Historical Manuscripts Commission

Summary report on the records 1882 to date

of the

Egypt Exploration Society

in the custody of the 


(reference: GB-2182-MS.Collections)

A Lewis and R Olney, February 2000
Historical Manuscripts Commission

Table of Contents



Summary report

Minutes, agenda, etc

Accounts and financial papers

Early correspondence and papers 1880-1920

Secretary's correspondence 1912-60

Papers relating to publications

Other administrative records

Prints, negatives and related papers (excavations)

Amarna excavation papers

Amara West excavation papers

Excavation papers from various sites

Excavation papers (unnumbered box files)

Maps, photographs, drawings, etc

Society for the Preservation of Monuments of Ancient Egypt 1888-1910

Deposited and miscellaneous papers

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Enquiries regarding access should be addressed to the Secretary, Egypt Exploration Society. Requests for access are normally referred to the Society’s Committee.


The Egypt Exploration Fund was founded in 1882 by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892), author and Egyptologist, with the assistance of Sir Erasmus Wilson (1809-1884) and Reginald Stuart Poole (1832-1895). The Fund was incorporated under the Companies Act in 1888, and changed its name to the Egypt Exploration Society in 1919. Particularly in its earlier years it had close though informal connections with the British Museum, where Poole and other leading members of the Fund were curators, and with University College London, where Miss Edwards established the first English chair of Egyptian archaeology and philology. The Society and its library rented various premises until it acquired its present quarters in Doughty Mews in 1968.

The records of the Society have been carefully preserved. Along with minutes and accounts there are papers relating to subscriptions, to the Society’s publications (particularly the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology) and to events such as exhibitions and lectures. Of particular note are the papers covering the activities of the Fund down to 1918; letters mainly of the inter-War period from such eminent Egyptologists as Sir Alan Gardiner, TE Peet, FL Griffith and Sir Harold Idris Bell; and detailed records of expeditions to and excavations in Egypt and the Sudan, including photographs, maps and drawings. The collection also includes personal papers of Amelia Edwards and Prof WB Emery, and the records of the Society for the Preservation of Monuments of Ancient Egypt, transferred to the EEF when it was wound up in 1910.

The Commission is grateful to the Society for the opportunity to note the contents of this interesting and valuable archive. It was examined by RJ Olney and AP Lewis on 14 February 2000, in connection with research for the Commission’s forthcoming guide to the Papers of British Antiquaries and Historians, and they would like to record their own thanks to Dr Patricia Spencer and her colleagues for their help and hospitality on that occasion.

Summary report

Minutes, agenda, etc

(Kept mainly in a series of 8 boxes and 3 files, but the items asterisked are in a metal cupboard.)

Committee minutes 1882-6, 1886-92, 1892-1903, 1903-15 (4 vols).

Committee and subcommittee minutes 1915-27 (committee 1915-19, finance sub-committee 1915-19, executive sub-committee 1919-27) (1 vol).

Executive committee minutes 1927-41, 1942-55, 1956-63, 1963-8, 1969-82 (5 vols).

Subcommittee minutes, finance 1892-1901, publications 1894-1901 (1 vol).

Subcommittee minutes, finance 1901-12, publications 1903-9 (1 vol).

Subcommittee minutes, finance 1912-15, publications 1912-15 (1 vol).

Distribution of Greek papyri subcommittee minutes 1903-6, with agenda for meetings 1902-10 (1 vol).

Agenda book 1910-18.

* Executive subcommittee minutes 1929-37 (1 vol).

* Publications subcommittee minutes 1929-39 (1 vol).

* Library sub-committee minutes 1921-45 (1 vol).

* Exhibition sub-committee minutes 1931 (1 meeting only) (1 vol).

Subcommittee minutes (finance, library, publications) 1965-74 (minutes for one meeting 1979 loose inside the volume) (1 vol).

Committee and subcommittee minutes 1982-90 (1 vol).

Copies of committee agenda 1983-91 (2 box files).

Memorandum and articles of association 1888 (1 vol).

General meeting minutes 1888-1962, 1963-8 (2 vols).

Notices sent to members 1982-92 (2 box files).

* Copies of committee minutes 1963-77 (1 parcel).

