Category Archives: Archaeology

Welcome to our new Archivist!

Meet James Neill, who has just joined Special Collections as Project Archivist.

James

James will be with us for 18 months, working on the Wellcome-funded ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones Project’, a collaboration between Special Collections and Archaeological Sciences.  Working closely with the rest of the project team, James will be cataloguing, digitising, preserving, and promoting the rich and unique archive of pioneering palaeopathologist Dr Calvin Wells.  He will be based in Richmond Building but will also be seen around Special Collections.

James received his archive qualification from the University of Glasgow in 2013.  Since then he has worked for all kinds of arts, heritage and academic organisations,  including the Mercers’ Company, London Metropolitan Archives and the University of Arts London, and on collections ranging from the Estate Papers of Sir Richard Whittington to the counter-cultural comic books of Robert Crumb.  This wide experience will be very helpful in navigating the complications of the Wells material!  Find out more about him on his staff webpage.

Back to “A Land”: Jacquetta Hawkes display and book

Jacquetta Hawkes by a waterfall, Carrantuohill, Co. Kerry, ca. 1951, photo by Nicolas Hawkes (HAW18/5/4)

Jacquetta Hawkes by a waterfall, Carrantuohill, Co. Kerry, ca. 1951, photo by Nicolas Hawkes (HAW18/5/4)

One of the most significant, exciting and beautiful archives in Special Collections is that of archaeologist and writer Jacquetta Hawkes.  There is now a revival of interest in her great contribution to raising public awareness of Britain’s deep past during the 1950s.  Her masterpiece, A Land, which unforgettably fuses archaeology, geology, poetry  and personal experience, has been reissued by Harper Collins.   This book is explored and revisited, using manuscripts and photographs from the Archive, by Dr Christine Finn in a new exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park this autumn.  Find out more about Jacquetta, the Archive, the book and the exhibition on our Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes website.

Back to A Land

Delighted to announce that Jacquetta Hawkes’ masterpiece, A Land, which fuses archaeology and geology into a personal exploration of England’s deep past, will soon be back in print.  It is being reissued in the Collins Nature Library in June.  The new edition is introduced by Robert MacFarlane, who shares his thoughts about the book in this Guardian Review article:

“Ardent and personal, A Land became a bestseller, and one of the defining British non-fiction books of the postwar decade. Sixty years on it reads, fascinatingly, as a missing link in the literature of nature and landscape. It seems both a period piece – as of its year as the Festival of Britain, the Austin A30 and The Goon Show – and Delphically out-of-time in its ecstatic holism.”

Find out more about Jacquetta Hawkes’s amazing life and unique writings on our webpage for her Archive and in this online exhibit on the Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes blog.

Welcome to Windyridge: and other stories, Autumn News now out.

The Autumn 2011 issue of Special Collections News is now online, full of news and pictures about Special Collections activities:

Flyer for Riley and Riley, the family firm of Willie Riley (RIL 10/2)

Flyer for Riley and Riley, the family firm of Willie Riley (RIL 10/2). Click for more detail!  Anyone know anything about the “Arbee” specialities??

  • Welcome to Windyridge: Willie Riley’s archive catalogued.
  • 100 Objects set the Pace: project wins prize.
  • Jacquetta gets Better: new detailed lists of the most important parts of the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive.
  • Holdens Untangled: project to share the riches of this fantastic 19th century Bradford archive.
  • Farewell John Brooker: our Assistant has moved to pastures new.
  • Reading Room Reshuffled: better spaces for readers and books.

Just catalogued! Amazing Archae Archive

We just loaded the latest super-expanded version of the Handlist for the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive.  Almost twice the size of the 2010 version.  It includes masses more detail on her links with archaeologists, her film-making, and her vital role in creating the Festival of Britain.  Find out more on our blog, Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes.

Early Summer Special News

Out now, the lucky 13th issue of Special Collections News, packed with images and news including Bravo PaxCat, Priestley’s finest hour, Celebrating Jacquetta, and You made me shove you!

Jacquetta Hawkes: excavating the excavator

Christine Finn, unpacking the Jacquetta Hawkes ArchiveOn Thursday 28 January 2010, Dr Christine Finn will give a lecture on Jacquetta Hawkes at the Society of Antiquaries.  Dr Finn is Writer-Fellow at the J.B. Priestley Library, and is Jacquetta’s official biographer.  Her talk, Excavating the excavator: Jacquetta Hawkes’s biography as archaeology, will compare the process of using the Hawkes Archive to write about Jacquetta with archaeological methods.

The image shows Christine doing just that, while unpacking the Archive on its arrival in Special Collections.

2010 is Jacquetta’s centenary, so there will be plenty more news about her and the archive, watch this space!