George Petrie (1818-1875) was a leading Orcadian antiquary who excavated numerous archaeological sites in the mid 19th century, on some occasions with James Farrer, M.P. for South Durham. These sites include Maeshowe Neolithic tomb, Skara Brae, numerous Iron Age brochs (e.g. Lingro, Shapinsay, Burray), Bronze Age barrows and cists, and Viking graves. His collection was acquired the by the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland after his death (NMAS, now part of National Museums Scotland).
His notebooks contain numerous sketches of artefacts and measured site plans, including many details omitted from published accounts. The illustrated artefacts include items now Orkney Museum, Stromness Museum, the Hunterian Museum and NMS; some of the accompanying notes add to the provenance of these artefacts.
Petrie worked as the Factor of the Graemeshall Estate and Sheriff Clerk of Kirkwall; occasional notes relating to his occupation also feature in these notebooks.
Image tagging will make these notebooks more accessible and enhance our understanding of various sites and artefacts.
This project is part of a wider set of volunteer activities that are underway as part of the AHRC-funded Boundary Objects Project - a collaboration between the Universities of Reading and Manchester, National Museums Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland. Find out more here: https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/grave-goods/boundary-objects-project/