The Griffith Institute Archive houses a diverse and world-renowned collection which encompasses the wealth of Ancient Egypt, the jewel being Howard Carter's complete excavation records for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Material from the archive is foundational to hundreds of specialist and popular academic publications every year, as well as to the research of graduates and undergraduates from all over the world. The archive can be visited by appointment, and an ongoing project of digitisation means that more and more of the collection is available online and open access.
Born out of the personal collection of Francis Llewellyn Griffith, the first Professor of Egyptology at Oxford, the Archive has grown to be a highly respected and internationally recognised resource for Egyptologists, as well as scholars across a wide range of disciplines including archaeology, architecture and the history of art and science. There are more than 160 substantial groups of material, from complete excavation records to watercolours, photographs and correspondence. The scope of records ranges from Egyptology's infancy at the beginning of the 18th century to the plethora of new media.
The manuscripts of many eminent European Egyptologists and archaeologists are represented in the holdings. They include the journals of Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, the complete papers of Sir Alan Gardiner, Battiscombe Gunn and Jaroslav Černý, as well as drawings and watercolours made by the founder of the Egypt Exploration Society, Amelia Edwards. Records of 19th century travellers in Egypt and the Near East include journals, letters and camera lucida drawings by the Arabic scholar Edward Lane, the architectural drawings of Sir Charles Barry and the sketchbook albums of George Alexander Hoskins. The most significant manuscript group comprises the original and complete excavation records made by Howard Carter following his 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, captured in the iconic photographs of Harry Burton. Another important group are the records of the Nubian excavations financed and led by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Henry Wellcome, between 1910 and 1914. One of the most heavily consulted resources is the unique corpus of transcribed hieratic documents collected by Jaroslav Černý, Sir Alan Gardiner and others.
The Griffith Institute sets the standard for Egyptological archive practice in the UK and beyond. There is a vigorous and ongoing program to disseminate the riches of the Archive in the form of successful web-based tools and applications.
Students from Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and beyond are encouraged to engage with the Archive whether as research and thesis source material or through volunteering their time to work on various projects such as transcribing or basic preservation.
Archive holdings can be found at http://archive.griffith.ox.ac.uk/index.php/.