The Griffith Institute
University of Oxford
Detail of Tutankhamun's outermost coffin (object no. 253)
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The Griffith Institute Archive

The Griffith Institute Archive houses a diverse and significant collection which explores the wealth of Ancient Egypt, the jewel being Howard Carter's complete excavation records for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

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 170 substantial groups of material, from complete excavation records to watercolours, photographs and correspondence. The scope of our records ranges from Egyptology's infancy at the beginning of the 19th Century to the plethora of new media amongst our most recent accessions.

Hieratic documents

The corpus of
transcribed hieratic inscriptions

Egyptian Mirage

Explore the collection of 19th Century studio photographs

Howard Carter's watercolours

Birds and animals - studies & hieroglyphs


Portraits and
samples of Egyptologists

The manuscripts of many eminent European Egyptologists and archaeologists are represented in our 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.

We welcome enquiries from researchers wishing to consult material in the Archive. Our popular Privileged Access Tours gives members of the public the opportunity to experience highlights of the collection.

For all Griffith Institute Archive enquiries please email us at