As is the case at many ancient sites, our knowledge of the inscriptions of Aphrodisias rests in part on the records made by earlier travellers, since William Sherard first visited the site in 1705. The account of those visits has been set out in the History and Bibliography of the Inscriptions.
In the preparation of this publication we have used and reproduced transcriptions and drawings by several previous visitors.
Robert 'Palmyra' Wood visited the site in 1750. His papers are in the possession of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. The pages which we have reproduced here are from his fair copy of the texts; we are very grateful to the Society for permission to publish them.
W. Kubitschek and W. Reichel visited the site in 1893; their notebooks and squeezes of Reichel and Kubitschek are kept by the Kleinasiatische Kommission in Vienna.. We are very grateful to the Kommission for access to these records, and for permission to publish facsimiles of the notebooks.
P. Boulanger worked at Aphrodisias in 1913; world events meant that he never succedded in publishing the bulk of his findings. In 1935 the American epigrapher William H. Buckler and his younger friend, Louis Robert, were planning a trip to Aphrodisias, to follow up the work done there by Calder and his colleagues in 1934; they specifically intended to 'copier comme il faut ces documents de la Boulangerie' (letter, Buckler to Robert, 29 March 1935, from the Fonds Louis Robert, Paris). They failed to obtain permission to visit the site; but Robert succeeded in reaching M. Boulanger and persuading him to entrust his notes to him for publication (letter, Buckler to Robert, 3 September 1935). After the death of M. Robert in 1984 the Boulanger notebooks were given by Madame Jeanne Robert to Charlotte Roueché (the granddaughter of William Buckler), and we are delighted to be able to present them here.
Madame Robert also gave us the pages of the notebook of John Gandy Deering. In this case we have prepared a catalogue and facsimiles of all the pages. We have done so both to support our publication of the texts, but also as an example of what might be done with such material. Such documents record not only the archaeological information, but also the priorities and outlook of the people who made the copies. We hope in due course to do the same with other notebooks available to us, and to encourage other archive holders to present their material in a similar way.