Wessex West has recently inherited a quite remarkable library of volumes concerning archaeology and history from the late Dr Andrew Townsend’s family.

The Collection, numbering approximately 400 titles, represents many years of research, study and a keen interest in the subject. 

Andrew turned from a much more lucrative career in the construction industry to pursue his personal interests in archaeology and attained a range of qualifications and professional accreditations as well as publishing widely. Andrew’s working and academic interests took him to Spain, Libya, Jordan, Cyprus, America and the Caribbean and he made an outstanding contribution to the published archaeology of Malta’s prehistory.

In his commercial archaeological employment with the field unit of Bristol Museum Service, Andrew raised the bar for standards of research into primary source material.  
Through his membership of the Chartered Institute of Building he was a driving force in establishing cohesion and understanding over Health & Safety between the construction industry and archaeology, particularly for CDM regulations. 
In order to have a fully accessible catalogue one of our volunteers will assist with digitising the existing card-index to link the book titles to the main Wessex library database.
The collection will make a very valuable addition to our library resources, assisting future researchers.
Our Chief Executive, Chris Brayne said ‘the collection will remain in Bristol and will be known as the Townsend Collection in recognition of the very great contribution Andrew made to archaeology in general and in the south-west in particular’.