Digging in the Archives: Methodological Guidelines on Conrad Schick’s Documents at the PEF and the Study of Archaeology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the value of 19th-century archival documents for the archaeological study of the Holy Land. This study focuses on unpublished reports and drawings by Conrad Schick, a Jerusalem resident and a self-educated archaeologist, who worked with the Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem as well as the Palestine Exploration Fund starting from 1865 and reported regularly on his activities to London until his death in 1901. These archival documents include, inter alia, reports on excavations undertaken, plans, cross-sections, and maps. By analysing Schick’s largely unpublished correspondence, this study develops methodological guidelines for extracting archaeological information from such archival material. It also directs attention to information furnished by Schick’s records on a few less-known sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-162
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author is grateful to Holger Siegel for fruitful discussions and access to archival material in his and DAI’s capacity. Gratitude is extended to Zvi Koenigsberg who read the first draft of this article and made valuable suggestions, as well as Avraham Faust, Shimon Gibson and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful suggestions. The author’s research work in the London archives was made possible thanks to a grant from the Palestine Exploration Fund in 2015. The author also wishes to thank Felicity Cobbing, PEF Chief Executive and Curator, for her help with the archival work in London. The author is grateful to Rotem Hershkowitz for his help with preparing the images for publication. Finally, the author expresses immense gratitude to everyone who assisted in deciphering the old handwritten documents: notably, Norma Franklin, Jessica Dello Russo, Ivor Ludlam, Esther Schneidenbach, Holger Siegel, and Yedidya Kennard.

Funding Information:
4 The catalogue was made in 1970 by Stanley Tongue, archivist of Hackney Borough Council in East London, who worked on a project of preservation of PEF’s cultural heritage funded by Public Records Office (the National Archives today). Tongue passed away before the project was completed (Felicity Cobbing, personal communication to the author, 3 Nov. 2019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Strata. All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • History


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