The PEF is the world's oldest society for the study of the Ancient Levant, established in 1865 as a non-political, non-religious society and funded by public subscription. A pioneer in the exploration and recording of the region, it houses a unique collection of written and drawn archives, photographs, paintings and sketches, scientific equipment, natural history, ethnographic and archaeological material relating to the work of PEF explorers and its associates during its 150-year history. Notable scholars include: Charles Wilson, Charles Warren, Kathleen Kenyon, Charles Watson, Walter Besant, Conrad Schick, Claude R. Conder, Charles Clermont-Ganneau, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Frederick Jones Bliss, T.E. Lawrence, C. Leonard Woolley, Olga Tufnell, John Garstang, William Simpson, William Flinders Petrie, Hilma Granqvist, John Crowfoot, R.A.S. Macalister, Duncan Mackenzie.