A Directory of Archives useful for history of Archaeology Research.
The Historic Environment Image Resource (HEIR) project at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford is digitising historic lantern slides, dating from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, in various collections in the University. Photographs cover a wide geographical area. An app developed in conjunction with the digitisation project enables users to upload their own current photographs of the sites represented in the lantern slides, and help HEIR archivists to create keywords for the digitised images.
Image database: http://heir.arch.ox.ac.uk
Project blog: https://heiroxford.wordpress.com/
Held in the University of Reading's Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. Records relate to the history of excavations mainly in Greece in the early 20th century. Includes correspondence to the Museum's founders, Percy Ure and Annie Ure, from various Greek archaeologists.
More details on the Museum's holdings here.
Scope of collections: correspondence, letters, diaries, research notes and journals, excavation records, photographs, maps, museum records.
Research blog: https://research.reading.ac.uk/curiosi/ure-routes/
Archive webpage: https://collections.reading.ac.uk/ure-museum/explore/collections-overview/archives/
One of a large number of local archaeological societies in the United Kingdom, the Glasgow Archaeological Society was established in 1856 on the foundation of an earlier Society established over a decade earlier. Its aims were to promote and research the archaeology of the city of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. The GAS's association with the University of Glasgow began in 1906, and with the instigation of the Dalrymple Fund many important archaeologists were brought to Glasgow to deliver public lectures on European Archaeology.
Scope of Collection:
minutes, letters, reports, copies of Society Transactions and newsletters (1856-2006)
Further details on the material available in the GAS archive can be found via Archives Hub here.
University of Glasgow Archives Services
Mearns, J. 2007. 150 Years of Glasgow Archaeological Society. Scottish Archaeological Journal 30 (1-2): vi-xvii.
Summary by Amara Thornton
Founded in 1707 for researching the antiquities and monuments of the British Isles, the Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL) holds an important place in the history of archaeology as a supporter and campaigner for archaeology and heritage. It was a key venue for reporting discoveries through public lectures and hosted exhibitions of excavated artefacts from Britain and abroad. Researchers will find relevant material in several collections at the SAL: in the Library, the Archives and Prints and Drawings. The SAL also holds the records of the Society of Dilettanti and the Royal Archaeological Institute.
Scope of collections:
Administrative records (SAL Minute Books, SAL Executive Committee Minute Books, Council Books, Fellowship blue papers and lists), exhibition pamphlets, archaeological archives for excavations (including Old Sarum, Silchester, Stonehenge, Glastonbury), prints and drawings of antiquities and topography, photographs, correspondence
Library email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evans, J. 1956. A History of the Society of Antiquaries. London: Oxford University Press.
Gaimster, D. McCarthy, S. and Nurse, B. 2007. Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007. London: Royal Academy of Arts.
Pearse, S. 2007. Visions of Antiquity: the Society of Antiquaries of London, 1707-2007. London: Society of Antiquaries of London.
Summary by Amara Thornton, with additional information from Colin Penman, UCL Special Collections, Archives and Records
University College London was established in 1828 in order to provide higher education to (mainly) middle-class students. Unlike Oxford and Cambridge, the other two universities in England at that time, UCL enabled students from any religious background to gain higher education. When the University of London was set up in the 1830s, UCL students were then able to sit for degree examinations at the University of London examination board. In the 1870s women were admitted as UCL students on the same terms as men.
UCL had an Archaeology department from the 1880s, and in 1892 Flinders Petrie was appointed the first Professor of Egyptian Archaeology, a post funded by Amelia Blandford Edwards. Edwards' bequest was given to UCL because the College admitted women.
UCL Special Collections, Archives and Records holds the records of UCL, including material relating to UCL Egyptology and Archaeology departments organisation, staff and students, as well as the Slade School archives.
Scope of collection:
Student records, college prospectus, registers, fees books, correspondence, administrative records, plans, photographs.
Hale Bellot, H. 1929. University College London 1826-1926. London: University of London Press.
Harte, N. & North J. 2004. The World of UCL, 1828-2004. London: UCL Press.
Harte, N. 1986. The University of London 1836-1986: an illustrated history. London: Athelone Press.
Janssen, R. 1992. The first hundred years: Egyptology at University College London. London: Petrie Museum.
Sheppard, K. 2015. Margaret Alice Murray and Archaeological Training in the Classroom: Preparing “Petrie’s Pups”. In W. Carruthers (Ed.). Histories of Egyptology: interdisciplinary measures. New York: Routledge.
Summary by Juliette Desplat (Head, Modern Overseas, Intelligence and Security Records, The National Archives)
The National Archives (TNA) is a government department and an executive agency of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. TNA is the official archive and publisher for UK central government, and for England and Wales. It is the agency which collects and secures the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.
Scope of collections:
The National Archives holds the records of the central government. As archaeology and (geo)politics have always had close links, a lot of material relates to archaeological matters. The main collections to consider are the records of the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, War Office, Admiralty, Air Ministry, Works Department and Treasury, as well as discreet collections of maps and photographs.
These contain correspondence and minutes, memoranda and reports, treaties, pieces of legislation (antiquities laws and concessions), press cuttings, maps, sketches and photographs. The occasional excavation diary can also be found, along with information on archaeologists in their dealings with the government (notably military intelligence).
Blog: http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ or http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/author/jdesplat/
Dr Juliette Desplat – Head, Modern Overseas, Intelligence and Security Records.
Summary by Amara Thornton
John Garstang (1876-1956) was a British archaeologist who directed excavations in Britain, Egypt, Sudan, Asia Minor/Turkey, British Mandate Palestine and British Mandate Transjordan. As an Oxford student, he worked first on Romano-British sites under Professor Francis Haverfield. He subsequently became a student under Flinders Petrie's Egyptian Research Account training scheme, and began working in Egypt. He was first Honorary Reader in Egyptology at Liverpool University, and after Liverpool's Institute of Archaeology was set up he became Professor of the Methods and Practice of Archaeology at Liverpool.
The Garstang Museum at Liverpool holds records relating to the Institute of Archaeology at Liverpool, as well as records relating to the excavation activities of Garstang and a number of other archaeologists working primarily in Egypt, Sudan and Asia Minor during the 20th century.
Scope of collection:
Administrative records, excavation records, correspondence, museum records, photographs, lantern slides. For further details see the Garstang Museum Jisc/Archives Hub listing.
Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/garstangm/mero%C3%AB-africas-forgotten-empire/
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.
Digital Collections: https://royalasiaticcollections.org/
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, 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].