Israel Antiquities Authority Scientific Archive 1919-1948
About the Archives
The archive of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is located in Jerusalem. It essentially continues the archive from the British Mandate era. Following the conquest of Palestine by British forces, headed by General Allenby in 1918, the documentation and data collecting of ancient and archaeological sites had begun. Once a civil government was established by the British Mandatory Authorities in 1920, the Department of Antiquities was created and the archive had become an integral part of it.
The Department of Antiquities of the State of Israel was founded on July 26, 1948, Its activities were based on British Mandate Antiquities ordinances. In 1978, the Mandate ordinances were superseded by the Law of Antiquities that was passed by the Knesset. In 1990, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) was established and replaced the Department of Antiquities.
About the Project
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archive entered the government project of “intensifying national foundations and heritage”, with the aim of preserving and digitizing the British Mandatory section.
The purpose of the project is to enable the wide public in Israel and across the world accessing this unique data.
The digitations project includes, first and foremost, the physical preservation of the different files, which include hand and typewritten texts, photographs, maps and plans that appear on a variety of papers, including greaseproof, rice, stencils and others.
The process of digitations is done to preserve the original data for generations to come. The process prevents the physical deterioration of the material and its wear out, caused by the touch of human hands and the climatic changes. The process consists of digitizing the data and indexing it.
At this first stage, the digital archive includes the scientific Mandatory archive in English; accordingly, the site was developed in English, with a general explanation in Hebrew.