Starting a new collection

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Starting a new collection

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Ott 29, 2009, 5:48am

I´m starting a new field of collection. Subject: (auto)biographies of great archaeologists. Any language, any kind of edition. For example: James Mallowan, M. Wheeler, H.Carter,...
All suggestions welcome.

Ott 29, 2009, 9:09am

Granted that Heinrich Schliemann wasn't technically an archaeologist, I nevertheless suggest Leo Deuel's Memoirs of Heinrich Schliemann.

Ott 29, 2009, 3:18pm

Thanks, I did indeed intend on including Schliemann. I will use a broad definition of archaeologist. 19e Century archaeology was not that technical. :-)

Ott 30, 2009, 11:45am

Oooh, I like this a lot. I'd certainly include EG Squier! Interesting life. There is a biography of him out there, also a collection of letters w/ Francis Parkman.

Ott 30, 2009, 12:57pm

Thank you, those names are completely new to me. The list is getting longer: :-)

Ott 30, 2009, 1:07pm

I did some quick research on EG Squier. Interesting man and he was also a diplomat, as I am. His biography by Barnhart is easy to find on Abebooks.

Ott 30, 2009, 1:17pm

Another, related question.
Do you have any tips on how to find out if a book has been translated? How can I know if a book has been translated in French, German, Japanese,...?

Nov 7, 2009, 10:02pm

The name Mallowan rings a bell. Agatha Christie's husband was Max Mallowan. She wrote a memoir Come Tell Me How You Live about life at his archaeological digs in Syria and Iraq in the mid to late 1930s.

Is that too far afield for your collection?

Nov 8, 2009, 11:04am

Dear y2pk, no that is right the field of my collection. I have a pocket edition of that book, and a french edition. Mallowan wrote his own memoirs aswell. (Mallowan's memoirs).

Modificato: Nov 15, 2009, 1:35am

Here are a few books and names that may be of interest.

The Great Archaeologists and their Discoveries as Originally Reported in the pages of the Illustrated London News edited by Edward Bacon is a well illustrated large format book with a nice collection of period accounts.

Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik by Susan Heuck Allen focuses on the man overshadowed by Schliemann and an important figure in the discovery of Troy.

There are the two books by the great archaeologist/Egyptologist W. M. Flinders Petrie, which detail his life and exploits. Ten years Digging in Egypt and Seventy years in archaeology. These are wonderfully synthisized by Margaret S. Drower in her thick volume, Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology.

Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt are the biggest two names when it comes to the discovery of ancient Egyptian papyri and the discovery of the earliest Biblical manuscripts. Not strictly biographical, the now classic Fayum Towns and Their Papyri, is just one of the many volumes they published (many through the Egypt Exploration Fund/Society).

Sven Hedin's My Life as an Explorer and Aurel Stein's Ruins of Desert Cathay: Personal Narrative of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China and the other books they wrote about their Asian exploits along the Silk Road, in China, Tibet and the Himalyas are classics. Susan Whitfield has written Aurel Stein on the Silk Road and a number of other books relating to the Silk Road and Aurel Stein's discoveries.

Finally, though not the most exciting book, The Search for the Buddha: The Men Who Discovered India's Lost Religion by Charles Allen, details the lives and exploits of some of the first people to explore India's past.

Nov 16, 2009, 2:52am

dear papyri,

thank you very much for this, it is extremely helpful. Are you interested in the same subjects? It will definitely extend the horizon of my collection.

Nov 17, 2009, 6:59am

Archaeology is one of my interests. It is a huge field to collect, offering many possibilities and challenges. So, you may want to specialize and focus on a few areas (regions, time periods, etc..) or a few favorite archaeologists.

Original publications by some of the more noted archaeologists can be difficult to find and sometimes very expensive. Also, much material was published in various journals as well.

Happy collecting!

Nov 17, 2009, 1:24pm

About archeology in Egypt, there is also The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurth.

Nov 17, 2009, 1:31pm

Isn't The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt a history of palaeontological and geological expolorations in Egypt? I have not read it but the reviews made no mention of archaeology.

Modificato: Nov 17, 2009, 5:18pm

#15: This is an interesting story about 2 paleontological explorations almost 100 years apart. The first was a German one whose discoveries in 1911 were all destroyed in the World War 2. The second is an American one in 2000 to retrace the steps of the first one. The American team ended up making a new discovery, but its mission was also "archaeological" in my opinion.

