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Papers of Professor John Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph, archaeologist, Histon, Cambridgeshire, England

551 172

Description Papers of Professor John Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph, archaeologist, Histon, Cambridgeshire, England

Date 1930 to 1990

Collection Papers of Professor John Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph, archaeologist, Histon, Cambridgeshire, England

Catalogue Number 551 172

Category All Other

Scope and Content The collection comprises much of Professor J K St Joseph’s field notes and research into the archaeology of Roman Britain and aerial photography. These comprise notebooks, sketches, plans, maps, loose notes and correspondence. Notable sites included in the Collection include the Roman Gask Series Tower at Shiellhill and what St Joseph believed to be the site of Mons Graupius, Aberdeenshire.

Archive History The collection was gifted to RCAHMS in two principal accessions in 1994 and 1995, following the death of Professor J K St Joseph (Accession nos. 1994/627 and 1995/729), by Mrs D St Joseph. In 1999, Mrs D St Joseph deposited five notebooks recording Professor St Joseph’s recording fieldwork in England and Scotland, and a collection of offprints of a number of his articles, 1936-78 (Accession no. 1999/7). In 1999, a further gift of maps given to Professor J K St Joseph by the Archaeology Division of the Ordnance Survey was made by CUCAP (Accession no. 1999/234) and in 2004 a deposit of material relating to Roman Scotland and aerial photography was made by Cambridge University (Accession no. 2004/176).

System of Arrangement Material is held in archival boxes and cube tubes, and is roughly sorted by media and accession.

Related Material RCAHMS holds a large collection of aerial photography taken by the Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs (CUCAP).

Access Conditions Access is unrestricted. Collection contains newscuttings, letters and correspondence in copyright.

Administrative History Professor John Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph (1912-1994) was born in Cookley, Worcestershire, in 1912. He studied geology at Cambridge University, gaining a BA in 1934 and a Doctorate in 1937. St Joseph was subsequently employed as a lecturer and then Dean at the University’s Selwyn College between 1939 and 1962, excepting service as a civilian aerial photography analyst for the Royal Air Force Bomber Command during the Second World War. During the summer of 1939 St Joseph arranged a programme of reconnaissance flights in Scotland with Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford (1886–1957), an observer in the Royal Flying Corps and pioneer of aerial archaeology, which was interrupted by the War. St Joseph became increasingly interested in the non-military applications of aerial photography and, following the end of the war, was instrumental in establishing Cambridge University’s Collection of Aerial Photographs (CUCAP). Starting in 1945, with just ten days use of an RAF aircraft and pilot, St Joseph began a pioneering programme of photographic reconnaissance over much of Britain. He was appointed the University’s first Curator in Aerial Photography in 1948 and in 1973 he was made Professor of Air Photographic Studies. CUCAP is one of the most important resources of aerial photography in the UK, and includes the discoveries of many crop marks in Perth and Kinross. J K St Joseph’s work has transformed our knowledge of the early history of Scotland through the identification of sites visible only from the air. He wrote and lectured widely on the subject of aerial photography and archaeology, his particular interest being in Roman Britain. Published books include Roman Britain from the Air (with S S Frere) (1983) and The Uses of Air Photography (1977). In 1964 St Joseph was awarded an OBE and in 1979 a CBE. By the time of his death in 1994 he had been a member of the British Council for Archaeology for fifty years.

Accruals No further accruals are expected.

Accession Number 1994/627, 1994/729


Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 172) Papers of Professor John Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph, archaeologist, Histon, Cambridgeshire, England

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
All Other 551 172/3 Photographs Group Level
All Other 551 172/1 Notebooks Group Level
All Other 551 172/2 Correspondence c. 1930 Group Level
All Other 551 172/4 Plans Group Level
All Other 551 172/5 Slides Group Level
All Other 551 172/6 Small finds c. 1930 Group Level
All Other 551 172/7 Archive boxes c. 1930 Group Level

People and Organisations