CD-ROM Review: "The Petrie Museum Archives"

Submitted to the Egyptologists' Electronic Forum (EEF).

"The Petrie Museum Archives"
Published by the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, 1999
Price: GBP 50

I've just received from the Museum Bookshop in London (info:, the University College London (Petrie Museum) CD Rom including all Petrie Archives there.

The CD has all extant Petrie field notebooks covering all his excavations in Egypt, tomb registers, various miscellaneous information and two typed MS by him.
Much of this was previously available in microfiches but this is more complete and an essential tool to recover data that he recorded but saw unnecessary to publish at the time. Those notebooks are a story in themselves, it seems that during the war they were put away since most were due for destruction since the idea at the time was "published, destroy", "unpublished, keep", by mistake or a fortunate turn of fate, they remained and I used many of those notebooks in 1979 (consulting the actual items that now are being preserved this way to limit handling) for my research, rescuing thus information that covered Predynastic cemeteries such as Ballas and Diospolis Parva that were very summarily published.

For those who haven't got this CD ROM yet, I'd strongly advise to get it, it runs even on a 386 PC with 256 colours and Windows 3.1 or higher and it is an exceedingly useful wealth of information which previously could only be bought as microfiches for over L 100. At half that price, it is even more convenient.

I really think this CD should be in any institutional library anywhere since Petrie is accepted today as the founder of modern archaeology. The notebooks are also extremely valuable as research tools in their own right.
I hope this endeavour will be matched by other similar ones so that we can all access such valuable data bases with great ease and comfort without having to travel to far away places.

J. J. Castillos

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