If this use of the term "archaelogy" is not appropriate, I stand corrected.

Nov 17, 2009, 6:25pm

I understand "archaeological" to mean the study of past human material culture but I am a Brit and the word may have a broader sense outside the UK.

Nov 21, 2009, 10:44pm

Same in the US. Someone has confused their old stuff.

Dic 30, 2009, 12:26am

I rather agree "Lost Dino-etc" is not archaeological in content and maybe not appropriate as part of a collection. I did think it was a good book and interesting reading. I tend to float between archaeology, palaeology, and anthropology because 1. it's there, 2. I enjoy all three areas (and a few others) 3. I think it gives me a better understanding/grounding for the other two.
Best of luck. Sounds like a great collection for your endeavors!!

Maggio 25, 2010, 6:51pm

The Life of Max Mallowan by Henrietta McCall is the biography of Agatha Christie's second husband, who was once head of British archaeological endeavors in Iraq.

Nov 26, 2012, 10:57am

To come back on this topic. My collection houses, for the time being, about 150 (auto)-biographies on and by archaeologists. Schliemann has the most books devoted to his life. I was wondering if anyone would have tips/hints on how to enlarge the collection. Ephemera, letters, other published material, ....?

Nov 26, 2012, 2:08pm

If you haven't already built up a 'side collection' of books about archaeology as a science, that would be an interesting addition - giving more context (cultural, historical, anthropological if you want) to your collection of biographies.

Don't neglect publications in contemporary journals, magazines and newspapers. Having a collection of newspapers that announce archaeological discoveries can help you get more in touch with your subject. Admittedly, they aren't easy to find.

My collection of Berlioz biographies has expanded with three subcollections:
- bibliographies of Berlioz studies; there are only two that I know of, but I have one of those twice so that I can keep notes in one copy (date bought, prices fetched at auctions, ...)
- contextual publications, e.g. about opera in Paris, musical journalism, poetry in Berlioz' days
- books Berlioz liked; some of those are classics (the Aeneid and Goethe's Faust for example), others are real collectibles (e.g. the pastoral novel 'Estelle et Némorin' by Jean Pierre de Claris de Florian)

Nov 27, 2012, 3:43am

Very sound advice Steven, thank you. Especially the "books Berlioz liked". I was already wondering what books Schliemann had in his library.

Nov 27, 2012, 10:49am

Both would be good additions to the Legacy Library project here on LT. Anyone have a list of what books either owned?

Nov 27, 2012, 3:46pm

I once started compiling a list of books Berlioz mentioned in his letters, but it's not always clear if he read them, owned them or just commented on them. It will take me a few more years to do that (8 thick volumes), and then there's the journalism (5 volumes published so far) so don't hold your breath. As far as I know, there is no inventory of Berlioz' library.

Nov 29, 2012, 12:36am

Picking up on Steven's suggestion to look for contemporary magazines (great tip), does anyone have tips for sites, dealers,... Specializing in this kind of material? Something like abebooks, or addall for magazines and newspapers,...
Thank you all.

Modificato: Nov 29, 2012, 2:00am

If you are looking for some original source material.

Some of Heinrich Schliemann's diaries and copybooks of letters can be downloaded (as PDF copies and some JPG images) from the Archives of the Gennadius Library of The American School of Classical Studies at Athens which houses the bulk of his personal papers (diaries, letters, etc.).

The link to the archive's holdings is Heinrich Schliemann Papers


The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford has put together material on Howard Carter.

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation is the definitive archaeological record for Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The site includes Burton's photographic images, Carter's diaries and object cards and other materials. The materials are presented as JPGs and include transcriptions.

Nov 29, 2012, 3:57am

Very interesting, thank you Papyri. It looks like I'll be collecting and researching for quite some time to come. :-)

Nov 29, 2012, 8:30am

Papyri's last information on the Griffith institute, made me think about a nice addition, extension, of the biographies collection. Biographies on persons who worked, sponsored,...the archaeologists (e.g. Arthur Mace, Lord Carnarvon, Frank Calvert,...) Signed editions of these books are a nice addition, e.g. signed by the grandchildren of Carnarvon.