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(John) Kenneth Sinclair St Joseph

(1912—1994) geologist, archaeologist, and aerial photographer


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(1912–94) [Bi]

British archaeologist specializing in the development and application of aerial photography. Born and brought up in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, St Joseph went up to Selwyn College, Cambridge, in 1931 and took a first degree in geology followed by a doctorate, awarded in 1937. In 1939 he was elected a fellow and college lecturer at Selwyn, where he later served as dean, librarian, and vice-master. His interest in aerial photography was started by O. G. S. Crawford, but it was during his wartime duties in the Ministry of Aircraft Production that he became fully aware of the potential of aerial reconnaissance for academic studies. Soon after the war he began a programme of interdisciplinary flying and photographic recording through borrowed access to RAF training flights, which by the time of his retirement in 1980 had amassed a collection of a third of a million pictures. In 1949 the university appointed him as its first Curator of Aerial Photography. In 1973 he was made Professor of Air Photographic Studies. He was appointed OBE in 1964 and CBE in 1979. St Joseph published many books and papers, including The uses of aerial photography (1966) and Roman Britain from the air (with S. S. Frere, 1983). He also lectured widely, using breathtaking pictures as visual aids, but with an intonation that earned him the nickname ‘Holy Jo’.

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.


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