Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Acquisition of the Archive by the Ashmolean Museum


When John Evans died in 1908, his papers were bequeathed to his son, Sir Arthur Evans, Keeper of the Ashmolean from 1884 to 1908.

In 1927 Arthur Evans passed a large part of his archaeological collection to the Ashmolean (an initial tranche having arrived in 1908 and lesser amounts at other times). It was either then or at Arthur Evans's death in 1941 that a selection of John Evans's papers were also passed to the Museum, largely correspondence divided by author, since this was the section that most related to the objects. Some numismatic papers were also passed to the Ashmolean Heberden Coin Room, where they remain today.

After the death of Arthur Evans the bulk of the remainding papers were bequeathed to his nephew, John Dickinson Evans, son of Lewis Evans, who in turn passed them to his own son; this son was married to Barbara Evans and on her husband's death, she passed the papers to his brother Arthur L. Evans of South Africa.

Aside from these papers, a small selection was also in the possession of John Evans's daughter, Joan; she bequeathed her papers to the Ashmolean, but they were in fact collected by Arthur L. Evans and taken back to South Africa. In 1985 Arthur L. Evans made a formal gift of all of the remaining papers to the Ashmolean Museum. In 2008 Arthur L. Evans's widow, Mrs. Ursula Evans, kindly added to this gift the oil-painting of Sir John Evans by John Collier, completed in 1905.

The entire archive was digitized in 2006