Beyond Notability is a new project examining the role that women have played in archaeology, history, and heritage in Britain . The three-year, £929,729 research project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, in partnership with the Society of Antiquaries of London and the University of Southampton Digital Humanities. The project will use the Society of Antiquaries of London’s archives, as well as those of the Royal Archaeological Institute, to explore women’s contributions to these organisations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and discover how they are represented in the records.
Although the Society of Antiquaries of London was founded in 1707, women were not formally admitted until more than 200 years later. The first two women invited to become fellows in June 1920 were archaeologist Eugénie Sellers Strong and historian Rose Graham, but the Society’s archives reveal that women have been contributing to its work since the 18th century. The Beyond Notability project hopes to bring to light their role in the history of archaeology and heritage work in Britain between 1870 and 1950, as well as setting the emerging stories into a wider context, looking at the many external factors that affected these women’s formal and informal careers in the field at the time.
The information produced by the project will be released as it evolves, with the aim of building a dataset that is publicly accessible from the very beginning, rather than waiting until the end of the project to publish the finished results. It is hoped that Beyond Notability will be able to uncover new stories about the lives and work of the women who have been long overlooked, and present them in an engaging, accessible, and inclusive way.