Picton, J. & I. Pridden. 2008. Unseen Images. Archive Photographs in the Petrie Museum. Volume 1: Gurob, Sedment and Tarkhan. – London, Golden House Publications
Sometimes, a book does not need a long review to explain its importance. ‘Unseen Images. Archive Photographs in the Petrie Museum. Volume 1: Gurob, Sedment and Tarkhan’ is one of these. The volume is edited by Janet Picton and Ivor Pridden and dedicated to UCL’s Professor Harry Smith. Several scholars (Margaret Serpico, Wolfram Grajetzki, Stuart Laidlaw, Lucia Gahlin, Bettina Bader and the editors themselves) contributed to the volume, each of which is very familiar with the topic at hand.
Making hidden archives available to the world is one of the tasks the scientific world should take more seriously than they currently do. In the age of the digital highway, the internet is of course the praised medium to do so. Perhaps the best example of this is the Griffith Institute’s website about the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb (http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/4tut.html). Frustratingly, institutes are still reluctant to do so for whatever reason, seriously limiting the progress of scholarly and scientific research. The more surprising it is to see a real book with part of Petrie’s photo archive.