Popular Publishing and the Construction of an Archaeological Identity in the 19th and 20th Centuries
This research project will focus on the relationship between archaeologists and publishers as a means to evaluate and analyse the creation of an ‘archaeological identity’ – archaeologists as expert caretakers and interpreters of the past – through popular publications.
Scholars have already begun to chart the importance and role of publishing and publishers to early generations of archaeologists including Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) and Vere Gordon Childe (1892-1957). This project aims to elucidate this role in more detail through examining extant archives of publishers and archaeologists. Digitised periodicals and books available through the British Library 19th Century Newspapers project, ProQuest and Internet Archive provide us for the first time with the ability to assess the scale and scope of archaeological publishing as the discipline evolved in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries.
The project is driven by the following questions:
- How did the relationship between authors and publishers manifest itself in the production, marketing and distribution of archaeological books?
- (How) Did publishers play an important role in shaping the archaeological profession?
- How did the emergence of specialist imprints/series change the nature of archaeological communication?
- Were there particular books that caught the public imagination and led to more support (politically and financially) for archaeology?
- This is a new research project. Details of related outputs of this research will be made available here in due course.