Contested Histories: Photographs from Mandate Palestine in the JH Iliffe Collection

July 2019 to June 2020

Contested Histories presents a selection of photographs from the archive of John Henry "Harry" Iliffe, the first Keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem, between 1931 and 1948.  These largely unpublished photographs are a fascinating record of Iliffe's time in Mandate-Era Palestine (present day Israel and Palestinian territories).

This exhibition examines the role of archaeology and museums in recording the past by exploring Iliffe's role in establishing the Jerusalem museum in the complex social, political, historical, and religious setting of Mandate Palestine.  It challenges the viewer to consider how notions of "history" can be constructed, not only through writing and images, but also through physical spaces such as buildings and monuments, and especially the seemingly neutral setting of a museum.

The JH Iliffe Collection is held by the Fryer Library, University of Queensland Library.

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Image: JH “Harry” Iliffe, Untitled [Wide Angle view of PAM], c. 1935, UQFL514 Box 4, Folder 1, The Fryer Library, The University of Queensland Library.

Curated by Mr James Donaldson and Dr Janette McWilliam