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Charles Thurstan Shaw: Correspondence and Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9534

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence, both personal and professional, biographical material, professional papers from Thurstan Shaw’s time in Africa, archaeological notebooks and lecture notes.


  • Creation: 1914 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

(Charles) Thurstan Shaw (1914-2013) was an archaeologist, especially of West Africa. He was the second son of the Revd John Herbert Shaw and Grace Irene Shaw (née Woolart), and attended Blundell’s School, Tiverton and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (BA 1936, MA 1941, PhD 1968). From 1937 to 1945 he was a tutor and Curator of the Anthropology Museum at Achimota College, Ghana [then Gold Coast], and carried out archaeological excavation at Dawu. From 1945 to 1951 he worked with Cambridge Education Committee, and from 1951 to 1964 was a tutor at the Cambridge Institute of Education. Shaw helped to set up the Ghana National Museum and the archaeology department of the University of Ghana in the 1950s. He led the excavations at Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria in 1959. Excavations were carried out at Iwo-Eleru, 1965, the Wushishi area, 1974, Rafin Ndoko, 1974-76, and Kongon Makeri, 1976-77, all in Nigeria. Shaw was Research Professor of Archaeology at Ibadan University, Nigeria, from 1963 to 1974, and Director of Studies in Archaeology and Anthropology at Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1976-79. He was appointed CBE in 1972.


1.2 cubic metre(s) (27 archive boxes. The final box is numbered 26, as the run contains a 'Box 1a'.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were presented by Charles Thurston Shaw in 1998, with two further supplementary gifts presented by his widow, Pamela Jane Smith Shaw, in 2014 and 2022.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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