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Dr Pamela Jane Smith

Dr Pamela Jane Smith

Research Fellow

Oral History Specialist

Pamela Jane Smith is available for consultancy.

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3ER


Dr Pamela Jane Smith invites you to a Memorial Service for her dear late husband, Professor Thurstan Shaw. The programme for the memorial can be viewed here

Pamela Jane specialises in the history of British and Canadian twentieth-century archaeology; working primarily as an oral historian, she investigates the creation, production and `travel' of academic knowledge.

Born outside NYC, her BA was from Michigan with Erik Wolf and Leslie White; she then has spent 40 enjoyable years as a social activist, parent, wife and daughter and is indebted to her son for his patience and care.

After coming to Cambridge from Canada in 1994, (Bruce Trigger's idea), Pamela became the first to document the lives of numerous British prehistorians such as Grahame Clark, Dorothy Garrod and Miles Burkitt; her research was based on previously unknown sources which she herself found; this original, new research has been subsequently widely used by academic authors.

Pamela has pioneered gendered, cultural and geography-of-knowledge interpretations of the `prehistory' of archaeology looking at topics such as `Gentleman are not Cads; Women are not Professors' and the importance of social situations such as tea-rooms in the generation of new intellectual approaches and in the development of `big science' archaeology during the 1920s and 1930s. Pamela was the first to document the influence of Breuil on British archaeology and the interrelationships between religious beliefs, Empire and archaeology in the twentieth century. She has a wide knowledge of the history of archaeology and is often used as an academic adviser.

Subject groups/Research projects



The Personal Histories Film Training Workshop - explore film-making by doing it. Saturday 29 November 2014
For more information download the flyer here.