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Archives of Archaeology: History, Plurality, and New Perspectives

Archives de l’archéologie : histoire, pluralité et nouvelles perspectives

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Published on Monday, March 04, 2024


Depuis plus d’une vingtaine d’années, les archives de l’archéologie suscitent l’intérêt d’historiens et d'archéologues mais aussi d’archivistes et de conservateurs. L’exploitation de ces sources, qui ne se limitent pas aux seuls documents de terrain, s’est désormais imposée pour écrire l’histoire de la discipline, de ses acteurs et de ses multiples facettes socio-politiques et culturelles. La journée d’étude est consacrée à la présentation de nouveaux regards et usages des archives de l'archéologie, appréhendées dans leur plus large définition, comme tremplin d’une histoire renouvelée, sociale et politique, de l’archéologie.


November 28-29, 2024, Paris


This workshop focuses on the archives of archaeology, as a stepping-stone for a renewed social, political, and cultural history of this discipline. In France, new perspectives on the archives of archaeology emerged under the impetus of the Archives of European Archaeology (AREA) project, funded by the European Commission from 1998 to 2008 and hosted at the National Institute for the History of Art (INHA)[1]. Since then, in France and elsewhere, archives have been increasingly used by archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists, and they have also been at the heart of various research and digitization projects, conferences, workshops and publications[2]. An initial definition of the archives of archaeology has led to a better understanding of their diverse and plural nature, of the multiplicity of historical information they contain and of the numerous uses that can be made of them. Archaeological archives encompass not only scientific documents produced in the field, in museums, or laboratories but also those of its administration and various actors involved at different stages of its practice, up to its dissemination.

The growing interest in, relationship and engagement with archives has allowed for a greater understanding and use of these sources. Indeed, histories of the discipline rely on diverse sources preserved in public or private collections. Archives have also expanded geographically, allowing for a more international and connected approach to the discipline, especially when practiced in colonial and imperial settings[3]. This geographical opening is complemented by the examination of marginalized facets of the history of the discipline or by shedding light on actors who have remained in the shadows or at least on the margins of its archives—and of its history—such as women, employees of archaeological sites or administrations, and non-professional actors in the discipline[4]. In short, considering and valuing the multiplicity and plurality of archives in the discipline can reflect on multiple 'archaeological situations' across time and space. Their use thus allows for the renewal and expansion of the social, political, and cultural history of archaeology.

These research efforts benefit from the interest and reflections of archivists, curators, and archaeologists on their archives. Indeed, the collection, processing, preservation, and transmission of archaeological archives lead to the creation of new relationships with current and past sources[5]. Reflections on archives within the institutions that hold them, but also by their producers, open up another field of questioning about the history of collections, the places where archives are stored, and the actors from their production to their conservation. Benefiting from the archival turn, this historical approach to archaeology archives, combined with the study of their current conditions, pushes us to shift our perspectives and reach beyond the analytical frameworks followed by historians of the discipline until now.

Contributions to the workshop can fit into the following three axes:

1)  Histories and trajectories of the archives of archaeology

Contributors are invited to present the history of archaeological archive collections from the production of archaeological documentation to their archiving, while describing their current state and conditions of access. Presentations can delve into the role of the producer and/or the actors responsible for their processing and dissemination. These presentations can be combined with a reflection on how this history of archives—as an object, not just as a source—contributes to a broader understanding of the discipline.

2)  Beyond excavation archives.

This axis, complementary to the first, aims to provide a space for archives held in places not immediately associated with archaeological practice, including the collections of religious institutions, diplomatic archives, family archives, etc. Contributions focusing on archive collections stored outside of Europe or of extra-European excavations are encouraged.

3)  (Re)reading archives to move beyond margins

This final axis aims to highlight the histories of archaeology through the prism of other historiographies, including subaltern studies, gender studies, post-colonial studies, or historiographies of religions, colonies, etc. Contributions will give significant importance to the role of sources and their uses to engage in this dialogue.


