A Directory of Archives useful for history of Archaeology Research.
Cairo University archive
The Faculty of Arts at Cairo University is digitising some of their archive, including the reports (in Arabic) of Selim Hassan, a noted Egyptian Egyptologist working at Giza and Professor of Egyptology at the University in the early-mid 20th Century.
Access the reports here.
Abydos Temple Paper Archive
This archive was housed in a sealed room in the site of Abydos, in Egypt, and discovered in 2013. Records relate to the Egyptian Antiquities Service between the 1840s and the 1960s, a critical period for archaeology in Egypt. Importantly, this archive reflects to the work of Egyptian inspectors and guards in the Egyptian Antiquities Service during this period. The project is currently conserving and cataloguing the archive, and preparing a searchable database of the collection.
Shalaby, N., Abu El-Azm, H., Damarany, A., Kaiser, J., Abdallah, H.S., Abu El-Yazid, M., Abd El-Raziq, Y., Baker, F., Hashesh, Z., Ibrahim, W., Minor, E., Regelein, R. and Tarek, A. 2018. The Lost Papers: Rewriting the Narrative of Early Egyptology with the Abydos Temple Paper Archive. ARCE Bulletin [Online]: https://www.arce.org/abydos-paper-archive
Abydos Temple Paper Archive Project. Egypt Exploration Society website: www.ees.ac.uk/atpa
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/
Giza Archive Project
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
Gertrude Bell Archive
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.
Garstang Museum of Archaeology
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/
Royal Asiatic Society
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
The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford
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. The digital catalogue includes some transcripts, for example of Flinders Petrie's excavation journals. There is also a microsite for the diary of Minnie Burton, wife of Harry Burton, photographer for Howard Carter in Egypt during the Tutankhamun excavations. The Griffith Institute has also recently acquired the diary of Jenny Lane, who as maid to Lucy Renshaw accompanied Amelia Edwards and Renshaw to Egypt in the 1870s.
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.
Digital Catalogue: http://archive.griffith.ox.ac.uk/index.php/
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.