* Draft committee minutes and financial papers 1916-17, with report of committee on plans for post-war work 1916 (3 envelopes).

* Standing orders 1925 (1 vol).

Standing orders 1960s-1970s (1 file).

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Accounts and financial papers

(In a metal cupboard.)

Account book 1899-1929 (capital, income, cash, subscriptions, etc).

Ledger 1928-37.

Bank books 1905-30 (6 vols).

Bank account books 1919-20, 1936-60 (2 vols).

Petty cash accounts 1932-6, 1959-61, 1962 – (3 vols).

Receipt and expenditure accounts 1951-70 (5 vols).

Small cash and wages books c1965-8 (6 vols).

Subscription ledger 1890-1922.

Subscription books 1883-96, 1901-21, 1921-2 (3 vols).

Subscription account 1914-29 (1 vol).

Graeco-Roman branch, subscriptions 1901-17 (1 vol).

Insurance policy 1918 (1 envelope).

Correspondence of HA Grueber as Hon Treasurer 1892-1905 (1 envelope).

Accounts c1930-76 (1 envelope).

Financial files 1960s-80s (investments, appeals and donations, etc) (4 files).

Accounts relating to expeditions and excavations c1930-79 (13 vols), including Abydos 1936-40, Amarna 1930-49, Meir, Tell el Fara in 1967-8 and Gebel-es-Silsilah 1974-5.

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Early correspondence and papers 1880-1920

(This discrete series of numbered box files contains many of the Society’s early records, but also includes letters of Miss Edwards and RS Poole which predate the foundation of the Egypt Exploration Fund.

The following summary is based on a handwritten list which describes this part of the Society’s archive. This list is available at the EES, and it is supplemented by a number of other lists which describe some of the papers in more detail.)


a) Newberry report 1892-3; De Morgan permit 1892; FL Griffith 1909-10 

3 docs.


b) ‘Immersion of Philae’

26 docs.


c) Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie: field reports 1892-3 

10 docs.


d) Reports and lectures on Naucratis by Petrie and Griffith 1885-6

 6 docs.


e) Petrie papers rel to the Rawnsley affair 1903-5

3 docs


f) Miscellaneous papers, including Maples’ bill for office furniture 1892  

4 docs.

g) Hayter Lewis: Nemis excavations 1894  

   21 docs.

h) Petrie and GCC Maspero to HA Grueber 1903

13 docs.

j) DG Hogarth's report on Delta sites 1895

 1 doc.

k) ER Aryton at Abydos 1908-9

 7 docs.

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a)-c) Correspondence with the American branch of the EEF 1897-1906  
d) Correspondence with the American branch of the EEF 1884-9

 268 docs.

e)-f) Correspondence with the Honorary Treasurer of the American branch 1889-91 

94 docs.

g)-h) Correspondence, including press cuttings, with the American branch of the EEF 1884-9

 86 docs.




a) Miss Edwards to RS Poole and others 1883-7

69 docs.

b) Miscellaneous correspondence, mostly letters to Gosselin 1886 

 119 docs.

c) Edward Gilbertson (treasurer) to Miss Edwards 1884-  

125 docs.

d) Miscellaneous correspondence, including Miss Edwards 1884-92 

72 docs.

e) Mrs Poole to Miss Edwards 1884

45 docs.

f)-g) RS Poole to Miss Edwards 1884-5

327 docs.

h) Letters to RS Poole (Honorary Secretary) 1881-8

 71 docs.

i) Various correspondents to Miss Edwards 1880-2, and RS Poole 1885-96

104 docs.

k) ‘Various explorers’: EA Gallagher; FL Griffith 1888-9; Cowan; Count Riamo d’ Hulst 1887-8; DG Hogarth 1895-6; the Rev William MacGregor 1889 

148 docs.

m) Lecture (notebook) by Miss Edwards: ‘Women in Ancient Egypt’  

1 doc.

