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. The Society also holds a large collection of archaeologist Aurel Stein's photographs.
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
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
Established in 1937 in London to provide specialist training in archaeology. Originally a separate insitution within the University of London, the Institute of Archaeology merged with UCL in the 1980s. The UCL Institute of Archaeology has a large collection of archaeological archives, and is particularly strong in representing British archaeologists working in the Middle East in the early 20th century.
Scope of Collection:
Field notes, photographs, correspondence, diaries, manuscript drafts, ephemera, films.
Institute of Archaeology archives page
Photographs of archaeological sites in British Mandate Transjordan and Palestine (Horsfield archive) via Micropasts Flickr
Ian Carroll, Collections Manager
Moshenska, G., Schadla-Hall, T. 2011. Mortimer Wheeler’s Theatre of the Past. Public Archaeology, 10 (1): 46-55. doi:10.1179/175355311X12991501673221
Sparks, R.T., Laidlaw, S. 2007. A Future for the Past: Petrie's Palestinian Collection. Dorcester Dorset: Henry Ling.
Sparks, R.T. 2014. Near Eastern encounters: the collections and archives of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. In The Forgotten Kingdom. Past and Present Excavations at Tell Atchana/Alalakh. Koc University Press.
Sparks, R.T. 2013. Publicising Petrie: Financing fieldwork in British Mandate Palestine (1926-1938). Present Pasts, 5 (1), 2. doi:10.5334/pp.56
Thornton, A. 2016. GL Harding Presents Digging in Palestine - Archaeology on Film. British Archaeology, 149: 38-43.
Thornton, A. 2014. The Nobody: Exploring Archaeological Identity with George Horsfield (1882-1956). Archaeology International 17: 137-156. doi:10.5334/ai.1720
Thornton, A., Perry, S. 2011. Collection and Production: The History of the Institute of Archaeology through Photography. Archaeology International 13 (0), doi:10.5334/ai.1319