Museum of London

Museum of London Archaeological Archive


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The on-line version of the Museum of London Archaeological Archive presents a subset of the data held locally by the Museum of London. Results from ArchSearch, the ADS on-line catalogue, can be followed up using the contact details displayed during a search. The Archive is described below...

The Museum of London Archaeological Archive contains the records and finds for over 2400 archaeological excavations and interventions carried out in the Greater London area. These date from the beginning of the century up to 1991 and were carried out by a number of organisations including, primarily, the archaeological departments of the Museum of London and its predecessors. An active programme is currently underway to arrange the deposition of over 1400 archives for sites examined since 1991 which are currently in the care of over 25 archaeological organisations.

The Archaeological Archive first came into being following the transfer of site archives from a variety of organisations to the Curatorial Division of the Museum of London in the early 1990s. In 1993 this material was brought together in a single store, but pressure on the available space caused the closure of the archive in 1996. In 1997-98, the archive was transferred to the Museum's Resource Centre at Eagle Wharf Road in Hackney, where it reopened in October 1998. It contains over 150,000 registered finds, 120,000 boxes of general finds (pottery, bone, etc.), 75 tonnes of architectural stone work, 4000 environmental samples, c 300m of paper records. 60 chests of plans and sections, a large photographic archive and comprehensive, if diverse, computer records. It has a core team of four full-time staff supported by work-experience students from schools and universities plus independent volunteers and members of special interest groups.

At Eagle Wharf Road, individual site archives have been divided, for collection management purposes, into three main categories

  1. the paper and drawing film records, subdivided by primary and secondary records, including site, finds and environmental records
  2. the photographic records, subdivided by medium (e.g. transparencies, b&w etc)
  3. the finds assemblages, subdivided for passive conservation purposes into general finds (pottery, bone, building material) with non-sensitive accessions, metal accessions, (e.g. iron, copper and lead alloy) and other sensitive accessions (e.g. glass, worked bone and wood, leather etc)

The primary means of access into these archives and their sub-categories is by means of the site address and, in particular, the site code. The information supplied to ADS covers the 2400 sites in the care of the MoL. These records are under development and it is hoped that information will be added to some fields throughout 1999. In particular it is hoped to add summaries of the main findings of each site. These can be found in three volumes of guides to the archive.

Museum of London Archaeological Gazetteer Series:

  1. Schofield, J, with Maloney, C (eds.), 1998, Archaeology in the City of London, 1907-1991: a guide to records of excavations by the Museum of London and its predecessors.
  2. Thompson, A, Westman, A and Dyson, T (eds.), 1988, Archaeology in Greater London, 1965-1990: a guide to records of excavations by the Museum of London.
  3. Shepherd, J (ed.), Post-War Archaeology in the City of London, 1946-1972: a guide to records of excavations by Professor W F Grimes held by the Museum of London.

The archive's search and study rooms are open to the public, researchers and students on weekdays, 9-30 to 5.00, by appointment only. Please contact the archive manager to arrange a suitable time.

Archive Manager
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London, N1 7EE
Tel: 0171 566 9317
e-mail: laarc@museumoflondon.org.uk

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