyfus
Untitled- The Bucolic War
Untitled- Petronius
Untitled- Human Hair
Untitled- Lycurgus Translation
“Synopsis for a book on Private Life in Rome”
“Roman Sky Scrapers”
Untitled- Petronius and Pliny
“Conclusions”- codices of Petronius
“Preliminary Report of Research on the Apocryphal New Testament: Related Specifically to the Gnostic and Manichean Heresies”
Untitled- Wine
Untitled- Titum Petronium
Untitled- Petronius
Untitled- Graffitti
Untitled- Caesar
Untitled- Caesar
Untitled- L’arte egizina…
Untitled- Virgil’s Aeneid

Box 4


  1. Hieroglyphs, translations and notes (Sezione I-XLI), Kidron sketches and notes

  2. Various working notes, fragmentary papers, translations, note cards for art

  3. Other Published Materials, 1906-1985:
    Eccellenza- Signori Ufficiali- Carissimi Colleghi, author unknown, 1906; La Preparizione Militare, author unknown, 1906
    Archaeology Press Clippings, 1926?
    “A Goodly Heritage,” reprint from The Carolina Quarterly, by B.L. Ullman and Walter Allen Jr., 1951 Vol. 3, No. 3
    “The Forks of the Road,” by H.J. McKinnon, 1966
    “Rome, A Psychoanalytic Study,” Paper delivered by N.O. Brown (Univ. of Rochester) at the AHA meeting in Toronto, 1967
    ACORN (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario Newsletter) II.3, 1977, V.1, 1980
    Texte De La Presentation Au Professeur Maurice Lebel, Des Melanges D’Etudes Anciennes Offerts A Maurice Lebel, 1980
    Un Roman Sur La Politique et la Societe Ou Bonald Lecteur De Madame De Stael by Gerard Gengembre, 1985
    Untitled, Chapter One, Petronius and Humour by E. Barnes, undated
    Photocopies: What are Humanities?; Untitled Foreword; Forward- Why the Greek Mind?, authors unknown

  4. Various Personal Items, 1907-1975:
    3 lire stamps; business card G. Bagnani; business card Walter Josten; bequest of Prof. G. Bagnani, AGO
    Menu, Grand Hotel Suisse, Rome, 1907
    Preparatory School List and Notes, 1920
    Trinity College School Record, Mr. Bagnani’s Lecture, 1926
    Ricevuta Di Locazione, 1933
    Banco di Roma, 2000 Lire, 1934
    Catalogo Generale Delle Collezione Mondadori, 1938
    In Honour of Alice King Schultz and Robert John Wickett Sculthorpe Vogrie, 1949 (2)
    Invoice, W. Heffer and Sons, 1951
    “A Century Has Roots,” a Masque performed at Hart House, 1953
    Trent U Dramatic Society, “Under Milkwood,” 1965
    Governor General Christmas Card, 1970
    Honorary Degree, Trent University, 1971 (Gilbert Bagnani)
    “The Society for the Restoration of Victoria Hall,” 1975
    University College Lectures, undated
    Art Association of Montreal, An Illustrated Lecture by Gilbert Bagnani, “Roman Decorative Art”
    Article Bought Abroad
    Registered Article No. 609

  5. Stewart Bagnani Cultural and Art Files:
    Cultural and Art Programmes, Trent University, 1966-67 (includes visitors to Trent)

Box 5


  1. Centennial Lectures and Artists Project 1966-68

  2. General Cultural Events, 1966-1970:
    Hart House Orchestra, 1966-68
    Educational and Cultural Exchange, 1967-70
    AV Equipment, 1968
    Yale Apollo Glee Club, 1967-68
    Coordination Fine Arts Trent, 1968
    Hart House Orchestra, 1966-68
    Japanese Culture, 1968
    Drama Possibilities, 1968
    Cercle Francais, 1968
    Ian & Sylvia, 1968-70
    Cultural Affairs Workshop, 1968
    Youth Theatre Company, 1968
    Kawartha Festival, 1969
    Handwritten notes

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