British Archaeology at the Ashmolean Museum: Rationalisation and Enhancement of the Historic Collections

british archaeology at ashmolean

Project Description:

The two-year project was originally designed to both improve collections storage and documentation and to enhance physical and intellectual access to the British archaeology collections at the Ashmolean by the general public and by researchers alike. It was scheduled to run from 2005-7, but it was suspended with the agreement of the AHRC during the Ashmolean Redevelopment plan. The project was restarted and completed in 2011. The website was launched on 21 July 2012. The project included the development of an on-line database of the British Archaeological collections at the Ashmolean Museum, and a website which provided contextual information and other learning resources about the collections. The database provides searchable information about the objects in the collection for the major key fields: object name; description; materials and techniques; dating; dimensions; findspot; excavator or field collector; and credit line. Where possible, publication references, curatorial comments and digital images are also provided. The content conforms to SPECTRUM standards for museum data and uses widely-accepted term lists and thesauri. Searchable datasets are also provided for the Ashmolean's important collections of historic air photographs, and brass rubbings, and for the 17th century 'Book of Benefactors'. The website provides contextual information about the collections and related archives with regard to the museum’s history and to the development of antiquarianism and archaeology in Britain. It also provides a section of ‘Highlights’ providing detailed information about key objects, excavation groups and archives in the collection.  The on-line database of the British Archaeological collections was updated in Dec 2016.