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a)-b) RS Poole to Miss Edwards 1880-2

 64 docs.

c) Letters to RS Poole and Miss Edwards 1882-4, and Miss Emily Paterson re sale of atlas 1894

90 docs.

d) RS Poole to Miss Edwards 1883

124 docs.

e)-g) Henri Edouard Naville to RS Poole 1882-3, including report on Delta sites

 22 docs.



a) Miscellaneous early correspondence 1882-5, and office correspondence 1896-1915

41 docs.

b)-c) HE Naville to RS Poole 1884-5   

39 docs.

d)-g) HE Naville to honorary secretaries 1886-9  

94 docs.

h) Miscellaneous correspondence 1902-6   

  71 docs.

j) "Committee 1903-4" 

 52 docs.

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a) HE Naville to RS Poole, Sir HFH Thompson and HA Grueber 1893-4  

19 docs.

b) Tmai el Aundêd 1893 

 18 docs.

c) GW Fraser, FL Griffith and BP Grenfell to Miss Paterson 1890, 1903

  27 docs.

d) "At fib 1912"  
e) Grenfell and Hunt 1901-14 

 32 docs.

f) "Subscribers to Miss Edwards" 1886-7  

 126 docs.

g) "Mr Poole’s subscribers" 1885-6

147 docs.

h)-j) Archaeological survey; Griffiths’ reports 1890-91, 1891-2     2 docs.
k) Mrs Poole’s subscribers 1885-7 

 72 docs.



a)-e) Committee (letters to HA Grueber and Miss Paterson) 1905-8

 856 docs.

f) Grenfell and Hunt 1906-9  



* a)-e) Minutes, correspondence and papers of the Society for the Preservation of Monuments of Ancient Egypt 1888-98

193 docs.

f) Miscellaneous undated papers  

 * I suggest change to ‘Monuments of Ancient Egypt’ (of introduction)

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a) E Gilbertson (Honorary Treasurer) to Miss Edwards 1886-7

 67 docs.

b)-c) RS Poole to Miss Edwards Jan-July 1887

86 docs.

d) RS Poole and HA Grueber to Miss Edwards Aug-Dec 1887

 50 docs.

e) Letters to Miss Edwards on the reorganisation of the Fund 1888 

  3 docs.

f) Letters relating to the foundation of the Archaeological Survey 1888-91

19 docs.

g)-h) RS Poole to Miss Edwards 1888 

  88 docs.



a)-m) Letters to Gosselin on Fund business 1889

708 docs.

n)-o) RS Poole to Miss Edwards and Miss Paterson 1889 

77 docs.

p) FL Griffith to Miss Paterson and Miss Edwards 1889-90 

 34 docs.

q) HE Naville and D’Hulst to Miss Edwards July-Nov 1889

 30 docs.

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a) Sir WMF Petrie’s memo to Committee 1902

 2 docs.

b)-c) HE Naville at Deir el Bahari 1895-7

30 docs.

d) Explorers (Naville, Hogarth, Carter, Newbery) 1894-5 

47 docs.

e) Deir el Bahari 1898-1900 

18 docs.

f) Miscellaneous papers 1893-9 

11 docs.

g) Special fund for Deir el Bahari (printed forms etc) 1895    

56 docs.

h) Early agreements and contracts 

19 docs.



a) AA Eisenlohr to Miss Edwards 1890 

2 docs.

b)-c) Naville to Miss Edwards and Miss Paterson 1890-1 

 105 docs.

d) PE Newbery at Beni Hasan 1890-2   

   65 docs.

e) RS Poole to Miss Edwards 1890-2, and Archaeological survey 

 15 docs.

g) Orders for atlas etc 1894  

 17 docs.

h) Hayter Lewis and printed circulars etc

  35 docs.

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a) Correspondence, including Naville 1911

11 docs.

b) Committee 1910-12

10 docs.

c) TE Peet at Abydos 1912; AM Blackman at Mein 1913

33 docs.

d) Sir WMF Petrie’s relations with the Fund 1913

  7 docs.

e)-f) Correspondence 1912-13

102 docs.

g) Perowne correspondence relating to new articles of association 1913

33 docs.

h) Correspondence relating to fieldwork 1913

 31 docs.

j) FG Walker to JS Cotton and Miss Paterson 1913

24 docs.



a) Miscellaneous correspondence 1914

47 docs.

b)-c) Office correspondence 1914-15

 104 docs.

d) Meir 1914-15

26 docs.

e) Fieldwork (Whittemore, Naville) 1914

 17 docs.

