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James W. Flanagan papers

Identifier: Spec-Coll-00020

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The James W. Flanagan Papers consist of correspondence, reports, field notebooks, drawings, photographs, negatives, slides and 3.5 inch computer storage disks containing his working papers from the Tel Nimrin Project (TN), the Etana Project and the creation of the Virtual Tel Nimrin web site. The materials were created in Cleveland, Ohio and Tel Nimrin, Jordan.


  • 1978-2007

Language of Materials

The records are in English

Restrictions on Access

The Special Collections Research Center is open to any interested researcher upon presentation of a valid CASE ID or other valid official identification card. Collections are made available to researchers by appointment only.

Restrictions on Use

No restrictions on use

Biography of James W. Flanagan

James W. Flanagan was born on December 27, 1935. He was awarded a Bachelors degree from Loras College in 1958, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1960) and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (1962)from Gregorian University in Rome, and his Ph.D. from Notre Dame College in 1971. Flanagan came to archeology by way of biblical studies, research groups he chaired on the social scientific study of ancient Israel, and administrative and editorial positions within academic publishing. After completing his Ph.D. at Notre Dame University in 1971, he did post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan and Cambridge University in the fields of Near Eastern Studies and Social Anthropology and Archeology. He taught at Loras College (1964-1973), the University of Michigan (1973-1976), and the University of Montana (1976-1986)where he chaired the Religious Studies Department and served as Associate Director of Scholars Press. In 1986 Flanagan was appointed the Paul J. Hallinan Visiting Professor of Catholic Studies while on leave from the University of Montana. He retained that title for five years, remaining on leave from the University of Montana. In April, 1990 (effective July, 1991) he became Professor of Religion, with tenure, at CWRU. In March, 1991 (effective July, 1991) he became the Paul J. Hallinan Professor of Catholic Studies at CWRU and was made Paul J. Hallinan Professor of Catholic Studies, Emeritus in 2002. He died on September 1, 2015.

His earliest excavations included Tell Gezer (Israel), Babe dh-Dhra (Jordan), Tell Qarqur (Syria), and related field work in Saudi Arabia and North Yemen. With Willamette University Professor David W. McCreery, he launched the Tell Nimrin Project, an archeological expedition to the Jordan Valley, in 1985. At the request of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, they organized a team to examine a town site in modern Shuna South that was being threatened by regional development. In 1986, a small team photographed and drew principal features of the mound as preparation for excavations to begin later. After 1989, Khair N. Yassine, University of Jordan, joined Flanagan and McCreery in administering the project. In 1989 and 1990, research teams of 20 to 25 U.S. faculty and students were joined in the field by professional archaeologists from the University of Jordan in order to pursue full excavation. The project excavated again in 1993, and returned to the field for the last time in 1995.

Beginning in 1996, Flanagan focused on the publication and presentation of data in a groundbreaking fashion via the then nascent world wide web. Virtual Nimrin presented findings of the Tell Nimrin Project though a collaboration with Case Western Reserve University and the Virginia Institute of Technology. It included electronic versions of field books, selected photos, and publishable drawings, as well as a comprehensive collection of reports and a selection of rare texts in archeology called the Etana Core Texts. Flanagan retired from active field work after the 1995 season at Tel Nimrin, and from Case Western Reserve University in 2002.


12 linear feet


The personal papers of James W. Flanagan constituting a record of his work on the Tel Nimrin excavation in Jordan, the Etana Project and the Virtual Tel Nimrin web site.

Statement of Arrangement

The James W. Flanagan Papers are arranged in five series based on the original order established by the creator.
  1. Series 1: Office Files. 1987-2007. Primarily regarding the Tel Nimrin excavation, the Etana Project and creation of the Virtual Tel Nimrin web site
  2. Series 2: Field books and reports. 1989-1995. Archeological record from each of four seasons in the field at Tel Nimrin, Jordan. TN89, TN90, TN93, TN95
  3. Series 3: Multimedia. 1978-1996. Photographs, slides, negatives, and contact sheets of the Tel Nimrin dig site and artifacts discovered there
  4. Series 4: Electronic Records. Circa 1993-1998. Data backups and program files from the Virtual Tel Nimrin Project
  5. Series5: Drawings. 1986-1995. Drawings of the dig site at Tel Nimrin, Jordan

Technical Requirements

3.5 inch floppy disk reader and Foxpro database software for mac and pc required to access data in series four.

Physical Location

Special Collections Research Center

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Special Collections Research Center of the Kelvin Smith Library by James W. Flanagan in 2006 and 2007.
Finding aid for the The James W. Flanagan Papers
Eleanor L. Blackman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections Repository

Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland OH 44106-7151 United States