Script, Image and the Culture of Writing in the Ancient World

Epigraphic Sources for Early Greek Writing

1.1 The Anne Jeffery Archive

The Anne Jeffery Archive is a collection of papers and photographs assembled by L.H. Jeffery (known as "Anne Jeffery") throughout her working life. It was bequeathed to the Faculty of Literae Humaniores at Oxford University on her death in 1986 and comprises one hundred foolscap folders, two "scribbling diaries" and one large tin of photographic negatives.

The archive is currently being catalogued and digitised, starting with material relating directly to the production of The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece ("LSAG"). This portion of the archive amounts to about five thousand pages of notes filed in seventy-seven of the folders. The notes themselves are typically written in pencil and include observations, bibliography, transliterations and drawings of epigraphic documents. The drawings, of which there are roughly four thousand in this section of the archive, are of particular interest. Many are originals and in numerous cases the images sketched by Jeffery give a clear impression of the three-dimensional context of a given piece of ancient writing. This is all the more true when the drawings are combined with photographs from the archive, about six hundred of which concern texts catalogued in LSAG. The photographs are mostly black and white negatives taken by Jeffery herself using a medium format (6cm x 6cm) Rolleiflex camera, the few exceptions being the occasional print obtained for the purposes of research or sent by others with a request for expert advice.

Anne Jeffery did not originally intend her papers to become an archive and so was frugal and imaginative in her choice of stationery. Some notes were made on clean sheets of paper of a fairly standard size but others were made on whatever scraps came to hand, whether the backs of draft publications, administrative circulars or odd envelopes. Many of these materials do not age well and the result is that the archive is deteriorating. This factor adds urgency to the digitisation project.

The papers and photographs in the Anne Jeffery Archive complement and enrich LSAG. They add substantially to the brief entries on individual inscriptions which were all that could be afforded by space available in the book. Our aim by completion of our project in autumn 2004 is to make the archive available in electronic form as a valuable new resource for studying the development of the Greek alphabet.

On the following pages we offer a selection of images of photographs and papers from the archive relating to texts discussed by Jeffery in LSAG.

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