Please send your proposals (no more than 2000 characters (400 words), followed by 5-6 keywords and a maximum of 3 lines of biography), in French or in English, to chloe.rosner @ inha.fr,

before March 20, 2024.

Selected papers will be announced on April 20, 2024.

Organized by

  • Chloé Rosner, INHA

Scientific Committee

  • Cécile Colonna, INHA;
  • Clémentine Gutron, CNRS;
  • Artemis Papatheodorou, Early Career Fellow Center for Hellenic Studies Harvard University;
  • Nathan Schlanger, École nationale des chartes


[1] Schnapp, Alain, Schlanger, Nathan and Levin, Sonia, Archives de l’archéologie européenne (Area) Pour une histoire de l’archéologie française, Nouvelles de l’archéologie, n°110, 2007, p. 5-8.

[2] Among others: NAHAN - North African Heritage Archives Network ou les publications de : Rubina, Raja (éd.), Shapping archaeological Archives: Dialogues between fieldwork, museum collections and private archives, Turnhout, Brepols, 2023 ; Rubina, Raja and Bobou, Olympia (éd.), Archival Historiographies. The impact of 20th century legacy data on archaeological investigations, Turnhout, Brepols, 2022; Baird, Jennifer and McFadyen, Lesley, Towards an archaeology of archaeological archives, Archaeological Review from Cambridge, vol. 29, n° 2, 2014, p. 14-32.

[3] Nanta, Arnaud, L’archéologie japonaise en Corée coloniale : Trajectoires, terrains et représentations, Hespéris Tamuda, vol. 57, n° 2, 2022, p. 555-584 ; Habu, Junko, Fawcett, Clare, and Matsunaga John (dir.), Evaluating Multiple Narratives: Beyond Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist Archaeologies, New York, Springer Link,  2008 ; Gutron, Clémentine, Situations archéologiques, expériences coloniales, Les nouvelles de l’archéologie, n°128, 2012, p. 41-46 ; Gutron, Clémentine, L’archéologie en Tunisie (XIXe-XXe siècles). Jeux généalogiques sur l’Antiquité, Paris, Karthala, 2010; Díaz-Andreu, Margareta, A world history of nineteenth-century archaeology: nationalism, colonialism, and the past, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017; Effros, Bonnie, and Lai, Guolong (éd.), Unmasking ideology in imperial and colonial archaeology : vocabulary, symbols, and legacy, Los Angeles, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2018.

[4] Díaz-Andreu, Margarita and Stig Sorensen, Marie Louise, Excavating Women A History of Women in European Archaeology. Routledge, 1998; Quirke, Stephen, Hidden Hands: Egyptian Workforces in Petrie Excavation Archives, 1880–1924, London,Duckworth, 2010 ; Mickel, Allison, Why Those Who Shovel are Silent: A History of Local Archaeological Knowledge and Labor, Boulder, University Press of Colorado, 2021.

[5] Marlet, Olivier, et al. Le Livre Blanc du consortium Mémoires des Archéologues et des Sites Archéologiques : Guide des bonnes pratiques numériques en archéologie, 2022. Rimelen, François and Montagne-Bôrras, Aurélie, Gérer les archives de missions archéologiques françaises à l’étranger à la Maison Archéologie & Ethnologie René-Ginouvès, Les nouvelles de l'archéologie,n° 145, 2016, 12-17 ; 8 ; Stahl, Marie and Schirr, Lucie, Les archives de l’archéologie : définition, législation, état des lieux, Archimède, 2015, p. 9-19?


  • Ecole nationale des Chartes
    Paris, France (75002)


  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024


  • archive, archéologie, histoire de l'archéologie, source, historiographie


  • Chloé Rosner
    courriel : chloe [dot] rosner [at] inha [dot] fr

Information source

  • Chloé Rosner
    courriel : chloe [dot] rosner [at] inha [dot] fr


CC-BY-4.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International - CC BY 4.0 .

To cite this announcement

Chloé Rosner, « Archives of Archaeology: History, Plurality, and New Perspectives », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, March 04, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/vy1v

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