A Directory of Archives useful for history of Archaeology Research.
Summary by Amara Thornton, with additional information from Nancy Charley, Royal Asiatic Society
The Royal Asiatic Society was established in London in 1823 for the study of the science, art, literature and culture of Asia. Members included individuals living in Britain and overseas, networks of contacts helped to feed information about the archaeology and antiquities of Asia, particularly India, from the beginning of the Society's history. A special "Committee of Correspondence" was established for this purpose. The East India Company was an early supporter of the RAS, and branches were established in Bombay, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Hong Kong by 1850. The scope of papers in the Society's Journal is wide - topics relate to history, travels, language and literature, antiquities, peoples and cultures, and archaeology.
The RAS was a particularly important venue for discussion and scholarship in Assyriology. Archaeologist Henry Creswicke Rawlinson presented his work in copying and deciphering cunieform tablets in Persia (Iran) at the Society in the mid-19th century. The RAS played host to the 2nd International Congress of Orientalists in London in 1873, the year of its fiftieth anniversary. In 1919, the Society of Biblical Archaeology merged with the Royal Asiatic Society, bringing a further archaeological focus to the Society's remit. By the late 1920s, reports were read by archaeologist Reginald Campbell Thompson at RAS meetings of excavations in Iraq.
Scope of collections:
Minute books, films, artwork, correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, maps, printed matter and the collection of Horace Geoffrey Quaritch Wales (including furniture, photographs and papers). See RAS website for further details.
Nancy Charley, Archivist
Ed Weech, Librarian
Centenary Volume of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1923)
Regulations of the Royal Asiatic Society
Summary by Clare Lewis
Based in the Sackler Library in Oxford the Griffith Institute, established in 1939, is home to an important set of Egyptology resources. The archive evolved from the first Egyptology Professor at Oxford, F Ll Griffith’s (1862-1934) papers and excavation records. Sir Alan Gardiner (1879-1963) donated many antiquarian manuscripts and the archive has continued to benefit from the donation of various materials. The Institute holds, amongst others, the papers of Sir Alan H. Gardiner, Battiscombe Gunn (1883-1950) and Jaroslav Černý (1898-1970) and the records made by Howard Carter (1874-1939) during his excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The archive now consists of over 130 manuscript groups from Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Scope of the collection
Scholarly papers, nineteenth century photographs, paintings, squeezes, rubbings and drawings. The complete original excavation records from the tomb of Tutankhamun form a core group.
Elizabeth Fleming, Topographical Bibliography & Archive Assistant
Cat Warsi, Administrator & Archive Assistant
Stevenson, A. 2015. The object of study: Egyptology, archaeology, and anthropology at Oxford, 1860-1960. In Carruthers, W. (ed.), Histories of Egyptology: Interdisciplinary Measures. New York; London: Routledge. p. 19-33.
Summary by Clare Lewis
The Egypt Exploration Society (EES) was founded in 1882 as the Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF) by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892), author and Egyptologist, with the assistance of Sir Erasmus Wilson (1809-1884) and Reginald Stuart Poole (1832-1895). It was renamed the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) in 1919. Archives, held in the Society’s offices in Doughty Mews, London, relate to the EES from its inception 1882 to the present day. They also include the papers of the Society of the Preservation of Monuments of Ancient Egypt (SPAM), transferred to the EEF when it was wound up in 1910.
Scope of the collection:
Field notes, object and tomb cards relating to the Society’s excavations and expeditions in Egypt and the Sudan, letters, drawings and paintings, photographs and negatives, maps, administrative archives including minutes, accounts, subscription information, and papers relating to the Society’s publications, particularly the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.
Blog:Collections Highlights ; http://egyptexplorationsociety.tumblr.com
National Archives/Historical Manuscripts Commission EES Listing (2000)
Carl Graves, Education and Public Engagement Manager
Bierbrier, M.L. (ed.). 2012. Who Was Who in Egyptology, 4th Revised Edition. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
James, T.G.H. (ed.). 1982. Excavating in Egypt: the Egypt Exploration Society 1882-1982. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lewis, C.E., 2014. Peet, the JEA and the First World War. The Egypt Exploration Society Newsletter, Issue 11 Summer/ Autumn 2014, 8-9.
Naunton, C. 2009. The Egypt Exploration Society: celebrating over 125 years of discovery. Current World Archaeology 36 (3.12), 18-24.
Naunton, C. 2009. The archives of the Egypt Exploration Society: the current situation and possibilities for the future. Egyptian & Egyptological Documents, Archives, Libraries 1, 133-139.
Stearns, W. N. 2000. Reconstructing Egypt's history: the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund. In Schlesinger, Arthur M. and Fred L. Israel (eds), Rediscovering ancient Egypt: chronicles from National Geographic. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers. p. 67-89.
Spencer, P. (ed.) 2007. The Egypt Exploration Society: The Early Years. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
Vandenbeusch, M. 2011. Les premières fouilles de l'Egypt Exploration Fund: Édouard Naville à Tell el-Maskhuta. Bulletin de la Société d'Égyptologie de Genève 28 (2008-2010),141-172.
Summary by Amara Thornton, with additional information from Felicity Cobbing, Palestine Exploration Fund
Established in London in 1865 to undertake exploration and excavation in the Levant. Archives relate to PEF field work (including the Survey of Western Palestine and excavations at numerous archaeological sites including Jerusalem, Tel el Hesi, Gezer, and Samaria), the history, monuments/structures, cultures and natural history of the Levant, and PEF administration. Also includes archives relating to the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, John Garstang’s excavations at Jericho, Olga Tufnell, and Hilma Granqvist. The PEF also has a substantial Library, open to members, of works on Levant archaeology, history, natural history, culture, languages, literature and travel.
Scope of collections:
Field notes, letters, drawings and paintings, architectural plans and surveys, photographs, maps, administrative archives, ephemera, archives relating to the Fund's journal Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement. Also archaeological & ethnographic objects, casts & models, scientific equipment & natural history specimens.
Felicity Cobbing, Executive Secretary and Curator
Cobbing, F. 2002. The Cedric Norman Johns archive in the collections of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 134 (2): 169-172.
Cobbing, F. 2003. The Dickenson and Langley photographic archives: two new collections at the Palestine Exploration Fund. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 135 (2): 131-134.
Cobbing, F. 2012. Thomas Cook and the Palestine Exploration Fund. Public Archaeology 11 (4): 179-194.
Cobbing, F. 2017. The Palestine Exploration Fund: the collections of a learned society in London. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 5 (1) :75-86.
Davis, T. 2004. Shifting Sands: the rise and fall of biblical archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gibson, S. 1999. British archaeological institutions in Mandatory Palestine, 1917-1948. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 131 (2): 115-143.
Moscrop, J. 1999. Measuring Jerusalem: the Palestine Exploration Fund and British Interests in the Holy Land. London: Leicester University Press.
Silberman, N. 1982. Digging for God and Country. New York: Knopf.
Thornton, A. 2009. Archaeological Training in Mandate Palestine: the BSAJ Minute books at the PEF. PEF Features. [Online].