Janet Walls

I have a first degree in English but have always had a great interest in archaeology. I now have a school teaching qualification and have been busy bringing up three sons and teaching in primary and early years education. I returned to archaeology when I came to live in the Oxford area as there are a lot more opportunities here than where I lived before. I’ve been taking courses in the Department of Continuing Education and am about to start the new Postgraduate Certification by Research in Archaeology in October. In addition, I’m digging at the final Marcham excavation with the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group.

I got started working on the archives after seeing Katharina and Sally’s display of the archive materials at the Institute of Archaeology. It made me curious and I started volunteering with the project. Whats kept me interested is the fact that through our cataloguing, we are able to read the thoughts of eminent archaeologists and gain an understanding of how archaeological thinking has developed. There’s also the constant possibility of finding out new titbits of information or even the gossip! These archives are unique, making them an important source for further research.

I’m currently cataloguing images for the Paul Jacobsthal archive and have discovered some of my favourite finds doing so. The most interesting to me, being the editions of Illustrated London News, which Jacobstahl had kept. The depth and clarity of reporting on archaeological discoveries fo the day made me envious of the access the general public had to this sort of material. There is no modern comparison in the media arena nowadays.

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