7 November 1907- 17 June 2008
By Robert Biggs
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Myrtle Nims, widow of Oriental Institute professor and former Epigraphic Survey Director Charles F. Nims. Mrs. Nims died in her hyde Park home June 17, 2008, after a brief period of failing health. During the many years that Charles participated in the Oriental Institute’s Epigraphic Survey in Luxor, Egypt, as an epigrapher, photographer, and eventually as field director, Mrs. Nims accompanied him, first in the 1930s after their marriage in 1931. When work was able to resume in the 1940s after World War II, Myrtle was a constant presence at Chicago house through Charles’ retirement in 1972. Mrs. Nims was an active participant in the work at Chicago house, responsible for binding books for the library for many years; when Charles became field director, she managed the household, including shopping, planning menus, arranging teas for Chicago house visitors, and became an integral part of the running of the Chicago house facilities and maintaining Chicago house’s position as an attraction for dignitaries, visitors, and scholars. Oriental Institute members who visited Chicago house during those years will remember her as a gracious hostess and kind ambassador for the Oriental Institute’s work in Egypt. Included in her legacy to the Oriental Institute are the many hundreds of photographs Charles took in Egypt, as well as his book collection on Egypt and the Near East. Myrtle was the last of the Oriental Institute family who participated in the Institute’s work in the Near East in the 1930s.
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