A Directory of Archives useful for history of Archaeology Research.
Covering the work of the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Boston excavations at Giza in the early 20th century. The lives of American archaeologist George Andrew Reisner (1867-1942), his wife Mary Reisner and daughter Mary B. Reisner and their co-workers on site are also represented. The archive is keyword-searchable.
Scope of Collections:
Photographs, maps, documents
Summary by Amara Thornton
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was a British traveller, archaeologist and political official, who is most well known for her participation in intelligence with the Arab Bureau during the First World War, her subsequent role as Political Advisor to the Cairo Peace Conference in 1919, and her role as the Director of Antiquities in Iraq from 1922 to 1926 and founder of the Museum of Antiquities (now Iraq Museum) in Baghdad. Educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, in Modern History, Bell made her name as a noted traveller and mountaineer from the 1890s onwards, publishing several travel books before the First World War.
Newcastle University holds a large collection of Bell's letters, diaries and photographs showing her life and explorations in the Middle East. The University has also developed a comic book based on Bell's life and letters, as well as teachers' resources for schools.
Scope of collection:
photographs (inc. Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Balkans, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Canada and Bell's "personalia"), diaries (1877-1917), letters (1874-1926)
University Website: http://gertrudebell.ncl.ac.uk/
Archive website: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/gertrudebell/
Summary by Clare Lewis
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology originated as a teaching resource for the Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology at University College London (UCL). Both the department and the museum were created in 1892 through the bequest of the writer Amelia Edwards (1831-1892). Her bequest included several hundred artefacts, and the collection grew due to the excavating career of William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), the first Edwards Professor of Egyptology at UCL, 1892-1933.
In 1913 Petrie sold his large collection of Egyptian antiquities to UCL. The collection and library were arranged in galleries within the university and a guidebook published in 1915 although most of the visitors were students and academics as it was not then open to the general public at this time. Petrie retired from UCL in 1933, though his successors continued to add to the collections, excavating in other parts of Egypt and the Sudan. During the Second World War (1939-1945) the collection was moved out of London for safekeeping. In the early 1950s it was brought back and housed ‘temporarily’ in a former stable building, where it remains today. By 2001 the Petrie Museum housed c.80,000 objects.
Scope of the collections:
The Petrie Museum holds papers of Sir (William Matthew) Flinders Petrie comprising of diaries, letters, drawings incl. watercolours, manuscript drafts of publications, photographs, scrapbooks, some equipment used on excavation, pocket diaries, journals, tomb cards, distribution lists and catalogues. It also includes some material from A.J. (Anthony) Arkell, Gertrude Caton-Thompson, Margaret Drower, Margaret Murray, and the Wellcome collection.
Maria Ragan, Museum Manager
Challis, D. 2013. The Archaeology of Race -The Eugenic Ideas of Francis Galton. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Drower, M. S. 1995. Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.
Janssen, R.M. 1992. The First Hundred Years: Egyptology At University College London, 1892-1992. London: UCL.
Quirke, S. 2009. Petrie archives in London and Oxford. In D. Magee, J. Bourriau, S. Quirke (Eds.), Sitting beside Lepsius. Studies in Honour of Jaromir Malek at the Griffith Institute Leuven: Peeters. pp. 439-461.
Quirke, S. 2010. Hidden Hands: Egyptian Workforces in Petrie Excavation Archives 1880-1924. London: Bloomsbury.
Sheppard, K.L. 2013. The Life Of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman's Work In Archaeology. Lanham, Maryland : Lexington Books.
Stevenson, A. (ed.) 2015. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology Characters and Collections. London: UCL Press.
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.
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
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