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Census of Medieval Tiles in Britain

Reference code
Census of Medieval Tiles in Britain
Level of description
Extent and format
8 boxes
Eames, Elizabeth (1918-2008), archaeologist and scholar
Emden, Alfred Brotherston (1888-1979), historian
Norton, Christopher, historian
Keen, Laurence, archaeologist
Archival history
"The Census of Medieval Tiles in Britain" was established in 1971 by Dr A.B. Emden, to collect and publish material relating to medieval floor tiles in Great Britain. The Census was set up with financial help from the Pilgrim Trust, the British Academy and Dr Emden himself. In later years the Society of Antiquaries also provided assistance. The Census had no paid staff and was reliant on volunteers. Elizabeth Eames was Director of the Census until 1999, when Christopher Norton took over. Laurence Keen was Director from 2004 to 2021, when the Census was wound up. The Census was designed to be carried out on a county by county basis, with Directors appointed to each county where possible.

The archive collection contains Notes and Correspondence relating to the administration of the Census, as well as Census replies, Index cards of manuscript drawings and tracings and census returns, and some County Census Material submitted by county Directors. Much of the original county material is still missing, and work is ongoing to trace as much as possible.

Publications linked to the Census (directly or indirectly) and held in the library of the Society of Antiquaries, include:
Medieval Decorated Tiles in Dorset, Dr AB Emden. 1977. Loc:42c
The Medieval Tiles of Wales, John M Lewis. 1999. Loc:45c
Irish Medieval Tiles, Elizabeth Eames & Tom Fanning. 1988. Loc: CG3
Decorated Medieval Floor Tiles of Somerset, Barbara Lowe. 2003. Loc:42c
Medieval Floor Tiles of Northern England, Jenny Stopford, 2005. Loc 42b.
Bulletin of the Census of Medieval Tiles in Britain. Vol 1 (1985) & Vol 2 (1986). Loc: Tr Loc Soc

Dr Emden left his drawings and tracings on Berkshire to the Ashmolean Museum (https://britisharchaeology.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/highlights/emden-archive.html). He left his papers on Dorset to the Dorset County Museum.