Collection Petrie MSS - William Matthew Flinders Petrie Collection

Identity area

Reference code

Petrie MSS

Title

William Matthew Flinders Petrie Collection

Date(s)

  • 1880-1929 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

11 boxes, 1 album, and 2 folders

Context area

Name of creator

(1853-1942)

Biographical history

British Egyptologist. Born, Charlton 1853. Died, Jerusalem 1942. Not formally educated, was first introduced to ancient Egypt after reading Piazzi Smyth's publication of the Great Pyramid. Began his archaeological career excavating and surveying prehistoric sites in Britain, which included a survey of Stonehenge with his father William Petrie. Surveyed the Pyramids, 1880-2. Excavated sites for the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1884-6 and 1896-1905. From 1887 he led his own excavations with the financial support of several patrons. Founded Egypt Research Account, 1894, which then became the British School of Archaeology in Egypt. Appointed the first Edwards Professor (the first chair in Egyptology in Britain) at University College London, 1892-1933. Emeritus Professor, 1933-42. Married Hilda Urlin, 1897. Pioneered archaeology in the Near East, excavating many important monuments. Developed the method of sequence dating based on pottery analysis. The Petrie Museum, University College London, was formed from his own substantial private collection which was bought from him in 1913 by public subscription. A prolific author, he published a huge number of archaeological reports, monographs, articles, and reviews.

Archival history

1. Journals and notebooks in the possession of Petrie's daughter, Miss Ann Petrie presented in 1969.
2. Photographic album compiled at the Griffith Institute from photographs in the possession of the Griffith Institute in 1954, original possession unknown.
3. Copies of the negatives of the Italian and Gîza photographs were made from 660 nitrate negatives, presented by the Petrie Museum, University College London in 1985 (the nitrate negatives were subsequently destroyed).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

1. Journals and notebooks, Miss A. Petrie, mostly in 1969 but also in the following years.
2. Photographs in the possession of the Griffith Institute, method of acquisition unknown.
3. Negatives, Petrie Museum, University College London in 1985.
4. Photocopies of eight excavation notebooks at the University College London transferred from Sackler Library Archive on 13/09/2013.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Diaries, journals, photographs (one set of the Italian Museum photographs originally catalogued as Griffith Institute photographs), and two notebooks (copies of the journals with additions made by Mrs Kate Griffith covering the periods February to May 1893, November 1893 to March 1897, and November 1897 to February 1901). Modern copies of the journals at the Petrie Museum, University College London, comprising of a set of microfiche and a CD-ROM. Photocopies of eight excavation notebooks compiled by W. M. F. Petrie(?), J. E. Quibell and H. W. Price relating to Ballas, Naqada and Hu in Upper Egypt (1895-1899); originals kept at the University College London.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Mainly kept as received. One of the sets of Italian Museum photographs have been mounted into an album, another set has been mounted onto loose sheets.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Property of the Griffith Institute. No restrictions. Copies of material in the Petrie Museum, University College London, consultation only.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright Griffith Institute, University of Oxford.
Copies of material, copyright Petrie Museum, University College London.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

No problems.

Finding aids

Preliminary catalogue.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

These are originals.

Existence and location of copies


  • Photographs of some photographs made by Dr Y. Harpur.
  • Set of modern negatives made from the Italian Museums and Gîza photographs, and some negatives made from the photographs of the Faiyûm (kept with the original photographs).
  • Facsimile copies of the journals exist on a CD-ROM, which was presented by the Petrie Museum.

Related units of description

Other Archives:


  • Most of the papers of Sir W. M. F. Petrie, including 113 notebooks, are in the Petrie Museum, University College London.
  • Some correspondence and documentation related to Petrie's work for the Egypt Exploration Fund are kept at the Egypt Exploration Society.

Griffith Institute Archive:


  • See notes made by Petrie amongst Professor Sayce's papers.

Publication note

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Description control area

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Dates of creation revision deletion

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0515A
  • Shelf: 0515B
  • Shelf: 0516A
  • Shelf: 0516B