The John Avery Papers consist of one box of lectures and research notes. John Avery was a philologist interested in the antiquities, ethnology, and philology of the ancient tribes of northern India. He was a graduate of Amherst in the class of 1861. From 1863-1867 he studied in Yale's graduate philology program under Professor Whitney. Upon graduation from Yale, Avery studied in Berlin and Tubingen; some of his lecture notes from this study in Germany are in the papers.
Avery was professor of Lating and later of Greek at Iowa College, Grinnel, 1870-77. In 1870, John Avery joined the American Oriental Society and was a steady contributor of papers until his death. Several of the lectures were prepared for presentation at the society's meetings. He served as professor of Greek, 1877-1887, at Bowdoin College and died shortly after his retirement.