About the John Pendlebury Family Papers…

A poster from a BSA exhibition about John Pendlebury, first shown in 2001, to commemorate the Battle of Crete
A poster from a BSA exhibition about John Pendlebury, first shown in 2001, to commemorate the Battle of Crete

The John Pendlebury Family Papers not only tell us about the life and work of John Pendlebury, they contain a wealth of information on John’s parents and stepmother, Hilda Pendlebury (née White), Hilda’s family, and many colleagues and friends of the couple.

The collection has been named the “John Pendlebury Family Papers” rather than the John Pendlebury Papers because of the mixed provenance of the collection. For example there are many letters within the collection that were sent to John’s parents and to Hilda.

Unlike many personal papers collections, this is not a collection which belonged to John in its complete state. The bulk of the collection was given to the British School on the recommendation of a Curator at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, who had  received it from Joan Pendlebury (John and Hilda’s daughter). Material had been extracted and given to the Egyptian Exploration Society before it arrived at the BSA.

Some further material came to the British School from Hilda Pendlebury, via the Society for Hellenic Travel, in 1976. Material was later received from Sinclair Hood (former Director of the British School at Athens and excavator at Knossos), and most recently moved from the Mercy (Money-Coutts) Seiradakis collection and excavation records in the British School Archives into the Pendlebury collection.

A file of letters thanking John for sending copies of his book 'The Archaeology of Crete' in 1939
A file of letters thanking John for sending copies of his book ‘The Archaeology of Crete’ in 1939

The John Pendlebury Family papers have previously been sorted and catalogued to some degree by a student on an Archives and Records Management MA course, during a 2 week work placement.

The current project to digitise and catalogue the papers in detail is being generously funded by the Wykeham Patrons of Winchester College.

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