f) Miscellaneous papers 1913-15

 34 docs.

g) Permit to excavate at Antimoe nd

  2 docs.


h) HR Hall 1914-16


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a*)-d) Miscellaneous correspondence 1886-1920

*139 docs.


a) Sir Erasmus Wilson to RS Poole 1882-3 

10 docs.

b) Sir GCC Maspero to RS Poole and others 1882-8

23 docs.

c) RS Poole to Sir GCC Maspero and others 1882-6

21 docs.

d) Edward Gilbertson to RS Poole 1885-6

 28 docs.

e) Various correspondents to Miss Edwards 1886-7 

 46 docs.

f) Sir WMF Petrie to RS Poole 1883-7

 165 docs.

g) FC Whitehouse and others 1880-9

  4 docs.

h) FL Griffith 1884-8, 1893-6

 38 docs.

j) Survey, PE Newberry 1891 and GW Fraser 1891-5 

 6 docs.

k) PE Newberry 1891-6 

 18 docs.

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a) Foundation of the Fund 1880-2

 9 docs.



b) Sir Erasmus Wilson to Miss Edwards 1882-4

 25 docs.

c) Sir WMF Petrie to Miss Edwards 1886-8

96 docs.

d) Miscellaneous correspondence and papers 1884-92

49 docs.

e) Professor H Brugsch to ? Naville 1883

2 docs.



a) Notebook marked ‘Sub-Committee I’, including correspondence and press cuttings 1883-5  
b) Notebook marked ‘Sub-Committee II’ 1886  



Described in the handlist as EES BOX XX, this is in fact a series of eight letter books containing carbon copies of out-going correspondence.

a)Oct 1886-July 1888 (Gosselin)

b) July 1888-May 1890 (Gosselin)

c) Feb 1889-Feb 1890 (Paterson)

d) May 1890-June 1892 (Gosselin)

e) June 1891-April 1895 (Paterson)

f) May 1895-Jan 1903 (Paterson)

g) Jan 1903-April 1910 (Paterson)

h) April 1910-Feb 1914 (Paterson)


Exhibition catalogues and other pamphlets

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Secretary’s correspondence 1912-60

(Mainly in a series of box files.)

Letters from Sir Alan Gardiner 1914-60 (1 box file), TE Peet 1919-32 (1 box file), AM Blackman 1912-51 (part of 1 box file), BG Gunn 1921-39 (part of 1 box file), Hugh Last (Hon Secretary and Treasurer) 1931-48 (1 box file), FL Griffith 1920-33 (part of 1 box file), Sir Harold Idris Bell 1924-47 (part of 1 box file), Sir Robert and Lady Mond 1921-38 (part of 1 box file) and SRK Glanville 1924-44 (part of 1 box file). 6 box files in all.

(Many letters to Miss Jonas as secretary; also some correspondence of SRK Glanville as Hon Secretary 1928-31.)

* Correspondence registers 1891, 1920-3 (2 vols).

Papers relating to publications

(The items asterisked are in the metal cupboard.)

* Publications order book, European and American 1893-4.

* American publications orders 1911-17 (1 vol).

* Printers’ bills (Cambridge University Press) early 20th cent (1 bundle).

Correspondence with Oxford University Press 1931-67 (1 file).

Royalties 1960s-70s (1 file).

Distribution and stock records 1960s-80s (9 files).

Permissions to reproduce material 1988 – (3 files).

ISBN matters 1973 (1 box file).

Reprints, etc (1 box file).

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Other administrative records

* Membership book (life members, etc) 1883-1953.

* Lists of members 1918-34 (typescript lists compiled for ? publications mailings) (1 folder).

* Miscellaneous papers early 20th cent (in an envelope addressed to Mrs S Strong as Secretary 1981).

Miscellaneous papers 1966-79 (Prof EG Turner as chairman) (1 file).

‘Internal memoranda’ (Hon Secretary) 1970s – early 80s (1 file).

Graeco-Roman branch: correspondence 1903-50, including letters to HI Bell (1 box file); * mainly printed material, returned by Prof EG Turner 1981 (1 envelope).

Papers relating to a proposed British Institute in Cairo 1970-7 (1 box file).

Lecture notices and other printed material 1940-81 (1 box file).

