Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oral History of Egyptology

Oral History of Egyptology
The Society’s Director, Dr Chris Naunton, is leading a project to record the memories and experiences of Egyptologists. The personal history of the major players in Egyptology has had an important impact on the development of the subject, and in turn on our understanding of ancient Egypt. This has led to a growing appreciation of the importance of Egyptological archives and to public and media interest in the better known personalities in the field. However, most accounts of the history of Egyptology have concentrated on the earliest years of the subject. This project aims to create a new resource for the study of the more recent history of the discipline: an archive of recorded conversations capturing the thoughts and recollections of senior Egyptologists who have played a significant part in the development of our subject. The recordings now form part of the archives of the EES, and represent an invaluable complement to the photographs, notes and correspondence already housed at Doughty Mews.

Since 2008 the team has interviewed Professor Kenneth Kitchen, Professor Harry Smith, Eric Uphill, Jessie Aldred (widow of Cyril Alrdred) and Dr Robert Anderson and excerpts from the recordings have been made available online (see below). In addition cassette recordings of interviews made during the 1990s by Mrs Rosalind Janssen have been digitised, and copies of the recordings are now kept in the digital archive.

Recordings of some of the first interviews are now available online (see below and here). An article on the project's work to date was published in Egyptian Archaeology 36 (2010) and is available for download, here.

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