The Griffith Institute
University of Oxford
Post-graduate volunteers working on an Archive project
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Name of the object: Newspaper reports

Date: 1920s.

Object information: 1920s newspaper headlines and stories on the discovery and excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun, newsprint, various sizes.

Archive number: Newberry newspaper cuttings album.

Image links:;;

Background information: Newspaper articles about the discovery and excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb were published in The Times and rival newspapers including the Daily Mail. Newspapers were the main providers of national and international news around the world before commercial radio and television. The world’s first exclusive news contract was drawn up between Lord Carnarvon and The Times newspaper. This meant that The Times were able to publish photographs and news on the latest finds at least 24 hours before any other newspaper. This contract upset the rest of the world’s press so much that they began to ‘create’ their own wildly imaginative stories about the tomb, including the infamous ‘Curse of Tutankhamun’ story which claimed everyone who entered the King’s tomb would die soon after. The ‘Curse’ legend endures to this day.


Object activities - read out some of the headlines as if you were a news presenter; discuss how the text is laid out and the way that different font sizes are used; what information is shown on each clipping (e.g. the name of the newspaper, the date and the news item).

Extension activities - create a snappy newspaper headline for an historical or current event; write a short news report on a famous event in history; made your own mini newspaper, don’t forget to include some adverts and a weather forecast!

Related objects:

Tutankhamun newspaper reports:;

The Curse of Tutankhamun: