Links and Bibliographic Resources for Roman Finds Research

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS-funded project which records the thousands of objects found every year by the public in England and Wales. Their website hosts their extremely useful, searchable database of artefacts, as well as object guides, news items and interesting blogs.

An increasingly good resource to use for identification and research purposes is which currently lists more than 288,000 small finds in its database. It also provides a bibliography of 14,282 titles, of which 3,984 are available online (27.89%) as PDF files. Users can create distribution maps of selected objects and join a forum to discuss finds or ask for help with identification. Much is in French, but there is no problem in posting in English either (translation of object pages is currently done automatically via Google Translate, which can sometimes result in some slightly odd turns of phrase). is a platform to enable sharing of academic research. Papers are presented on a variety of subjects; search within 'archaeology' by area of interest or object type.

A similar resource to Academia is, where users can generate DOIs for their titles.

Instrumentum is a European working group on crafts in Antiquity. Their website includes an excellent bibliography. RFG Members can receive discounted membership to Instrumentum; click here for details.

The German Archaeological Institute publish an annual bibliography called Zenon ( It lists the holdings of all the libraries which are part of the German Archaeological Institute and its departments worldwide as well as links to the British School at Athens and some other institutions.

The title lists of publishers can also provide useful research tools, eg. there are now more than 10000 titles list in

For days when you are feeling really cross, the Curse Tablets of Roman Britain page might be the right resource!

Hilary Cool's introductory notes to Roman small finds, bracelets and archaeological glass are also very useful; click here.

Other Special Interest Groups

Other Sites of Interest

Museums online

Objects from the British Museum collections are now available through COMPASS (Collections Multi-media Public Access System) both online in the BM’s Reading Room and on the museum’s website ( About 3000 objects have been selected as representative of the collections, and they are presented as high-quality colour images, with brief explanatory texts, the principal published references, and links to associated items. However, the search facilities are not sophisticated, and serious researchers should still contact the relevant department/curator.

Also online is the catalogue of the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - no images here, but record cards giving the usual details of accessions - provenance, size, published references, etc. Searches are done by headings such as keyword, material, site, etc, so can be very easily targeted to get precisely what you want.

The Museum of London's online Roman galleries are well worth a look - find out about Londinium life through features and commentary on home, work, public life, religion and the military. Take a virtual walk along London Wall and see films of the galleries. The Museum's online catalogue is also there, an invaluable resource for artefact researchers:

The website for the Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle includes Armentarium, a guide to military equipment.

Vindolanda Tablets Online is a searchable database of the Vindolanda writing tablets, excavated from the Roman fort at Vindolanda in northern England

Many of the extremely useful publications from Augst (Augusta Raurica) can be found on the Augst museum webpage ( ). Even though most are in German, and some in French, they surely must be phenomenally useful for the identification of objects of all sorts, even for those who do not speak/read the language (but online translation tools now make text at least partially accessible).

Pots online

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has launched a project called PotWeb which aims to to create an online catalogue of its ceramic collections. The pilot study covers the periods from 1000 to 2000 AD. Brief summaries of available forms are accompanied by thumbnail colour pictures. These are of a very high quality, and certainly convey an excellent idea of the vessels.

More and more museums are putting their collections, or parts of them, online in similar ways, or as simple databases. One of the first to put its database online in the 90s was Hampshire County Council Museums Service. The entries are basic, but if you are a student tracking down objects for a corpus it is enough to tell you if a letter or visit is needed or not. Click here, then go to 'search the collections catalogue.'


Latest News

Call For Papers

Call for Papers. The Welwyn Archaeological Society and the Bishops Stortford Museum are pleased to announce the third Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research conference to be held at the Museum on July 14th 2018.... Read More »

Masterclass on Romano-British Brooches

We are delighted to announce that Roman Finds Group committee member Dr Jörn Schuster will be offering a one-day Masterclass on Romano-British Brooches with former RFG committee members Dr Hella Eckhardt and Dr Emma Durham from the University of Reading. This one-day event will enhance your skills in the description, identification and dating of Romano-British brooches. You will also learn about the way the PAS records brooches and the research potential of personal adornment for our understanding of Roman Britain.... Read More »