Robert P. Blake, 63, professor of History since 1930 and former director of the University Library, died of a cerebral hemorrhage yesterday morning in a Boston hospital.
Blake, an authority on Byzantine history and Caucasian languages, was unique among American scholars in his field. He had studied in Czarist Russia for several years, spoke and wrote seven languages, and had a knowledge of seven others.
Born in San Francisco on November 1, 1899, Blake graduated from the University of California in 1908, and later received the degrees of A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard, the title of Magistrand from the University of Petrograd, Russia, and honorary degrees from Oxford, University of California, and the University of Lyon, France.
Wrote Many Translatione
His scholarly works included many editions translations of religious works in Greek and Georgian, and commentaries on Medieval texts. He made many discoveries of unknown manuscripts in the Caucasus, Sinal, Samaria, and Lake Van.
In addition, Blake served the University in several administrative capacities, holding the post of Director of the University Library from 1923 to 1937, and Syndic of the University Press. He also served, from its beginning, as a Senior Fellow of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C., and as a trustee of the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
Among his many honors were fellowships in the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Services in Yard
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Memorial Church in the Yard. Dean Sperry will read the service and the Rev. Steven Upson will speak.
Members of the History Department last night named Robert L. Woolf, visiting lecturer on History, from the University of Wisconsin, as a possible successor to Blake. Woolf was not available for comment.