Lecture notices 1963-82 (1 box file).

Centenary studentship applications 1984-95 (1 box file, not inspected).

Papers relating to the EES archive, including lists and correspondence c1979-91 (2 box files).

Notebook relating to an exhibition at King’s College 1906.

Exhibition visitors’ register 1922-7.

Publicity material for 1982 centenary (1 box file).

American branch: correspondence and papers 1910-43 (4 box files). (For correspondence 1884-9, 1897-1906 see above, Early correspondence and papers, EES box II.)

Australian branch: correspondence c1923-7 (1 box file).

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Prints, negatives and related papers (excavations)

(These are stored in three sets of filing cabinets, most of which contain prints and negatives; some drawers, however, do contain excavation notes and papers. The majority of the drawers are labelled, and the following descriptions are based upon those labels. The references A1.a), B1.a), C1.a) etc are those of the Commission and not the EES.)


a) ‘Various’ and JEA plates, including ‘people’

b) Abydos; Amarah West; Armant; Beni Hasan; De el Nakheh; Deir el Bahari. Includes site notebooks.

c) Horemheb, Saqqara (and other NK tombs)

d) Winkler rock drawings; Saqqara (archaic cemeteries); Buhen Tanis. Includes site notebooks.



a) Qars Ibrim cemeteries, inclduing photographs and notes

b) Tomb cards: Abydos Sawamah; Balabish; Deir el Bahari [QASR IBRIM photos]

c) Egyptological correspondence

d) Files of correspondence from Egyptologists



a)-d) Abydos, negatives



a) Armant and Amarah West, negatives

b) Armant, negatives

c) Armant, negatives

d) Armant, negatives; Seti Temple



a) Graeco-Roman; Deir el Bahari, 1909 negatives

b) Deir el Bahari, 1893-1907 negatives

c) Winkler rock drawings; Onias; Sinai Sesebi; Saqqara; Tanis series. All negatives



a) Buhen and Buto site notes

b) Buhen, negatives and prints; Beni Hasan; Balabish; Diospolis

c) Amarna Royal Tomb, prints; Deir el Bahari, prints; Dalison, prints; various

d) Buto, notes and papers

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As well as some excavation papers, these three cabinets contain miscellaneous administrative records.


a) Covenants – DH Hobbs

b) Unlabelled

c) Front – Files of former library members; Back – Dig account books

d) Amara West and Sesebi; record cards and loose photographs



a) To be sorted

b) Distribution lists

c) Excavation files 1982-90

d) Miscellaneous files (many old)



a) Amara West and Sesebi: notes, photographs and papers (in the process of being sorted)

b) Amara West and Sesebi: field notes and papers

c) Some Committee; centenary appeal; proxy voting dispute etc. Files which are still to be sorted. Old files of previous officers (at back of drawer)

d) Excavations: contracts (not current) various

These two smaller cabinets mainly contain prints and negatives.


a) Buhon, prints

b) Winkler; Sir Robert Mond’s photographic collection of rock drawings (Sites 1-83, M1-1135); prints

c) Saqqara Great Tomb prints



a) Abydos

b) Excavations in alphabetical order, prints

c) Amarna loose prints


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Amarna excavation papers

(This important group of papers forms a discrete sequence of records, mainly in 10 folders, 2 box files and 6 record card holders.)

TA.A.1-10 [stiff folders]

Diaries, daybooks, notes, drawings, catalogues of negatives etc relating to the dig at Amarna c1920-37. Includes papers of AGK Hayter; PLO Guy; WB Emery; HW Fairman; MS Drower; H Waddington; and GT Martin.


TA.A. 11/1-11 [box file]

Notebooks, papers and drawings c1931-7.


TA.A. 12/1-12 [box file]

Notebooks (4), drawing and papers, mainly the work of GT Martin.


