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Mary Conover Mellon: Spreading the Jung Gospel

[ photo: Mary Conover Mellon ]

Spreading the Jung Gospel

"Never before in the history of publishing has there been an author list as distinguished as that of Bollingen, nor has a publishing program had a more telling impact on the thought of its time," wrote Jean Martin in the Wilson Library Bulletin. The Bollingen Series, named after C.G. Jung's rural retreat on the shores of Lake Zurich, was inaugurated in 1943 by Mary Conover Mellon '26 and her husband, Paul Mellon. The couple had traveled to Switzerland in the summer of 1938 to attend Jung's seminar on Zarathustra. There, Mary met and became close friends with another Vassar alumna, Cary Baynes '06, a member of Jung's inner circle who had translated a number of his works. Mary became so convinced of the importance of Jung's work that she resolved to publish all of his writings in English. She and her husband established the Bollingen Foundation for that purpose, but soon expanded to include other important works in the humanities. Mary served as the president of the foundation and the editor of the series until her sudden death, at age 42, in 1946.

VQ Winter 1998
Photo credit: VQ