San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Full title: '28/30. Good’ - Accessing Gordon Childe and the Institute of Archaeology Through Student Records: Archives, Memory & Nostalgia
In 2010/2011, two archives of students’ work dating to the 1950s were donated to the UCL Institute of Archaeology, containing registration papers, fees’ receipts, examination questions, lecture notes and marked assignments, as well as personal correspondence and other documents.
Materials preserved allow us to see how academics in the Institute collaborated with one another in day-to-day teaching, transmitting and sharing ideas with their students.
Archives are perceived as valuable because of their ‘first hand’ biographical content, in which the conscious self-presentation found in autobiographies and research papers is muted and counter-balanced.
These archives also bear witness at second hand to the lives and activities of the archaeological community of the Institute, particularly the influence of the famous former Director, Professor Vere Gordon Childe.
This process of bearing witness is both contemporary and in the case of the Lewis Archive, reflective and retrospective, allowing us to see how memory and nostalgia act to preserve, transmit and distort ideas about past lives.