The Griffith Institute
University of Oxford
Cataloguing archive material
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Griffith Institute Archive Projects

Griffith Institute Archive Projects have successfully delivered almost 20,000 pages of original archive documents on the Institute's website. Online access to archive material is rapidly becoming the norm, but a huge amount of basic yet essential, archival 'housekeeping' needs to be completed before digitization can be contemplated. The Griffith Institute Archive Team is supported by a dedicated group of Research Volunteers, who together work on a variety of Archive which over the last five years have involved, the examination and assessment of archive material and making improvements to the storage of material when necessary. These tasks have included the Institute's large collection of 19th Century watercolours and John Ross photographs; the transcribing of original documents including the journals of W. M. F. Petrie and the autobiographical sketches of Howard Carter; the basic sorting and cataloguing of recently accessioned manuscript material such as, the papers of the Egyptologist Jac Janssen; and the creation and encoding of web documents for the Griffith Institute's website producing the online publications for the G. A. Hoskins watercolour albums, Hector Horeau watercolours and Reginald St. Alban Heathcote photographs.

Current Archive Projects supported by Research Volunteers

Broome Correspondence

This collection of letters, written in the 1920s and '30s, were penned by Myrtle Broome, an artist appointed to assist Amice Calverley in the recording of wall-scenes from the Temple of Sethos I at Abydos, the results of which were later published as a set of four impressive folio volumes, jointly by the Oriental Institute, Chicago, and the Egypt Exploration Society, London. During each season, Myrtle would write letters home to her parents in England, partly no doubt to reassure them of their daughter's welfare and continued good health, but the letters also include a wonderful collection of lively accounts and anecdotes on life in and around the expedition house at Abydos, the improvised first aid dispensed by Amice and Myrtle to their Egyptian neighbours, and stories of the excursions into the desert which in that era must have been a daring adventure for two unmarried ladies.
Lee Young is currently transcribing the Broome correspondence. The letters are also being scanned, which along with the transcriptions will be published on the Griffith Institute website.
An article about one of the Myrtle Broome letters has been published by Lee Young on the t3.wy Foundation website "A Myrtle Broome Letter. Letter to her mother, 21 October 1929".

Griffith Institute Watercolours & Paintings Project

The Griffith Institute Archive has a large collection of watercolours, paintings and drawings, many of which were created in the 19th and early 20th centuries by artists, architects and archaeologists working in or travelling through Egypt. The Griffith Institute Watercolours & Paintings Project compliment the existing online presentations for similar groups of Griffith Institute Archive material, including the online projects: G. A. Hoskins watercolour albums and Hector Horeau watercolours.
John Wyatt and Lee Young have catalogued the watercolours and drawings in both the Griffith Institute Archive and the Lucy Gura Archive at the Egypt Exploration Society, in preparation for the joint presentation of this material online. This is a partnership project with the Egypt Exploration Society, London.
Griffith Institute Watercolours & Paintings, sample material.

Griffith Notebooks Project

Francis Llewellyn Griffith's 45 Egyptological notebooks were compiled over the span of his fifty year career. The early notebooks cover Griffith's archaeological work in Egypt, when he was working for W. M. F. Petrie and the Egypt Exploration Fund at Nebêsha (Tell el-Farʿûn), Tihna, Tell el-Yahûdîya, Heliopolis and other sites. The rest of the notebooks contain notes on Griffith's Egyptological interests, which include, notes and transcriptions of demotic papyri; Coptic and Demotic glossaries; Meroitic transcriptions; and ancient Egyptian weights and measures.
Ed Love has begun the task of cataloguing the Griffith notebooks as part of the project to digitize, transcribe and catalogue this group of material, and then communicate these important documents online.

Hess Manuscripts Project

The papers of the Swiss Egyptologist Jean-Jacques Hess were originally part of Professor F. Ll. Griffith's research papers. Hess handed over much of his Egyptological material to Griffith in order spend the rest of his career researching Arabic. The Hess manuscripts include notebooks containing demotic transcriptions, squeezes of demotic graffiti used as reference material by Griffith for his publication Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus folders of notes on Demotic, photographs and a small amount of related correspondence.
Luigi Prada has been cataloguing and rehousing the Hess manuscripts as part of the project to publish the material online.