Archive reveals new finds associated with the handwritten dissertation of refugee scholar and classical archaeologist Paul Jacobsthal

30-01-2017 by Robyn Mason

Francesca Anthony (Mst in Classical Archaeology) blogs about her recent stint volunteering in the Institute Archives to sort the 1908 dissertation of the classical archaeologist and refugee scholar Paul Jacobsthal. Jacobsthal came to Oxford in the mid 1930s after the Nazi regime legislated to bar Jewish people from public offices, which included university professorships. He is well known for his comprehensive work Early Celtic Art, one of only four books published by Oxford University Press in 1944.

Francesca's investigations into Jacobsthal's boxes also revealed mathematical proofs, integer sequences, and, a fascination for lotus motifs and Greek epigraphy. The dissertation is entitled ‘Archaeological Studies in the Pediments of Grave Monuments' and was discovered in the depths of the Institute as a disordered brown box of original drawings with annotations, pages of rough notes, large photo boards and the bound handwritten dissertation.

His fascinating story has been disentangled from his archive, which was found in the Institute in 2009, by Sally Crawford and Katrina Ulmschneider and is featured in their forthcoming book Ark of Civilisation: Refugee Scholars and Oxford University, 1930-1945.

Read more in Francesca's blog:

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