Bell (Gertrude) Archive

Subject strengths: Archaeology, Politics, History, Travel

The Library's collection of the papers of Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (1868-1926) consist of Gertrude Bell's letters to her family, her diaries and a number of miscellaneous items. They are of particular interest to scholars of the archaeology or the early 20th century history of the Near and Middle East. The University's School of Historical Studies curates The Gertrude Bell Photographic Archive which includes several thousand of her photographs, mainly (though not entirely) of archaeological sites. The photographs are included on the Gertrude Bell web site (see finding aid below). Further details concerning the Photographic Archive can be obtained from Vasiliki Manolopoulou.


Collection Name and Collection Reference Code:

Collection Name: Bell (Gertrude) Archive

Archive Ref Code: GB186/GB

Date Range of Material

1874 – 1926

Type of Material

The personal archive of Gertrude Bell

Size of Collection

7 Linear Metres of shelving 

How To Order Items From This Collection

Original Letters and Diaries

Approximately 1,600 letters and diaries, and 7,000 photographs from this collection have been catalogued. This material can be viewed on the Gertrude Bell website.

If you find an item you would like to consult in the Special Collections reading room, simply make a note of the reference number and title of the item(s) you are interested in (for example Diary, 2/8/1895).  You can then place your order by linking to our request form.

Photograph Albums

Unfortunately the original photograph albums are too fragile to consult.  However digitised images of all of our photographs from this collection are available to view at the School of Historical Studies' Gertrude Bell website).

Uncatalogued items

A small portion of this collection has not yet been catalogued.  However it is open to the public and a list of these items is available here.

Scanning and Photocopy Service

Original Letters and Diaries

If you are unable to visit our reading room, we also have a scanning and photocopying service.

Photograph Albums

Although the original photograph albums are too fragile for us to scan or copy, the School of Historical Studies is happy to provide digital images from the albums using their digital image collection.   To contact the School of Historical Studies about this collection click here.

Other Resources

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.

See Bell (Gertrude) Collection for books from Gertrude Bell's personal library.

Material from this collection was used in our Treasures of the Month feature for April 2015