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Petrie Images on Flickr

The EES Lucy Gura Archive contains numerous photographs from the digs of Flinders Petrie, the Society's first excavator, and the most prolific. In his 42 year career, Petrie explored more than 35 sites in Egypt as well as sites in Palestine and the Levant, published over 1 000 books and articles, and established the foundations of modern field archaeology. His achievements are too numerous to list, but include the establishment of sequence dating, the discovery of the city of Naukratis, the finding of the Israel Stela of Merneptah, and the establishment of a collection at University College, London which is now part of the collection of the eponymous Petrie Museum, UCL.

The photographs in the EES archive are mainly old glass negatives. Fortunately, these have been scanned, allowing us to make them available to scholars and enthusiasts. A small selection of these photographs have been uploaded to the Society's Flickr stream, and can been found here.


Petrie at Abydos in 1922, aged 69, still eager to get to work

However, in order to preserve these wonderful and significant photographs for the future, conservation work is required. The glass negatives are dangerously fragile, and in their current storage, are unlikely to survive intact much longer.

The Petrie glass negatives in their current storage

Some of the negatives are even stored in old cat-food boxes!

The project of re-housing the glass negatives from the Amarna and Abydos collections (see this article) is nearly finished, and the newly refurbished archive room is almost ready to take these negatives in their conservation standard storage boxes.

The next project has to be to conserve and re-house the Petrie glass negatives, so that this irreplaceable resource is not lost. We will not be able to do this without your help however. The archives currently have no dedicated member of staff and no funding other than donations from members and others.


£10 would buy 10 conservation grade envelopes for the negatives
£35 would buy 10 conservation grade boxes, holding around 15 negatives each
£60 would pay for a conservator to preserve around 40 negatives
£250 would buy 700 conservation-standard clear plastic wallets for the storage of some of the film negatives

Any amount we are able to raise will help us to take immediate action to preserve this collection. To make a donation, please visit our website (don't forget to click the 'EES Lucy Gura Archive Fund' as the recipient of your donation), or contact the Archivist: joanna.kyffin@ees.ac.uk, +44 (0)20 7242 2266. 


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