Gertrude Bell Archive added to UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Gertrude BellWe are delighted to announce that our ever popular Gertrude Bell Archive, co-curated by Special Collections and the School of Archaeology, has been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in recognition of its global significance.

Gertrude Bell was an extraordinary British woman who travelled extensively in the early 20th Century as an archaeologist, mountaineer and explorer. She was also a diplomat and was unique in having worked in the British administration of Iraq during the creation of that state in the early 1920s.

We have held her extensive collection of letters, diaries, and photographs since the late 1920s, making it one of the Library’s first unique and distinctive research resources.

With close to 10,000 unique items, the archive provides a record of the people and cultural contexts from multiple ethnic and religious groups living through the transition from the Ottoman Empire of the late 19th century to the establishment of the modern Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian states. The photographs preserve a precious record of these communities many of which have changed dramatically over the past century.

It is one of only a few archives to be recognised in this way in the UK; we are currently the only University outside of Oxford and Cambridge to hold such a prestigious collection.

Transcripts of Gertrude Bell's letters and diaries, together with digital copies of her extensive photograph albums, are available to browse at the Gertrude Bell website.

Find out more about the UNESCO’s recognition of the archive’s global significance in this press release.

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Published on: 21st December 2017

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