Welcome to the archives at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford

Tucked away in the Institute of Archaeology are the archives. They tell the story of archaeology from the late 19th century onwards through the books, maps, plans, notes, pictures, photographs, drawings, letters, and paraphernalia of archaeologists. The archives have accumulated here more or less at random, sometimes given to the Institute for safe keeping, sometimes brought here because there was nowhere else for them to go, and sometimes rescued from destruction.

unknown excavation team photograph

We are very proud of the archive we have here. It shows how archaeologists worked, who they knew (and what they thought of them), how major world events, including wars, affected their work, how new aspects of archaeology were developed, and how archaeologists in the past shaped the discipline taught at Oxford today. It is a great resource with the potential to cast new light on old excavations.

Follow the progress of the archive team as we attempt to bring these treasures to light. If you have comments or want to contact us in regard to any of the posts, images and the project in general, use the comment boxes or email us directly at archivist@arch.ox.ac.uk.

Thanks for following our work!

Sally Crawford

Katharina Ulmschneider

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4 Responses to Welcome to the archives at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford

  1. Robert Petts says:

    As a retired person with an interest in archaeology, I have a little time spare in which I could possibly assist in some way.

  2. martinrush48 says:

    I love the picture of the excavators above. It looks to me like a (cracked) magic lantern slide. The same image is in the HEIR database as HEIR 42284 – except that there it is reversed left right.

    Do we know who, where it is, or when it was taken? I wondered if the gentleman on the front row brandishing the fork might be Percy Manning — but then all men in Edwardian dress with caps and mustaches start to look the same after a while.

    • Unless most of these men were left-handed, I think the image we posted here is the reversed one, and yes, the glass is cracked – some time ago, judging by the dirt in the cracks.

      What an intriguing suggestion that this might be Percy Manning, and how exciting if true. We’ll ask the Manning experts in the Ashmolean and let you know what they think.

  3. Martin Rush says:

    Well now. My first instinct was to agree enthusiastically with your point about handedness/image reversal, and even to pop out into the garden for five minutes of experimental archaeology. But then I looked at the buttons on the men’s jackets and waistcoats … the buttons here are all set on the right, as they “should” be, for men, If you reverse this picture, they move to the left. Does this mean, then, that HEIR 42284 is the wrong way round?

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