Richard J. C. Atkinson archive (20th C.)
R. J. C. Atkinson was head of Archaeology at Cardiff University from 1958-1977, and the first Chair in Archaeology in the University of Wales. He retired in 1983, and received a CBE. A controversial figure, he faced criticism for poor record keeping during excavations at Stonehenge, and towards the end of his career, made a public retraction of his theories relating to the monument. English Heritage holds Atkinson’s collection of over 2,000 record photographs in its public archive. A selection of around 200 photographs can be viewed online on the ViewFinder website.
Atkinson was a member of the University Grants Committee from 1973 onwards, where he chaired one its committees to review university libraries, and proposed the controversial ‘self-renewing libraries’ concept, where libraries would not expand, but dispose of one book for each new book they acquired; the proposal was never adopted.
Date range: 20th century
Significance: Of significance in Wales and the United Kingdom
Size: 15 metres
Keywords: Archaeology, Stonehenge, University libraries.