The JH Iliffe Archive

JH Iliffe’s remarkable archive was donated to The University of Queensland in 2012 by a cousin of the late Mr Luke Iliffe, JH Iliffe’s grandson. It is a remarkable record of Iliffe’s time as Keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum from 1931-48, a period of momentous change and conflict in Palestine.

The RD Milns Antiquities Museum holds three antiquities from Iliffe’s personal collection; the Fryer Library holds over 500 photographs and other papers. This large collection of Iliffe’s original photographs cover diverse topics including daily life, ethnographic subjects, the operations and environment of the Museum, the British occupying forces in Palestine, and scenes from his extensive travels in the region. Accompanying these photographs are research notebooks and diaries, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other papers, and ephemera documenting Iliffe’s time in Palestine.

The archive provides a unique insight into both the workings of the Palestine Archaeological Museum at its inception, and the role of British archaeological officials in Palestine under the Mandate.


Metal Safe/Chest,


One of the original chests in which the JH Iliffe collection was contained when donated to UQ. It is possible that this chest was used by JH Iliffe during his time in Palestine.

These three antiquities were part of the original JH Iliffe collection, and were gifted to the University of Queensland along with the rest of the archive in 2012. They probably all come from Cyprus, where JH Iliffe worked in the 1950s.


This bi-lingual (English and Arabic) identity certificate granted JH Iliffe the privilege to travel across the frontier between the two British-governed territories of Transjordan and Palestine.


A notebook of Roman potters’ stamps compiled by JH Iliffe in the early 1930s in the course of his work as Keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum. The results of his considerable research were published in 1936.