Scope and Content

The photographic series includes mostly black and white prints of the excavations and site, as well as small finds from the digs. Some of the negatives of these prints are also included in the archive but more are expected in a future accrual.

Administrative / Biographical History

Official site photographs were taken by various team members during the excavations. The photographer is often noted in the British School at Athens Annual summary for each year, as well as in the Site Albums compiled by William Taylour for the 1960s excavations.

Finds photographs were often completed in the storerooms at Nauplion during the excavations, or later during study seasons. Pots that had not been initially registered or photographed may have been so at a later date, up to 1988. A number of photo lists exist, which have been updated over time. Not all are accurate.

Two numbering systems are usually indicated on the Small Finds photographs. If the small find has an object excavation number, this is usually identified on the back, along with the negative number and sometimes the object’s Nauplion or Mycenae Museum registration number. These numbers will look like the following:

  • 50–225 (Object excavation number, indicating 1950 as the year of excavation)
  • 5671 (Nauplion registration number)
  • 58/35/9/20 (Negative number, indicating the picture was taken in 1958, on 35mm film, roll number 9, negative number 20 on the roll)

The negative numbering systems sometimes also use letters to indicate the type of film, for example ‘Q’ indicates a quarter plate negative.

The original negatives of the photographic archive are with the publisher of the Well Built Mycenae publications, Rayna Andrews. Where prints of photos are not present in the archive, they may be found in the original negatives.


During the 1980s Mycenae Archive Project, the photographic prints were arranged in two sub-series:

  • 1. Small Finds Photographs: arranged by year and thereafter by object excavation number.
  • 2. Site Photographs: arranged by area.

This arrangement has been retained, with additional sub-series’ of: Negatives (including glass plates) – arranged by year and negative number and a Miscellaneous section.

A number of the Small Finds photographs show groups of objects but have only been filed under one object excavation number. During the 2016 arrangement project, cross reference cards were added.

Please note that photographic prints have been incorporated in documents throughout the archive. For example, the Site Albums (Series 1) and Pottery Sorting Notes (Series 4) have prints attached to records. If a photo, particularly of a small find, is not found in the main photographic archive, please check relevant study files or publications.

Acquisition Information

Dr Elizabeth French

Other Finding Aids

A spreadsheet catalogue completed in 2016 is available for use. Incomplete photo lists, which have been amended by researchers overtime, are also part of the archive. Detailed excel spreadsheets,cataloguing small finds by year, can be used to ascertain whether a photo was ever taken of a small find.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The negatives in this series include 35mm film negatives, large cellulose acetate film negatives and glass plate negatives.

Appraisal Information

Appraisal for this material is beyond the scope of the 2016 arrangement and cataloguing project. All records have been kept.


More of the original negatives are expected to be deposited in the future.