John Henry “Harry” Iliffe OBE FSA (1902-1960) was a British classical archaeologist and the first keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (Rockefeller Museum) in Jerusalem. As an official of the foreign Mandate administration, Iliffe occupied a privileged position in Jerusalem society, and played a key role in the development of the Museum and the archaeological landscape of Palestine up to the end of the Mandate in 1948. Later, Iliffe excavated for several seasons at Kouklia (Paleo-Paphos) on Cyprus with TB Mitford. Iliffe’s archive, including photographs, papers and diaries, is held by the University of Queensland Library’s Fryer Library, after being donated by members of his extended family in 2012. The RD Milns Antiquities Museum holds three antiquities that were also part of the Iliffe collection and in 2019 collaborated with the Fryer Library to produce the exhibition “Contested Histories: Photographs from Mandate Palestine in the JH Iliffe Collection”.
James Donaldson is Manager and Curator of the RD Milns Antiquities Museum at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. His research interests include antiquities collected by Australian service personnel during the first world war, and the history of antiquities collecting and trade in Australia.
Featured image (top of page): [Palestine Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem, c1934 to 1938] Photograph: JH Iliffe. 1934-01-01