Wheeler Archive

Scope and Content

Papers of Mortimer Wheeler, [1944-1974], including:

Lecture notes of Wheeler's first wife Tessa while a UCL History student during the 1910s (Section A).

Correspondence with Glyn Daniel; Sir Cyril Fox; Christina Foyle; Jacquetta Hawkes; David Kendall; Kathleen Mary Kenyon; Sir Douglas William Logan; Stuart Piggott; Sir Ian Richmond and John Bryan Ward-Perkins (Section B).

Notes, reports, correspondence and administrative papers relating to Wheeler's excavations of Iron Age hill forts in north-western France in the 1930s (Section D).

Correspondence and other papers relating to archaeology in India and Pakistan, 1930s-1970s, in particular the UNESCO Mohenjo-Daro mission, late 1960 (Sections E and F).

Correspondence and other papers relating to archaeology in East Africa (Section H).

Itineraries, correspondence and other papers relating to Swan Hellenic cruises during the late 1950s to 1970s in the following places: Mediterranean; Iran; Nile; East Africa; India; Pakistan; Russia; Far East; Iraq, etc. (Section J).

Correspondence and other papers relating to institutions including the British Academy; British Museum; University of London (Sections K, L and N).

Correspondence and other papers relating to Wheeler's advisory role in connection with archaeological excavations beneath York Minster were carried out between 1966 and 1973 (Section M).

Scripts and other papers relating to broadcasting including BBC 'Roman Britain' and ''The Grandeur that was Rome' programmes (Section P).

Typescript and MS. articles, addresses, lectures and reviews by Wheeler including thesis on Rhenish pottery and a biography of Sir Cyril Fox (Section Q).

Papers and correspondence relating Wheeler's military postings in the First and Second World Wars (Sections R and S).

Wheeler's engagement diaries, 1952-1976 (Section T).

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, 1890; educated, Bradford Grammar School, 1899-1904; University College, London, 1907-1912; art classes at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1909-; Franks studentship in archaeology to study Roman pottery in the Rhineland, 1913; junior investigator for the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (RCHM), 1913; PhD, 1920; Royal Field Artillery, 1914-1917; 76th Army Brigade, 1917-1919; Military Cross, 1918; RCHM, 1919-1920; Keeper of Archaeology at the National Museum of Wales and Lecturer in Archaeology at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, 1920; Director of the National Museum of Wales, 1924; excavated Roman sites, Segontium, 1921-1922 and Gaer near Brecon, 1924-1925; Keeper of the London Museum, 1926; established the Institute of Archaeology, 1937; excavations of the Romano-British villa and cult centre at Lydney Park, 1928-1929; Roman and immediately pre-Roman St Albans, 1930-1934 and the hill fort of Maiden Castle, Dorset, 1934-1937; 42nd Royal Artillery Regiment, 1939-1943; Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India, 1944-1948; excavations at Taxila, 1944-1945; the Roman trading station of Arikamedu, 1945; the Indus city of Harappa, 1946 and the southern megalithic sites of Brahmagiri and Chandravalli, 1947; part-time professorship at the Institute of Archaeology in the University of London, 1948-; Secretary for the British Academy, 1949-1968; archaeological adviser to the newly formed Pakistan Archaeological Department; excavation of the hill fort of Stanwick in Yorkshire, 1954 and Charsada, Pakistan, 1956; member of the UNESCO team concerned with the preservation and conservation of Mohenjo-Daro, 1960s; television broadcaster, in 'Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?' and 'Buried Treasure'; Fellowship of the Royal Society, 1968; died, 1976.


Original order.

Access Information

Certain restrictions apply

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Please note that sections of this collection may be restricted under data protection legislation. Restrcitions or closures are not currently listed on the online catalogue and files may need to be checked by staff before they can be accessed. We may require up to four weeks' notice to undertake this work.

Acquisition Information

Presented by the family in two accessions in Sep 2005 and May 2007.

Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed catalogue available on the online catalogue for most of the collection. There are some additional papers that have not yet been listed. Please note some files may require checking under data protection legislation prior to access being granted. We may require up to four weeks' notice to assess these files before a decision on access can be made.