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William Young: at Wiltshire Museum

On 1 June 2024, I was joined by Prue Saunders and Bev Stapleton, research volunteers for the Avebury Papers Project, to discuss how the project is revealing the stories of the people who made Avebury what it is today.

The Wiltshire Museum are very generously supporting the project by lending diaries written by William E V Young to be transcribed and photographed. They also happily invited us to give a public talk.

William Young, or ‘WEVY’, not only kept meticulous notes about excavations at Avebury from 1934 to 1940, he also wrote astonishingly evocative memories of daily life across Wiltshire, especially his home in Ebbesbourne Wake, and visits to other archaeological sites.

By bringing together WEVY’s material with diaries kept by Alexander Keiller and Denis Grant King held at the Avebury Museum, the full extent of the human effort of the 1930s excavations is made clear.

WEVY’s diaries are a vital resource for understanding the social, political and cultural contexts of early 20th century archaeology, providing a window into life 100 years ago.

You can listen to a recording of the talk, and find the event details on the Wiltshire Museum website.

Click on this image to visit the Wiltshire Museum website and listen to the talk with a slideshow.

By Fran

Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Avebury Papers project. I’m responsible for coordinating the digitisation process of the multi-media Avebury archive, building narrative pathways into the digital collection, and facilitating the creative reuse of archival materials.

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