Tuesday, August 3, 2021

British School of Archaeology at Athens Digital Collections

The Digital Collections of the British School at Athens contain a vast amount of material relating to the research and researchers of our institution right from its foundation through to the present day.

Much of the material in the BSA collections comes from the BSA’s landmark excavations in Greek archaeology: Knossos, Mycenae, Sparta, among others. Objects, plans, and even the diaries of the excavators give unprecedented access not only to these historically crucial sites, but they also offer a glimpse into the social history and lives of early BSA members. Likewise, our modern collections exemplify British Hellenic relations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Digital data continue to be generated, as our ongoing archaeological projects deposit new survey and excavation records with us every year. In addition, our Fitch Laboratory continues to process and analyse new samples of material and our archive collections continue to be digitised. Digital Collections links all of these records across time, and it allows users to see together old and new, the entire research history of the BSA.

Our goal is to make available via an integrated search platform object, archival and research data, organised by collections. Much of this material has already been studied or discussed generally in reports or articles, variously published in the Annual of the British School at Athens or via other venues. But Digital Collections gives researchers much closer access to the primary material.

Materials listed on this platform are located in either Athens or at Knossos. They are available for study, and information on obtaining the relevant permits is available here.

Digitisation and standardisation of BSA data in a collection management system is currently managed by Kostis Christakis (Knossos Research Centre), Amalia Kakissis (Archive), Evangelia Kiriatzi (Fitch Laboratory) and Michael Loy (Museum).

The Digital Collections website was developed in 2019-2020 by Chavdar Tzochev

BSA SPHS Image Collection

A photographic reference and loan collection amassed in the late 19th-mid 20th century by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies that includes photographs from the British School at Athens documenting early BSA research.

Byzantine Research Fund (BRF)

The Byzantine Research Fund Archive (BRF) is a unique collection of architectural drawings, photographs and notebooks created from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century by a small team of British architects trained in the Arts & Crafts tradition whose studies of Byzantium shaped the Byzantine Revival in later years.

Emily Penrose Personal Papers

The personal diary of Emily Penrose (1858-1942), eldest daughter of Francis Cranmer Penrose the first Director of the British School at Athens, written from March 1887 to September 1888. The entries record her time living in Greece from March to November 1887 and, later, her family’s journey through Italy on their return home to Britain.

Keppel Craven Personal Papers

Sir Keppel Richard Craven’s (1779-1851) notebook, most likely created between 1811-1813, contains sketches (some in colour) of the people, places and antiquities he encountered while on the Second Ionian Mission sponsored by the Society of Dilettanti, on which he was accompanied by William Gell and the architects John Peter (Deering) Gandy and Francis Bedford.

Kynosarges Excavation Records

In early 1896 Cecil Smith, Director of the British School at Athens, was looking for a site to excavate in Athens for two reasons: for the BSA to contribute to the knowledge of Athenian topography and, more so perhaps, to use the opportunity as a training ground for students who would then move on to the BSA excavations being planned on the island of Melos.

Mycenae Excavation Records

The Mycenae Excavation Records consist primarily of original site plans, drawings and watercolours of artefacts, as well as a few notebooks and photographs, produced during the 1920-23 British School at Athens excavations at Mycenae led by then BSA Director, Alan Wace.

William Flinders Petrie Personal Papers

Sir William M. Flinders Petrie’s (1853-1942) notebook contains watercolour drawings of Aegean pottery recovered, ‘from the waste heaps of the Palace of Khuenaten, Tell el-Amarna’ (Egypt). Petrie created the drawings in April 1892 after his first season of excavations at the site and also included his thoughts on the chronology of the Aegean pottery in relation to Tell el-Amarna.

William Gell Personal Papers

Sir William Gell (1777-1836) was a Classical scholar, antiquary, traveller and Member of the Society of the Dilettanti. His six notebooks, most likely produced between 1801 and 1810, include itineraries, sketches of antiquities, people and places he visited while he was travelling with Edward Dodwell in Greece and Asia Minor.

Archaeological Survey of the Knossos Area

Catalogue information linked to a map of archaeological discoveries in the Knossos valley since Arthur Evans's excavations from the second edition of the Archaeology Survey of the Knossos Area by Sinclair Hood and David Smyth.

Fitch Laboratory Botanical Samples

The Fitch Laboratory Seed Reference Collection includes over 2100 different species and subspecies of plants commonly found in archaeological sites in Greece.



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