On September 29, the Institute of Archaeology celebrated the 50 year anniversary of its establishment by Christopher Hawkes. To commemorate the occasion, the Institute opened its doors to alumni for a day of presentations, tours, and reminiscing.
Archive scholars Sally and Katharina gave a talk on the past, present, and future states of the archives. Our archives are a real goldmine for studying archaeology and the arts, war-time archaeology, and the personal lives of archaeologists. Featuring the collections of Stuart Piggott, Paul Jacobsthal, and O.G.S. Crawford, Sally and Katharina talked about the journey of shaping the archives from what they were two years ago to what they are now; after practically excavating the archives store rooms and quite literally unearthing several skeletons in the closet, the journey has been an interesting one!
Helping to illustrate the presentation were a display case containing objects from various collections in the archives and a desk featuring Jacobsthal’s typewriter, original boxes from his archive, and a wicker frog that was found amongst his collections (if anybody has any further information about the frog, please let us know!).
A poster showcasing the ‘forgotten treasures’ in the archives was also presented:
The items featured included Paul Jacobsthal’s letters and notebooks, a letter to Stuart Piggott from Agatha Mallowan (better known with the surname from her first marriage, Agatha Christie), several of the Passmore lantern slides, and O.G.S. Crawford’s photographs. The day was rounded off with a tour of the archives workspaces, which featured many original photographs, drawings, cartoons, and other documents from the collections.
The event opened the door to new possibilities for future projects, and we are thrilled with the feedback (and even pledges for donations!) that we received. Thank you to everyone for your interest and encouragement. The plans for the future of the archives are in motion, so watch this space for more details on things to come!
As a bonus, we are now selling postcards of images from the archives! We are working on setting up an account to make the postcards available for online purchase, but if anyone is interested in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.