School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Daisy-Alys Vaughan

Daisy-Alys Vaughan

The Shefton Archive – Enhancing a Collection’s History through Object Biographies

Year started


Project outline

Professor Brian Shefton, a leading Classical archaeologist, established a collection of almost 1,000 Greek and Etruscan artefacts, now displayed in the Great North Museum, Newcastle, and seen by 450,000 visitors a year. The collection is unique in having an intact archive which contains documents detailing Shefton’s collecting and research between 1955 and 2012. Using the archive, this interdisciplinary project aims to develop new insights into how and why the collection was established and developed. The figured Greek vases in the museum collection will be used as a case-study to create object biographies, tracing the varying contexts and uses of the artefacts within antiquity, the more recent past and the present. In particular, this project will explore the potential of the archive as a lens for interpreting artefacts and re-imagining the collection’s capacity to engage museum audiences with diverse, and possibly conflicting, narratives of archaeological collecting. By experimenting with museum re-display and digital object biographies, this PhD intends to provoke public discussion of the collection and curation histories of Greek vases and to assess how object biographies can reveal contested histories and hidden narratives to challenge museum audiences.

My broader research interests include:
• Iconography; particularly Greek red-figure pottery
• Women and gender in the ancient world
• Artefact studies
• Curation and collecting

Funding awards

AHRC Northern Bridge DTP Studentship Award (2018-2021) 

Academic qualifications

MA Greek Archaeology - Newcastle University, 2018 (Distinction)
Dissertation Title: How can the role and identity of auletrides be identified through their representation on Attic red-figure and white-ground pottery?
BA (Hons) Ancient History and Archaeology - Newcastle University, 2017 (First Class)
Dissertation Title: Undressing Greek Vases: An investigation into the social status of women in bathing scenes on red-figure Athenian vases

Other roles

PGR Course Representative for PhD students in History, Classics and Archaeology (2018-2019)
HaSS Student-Staff Committee Member (2018-2019)