The John Pendlebury Family Papers, which cover the period from 1913 to 1964, document the life of archaeologist and WWII hero John Pendlebury from his early years as a schoolboy in England through his career as an innovative archaeologist in the Mediterranean.

The letters, notebooks and photographs in the collection offer insights into the man himself, as well as his family (notably his wife, Hilda, and his parents). They provide a unique narrative of John and Hilda’s travels and encounters around Greece, Egypt, and Britain during the 1920s to 1930s; a first-hand view of the events of World War II, especially in Crete where John was stationed; and the efforts of friends and family to commemorate him after his untimely death during the Battle of Crete in May 1941.


The Pendlebury Archive Project aims are to catalogue the materials at item level, conserve fragile items in-house, establish a preservation strategy for unstable material such as nitrate negatives and digitize the entire collection to make it available online. For information and updates on this project, see please see the Project blog here:

We are very grateful to the Wykeham Patrons of Winchester College in the UK for generously funding this project.