TA. B.1-7 [six small record card holders of annotated sketches and drawings as follows]

TA. B. 1

Record cards: 1921 – nos. 1-553 (plus duplicates); 1921 pottery catalogue

TA. B. 2

Record cards: 1922 – nos. 1-607 (plus duplicates); pottery catalogue

TA. B. 3

Record cards: 1923-4 – nos. 368-1069; 1924-5 – nos. 1-134

TA. B. 5

Record cards: 1926-7 – nos. 1-519, nos. 1-146 (stone); 1930-1 – nos. 1-797 (incomplete)

TA. B. 6

Record cards: 1931-2 – nos. 210-622; 1932-3 – nos. 1-283; 1933-4 – nos. 1-335; 1934-5 – nos. 1-247

TA. B. 7

Record cards: 1935-6 – nos. 1-574; 1936-7 – nos. 1-190; corpus of pendants

Also notes, maps, drawings and other papers(including a diary of JDS Pendlebury 1931-2) in a series of loose files.

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Amara West excavation papers

(In 4 banker’s boxes.)


Amara West a) 1937 visit b) 1937-8 season
Includes pay book, diary, reports and notebooks.


Amara West 1938-9 season
Includes photograph lists, field notes and papers.


Amara West 1947-8 season
Includes diary, sketches, notes and papers.


Amara West a) 1948-9 season b) 1949-50 season
Includes notebook and papers of PG Fell.

Excavation papers from various sites

(Mainly in 5 banker’s boxes.)

1. Fairman: Amarna (COA II & II proofs etc)

2. Saqqara: Keulika, Mereir; Graceo-Roman; Meir

3. Beni-Hassan; Bershah; Belabish; Deshashah; Diospolis; Ehnasya; Sinai; Shwamah; Silsila; Milne

4. Prints – Tanis; Nebeshah; Ismailiya; Deffenah; Bubastis

5. Fairman: Amarna and Armant

Binder labelled: Jericho IV; Line Block Illustrations OUP copy

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Excavation papers (unnumbered box files)

(The following box files do not form part of the numbered EES sequence described above.)

Abydos I-III (3)

Buto I-II (2)

Tell El Amarna I-IV (4)

Amara West (1)

Amara West and Sesebi (2)

Sesebi distribution lists (1)

Sesebi correspondence (1)

Armant -temple and cemeteries (1)

Armant (Bucheum) (1)

Semna (1)

Meir (1)

Amarna Royal Tombs (1)

Amarna reports by BJ Kemp c1980-9

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Maps, photographs, drawings, etc

(These were not examined in detail. Items asterisked are in the metal cupboard.)

A number of rolled maps and plans.

* Photograph albums c1883-1937 (c30 vols), including photographs of San, etc, by Sir WMF Petrie (1 vol), Armant 1927, and Amarna 1928-37.

* Prints (3 vols).

* Negatives (2 vols).

* Catalogue of negatives (1 vol).

* Catalogue of lantern slides (1 vol).

Coloured drawings by Howard Carter (framed).

* Gramophone records (2 parcels).

Slides of San (4 boxes).

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Society for the Preservation of Monuments of Ancient Egypt 1888-1910

(The following records, in a small wooden box kept in the metal cupboard, were handed over to the EEF when the Society was wound up in 1910. See also above, Early correspondence and papers, EES box VIII.)

Minute books 1888-1910 (2 vols).

Bank book.

List of subscribers 1889.

Membership book.

Address book.

Papers 1898-1904 (2 bundles), including an address to the Prime Minister (Lord Salisbury) 1898 on the proposal for reservoirs on the Nile and consequent flooding of sites.

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Deposited and miscellaneous papers

(Items asterisked are in the metal cupboard.)

* Papers of Prof WB Emery c1930-60 (3 vols, 8 folders and 1 envelope), relating mainly to his period as Director of Excavations at N Saqqara 1935-9, including photographs of Hemaka 1935 (1 album), bank accounts 1930s (1 envelope), papers relating to tombs 3036, 3477, 3505-7, and papers relating to the Buhen (Sudan) expedition 1959-60.

* Notes of GB Deakin on museum holdings in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire (2 small vols in a cardboard box).

* Working papers of ‘CJCB’ (1 folder).

* Lecture notebook of Miss Paterson 1894-7 (? lectures of FL Griffith at University College London).

* Account book of RO Faulkener (? as assistant to AH Gardiner) 1926-7.

* Personal account book (living expenses) 1951.

Correspondence and papers of Hilary Waddington c1920-33 (1 box).

* Notebooks relating to Osireion, including inscriptions and translations (9 volumes, author unidentified).

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