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S. N. (Sidney Norton) Deane was born on June 10, 1878 in Westmoreland, NY to Reverend James and Annie M. (Bosworth) Deane. He was educated at Crown Point Union School in Crown Point, NY as well as at home with his sister Mary, and brothers Allen and John. Deane went on to graduate from Yale University as valedictorian of his class in 1902, and earned his Ph.D. there in 1914. In 1904-05 he traveled to Athens where he studied at the American School of Classical Studies. When he returned home, Deane worked as an Assistant Curator of Antiques at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he later became Secretary to the Director. He then went on to study abroad at the University of Bonn in 1908-1909. In 1912, Deane came to Smith College were he worked as an Associate Professor of Greek, and gained his full professorship in 1914. He worked as a curator at the Museum of Classical Antiquities and as Librarian for the college. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Philological Society and the American Archaeological Society. After 31 years of service at Smith College, Sidney Norton Deane died on May 4, 1943 at the age of 65.

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