Collection Edwards A.A.B. MSS - Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards Collection

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Edwards A.A.B. MSS


Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards Collection


  • 1856-1892 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 albums, 1 notebook, 2 packages, 2 mounted watercolours, and 1 book

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

British author and Egyptologist. Born, London 1831. Died, Westbury-on-Trym 1892. Displayed an early talent for writing, drawing, and opera singing. She pursued a career in journalism, wrote several novels, and also edited art and history publications. During this time she fostered a great interest in Egyptology, which led to her studying hieroglyphs. She visited Egypt in 1873-4, after which she wrote her most renowned publication A Thousand Miles Up the Nile (1877). She founded the Egypt Exploration Fund along with R. S. Poole and Sir E. Wilson, its aim being to excavate and preserve monuments. She gave up all her other interests so that she could concentrate on being the EEF's Secretary and to publicize its cause. She wrote numerous articles including excavation reports. In her will she left provision for the establishment of the first chair of Egyptian archaeology in England, which was at University College London, its first holder being Flinders Petrie.

Archival history

Not known.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Not known. Probably part of the Griffith bequest. Except MSS Group iii which was presented by Sue Giles, Curator of Ethnography & Foreign Archaeology, Bristol's Museums, Galleries & Archives, City Museum & Art Gallery, in 2006. Album 'Small Egyptian Scraps, 1874' internally transferred on 06/06/2013 (formerly Griffith Notebook 28, now Edwards MSS ii.4). First edition of Amelia B. Edwards, Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers (1891) transferred from Sackler Library on 13/09/2013 [Shelfmark: 315 Edw; Library Barcode: 302217920; Aleph System Number: 012141107].

Content and structure area

Scope and content

  • Album of drawings and watercolours made during Amelia Edwards's visit to the Dolomites.
  • Album of drawings and watercolours made during her visit to Egypt in 1873-4.
  • Album with 26 pencil sketches and one watercolour titled 'Small Egyptian Scraps, 1874', made during same visit to Egypt.
  • Album, notebook, packet containing an assortment of drawings, letters, and notes, another packet contains copies of deeds and accounts issued following her death.
  • Two watercolours of the temples on Philae island, assumed to have been painted by A. Edwards.
  • First edition of Amelia B. Edwards, Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers (1891); Kate Griffith's (née Bradbury) copy, with handwritten dedication to ‘My Katie - Novr. 1891 - A.B.E’.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Kept as received.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Property of the Griffith Institute. No restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright Griffith Institute, Oxford. Except for the photocopies of deeds and accounts which are to be housed in the Bristol Records Office.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

No problems.

Finding aids


Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

These are originals.

Existence and location of copies

Not known.

Related units of description

Other Archives:

  • Papers, including letters and watercolours, in Somerville College, Oxford ( /
  • Papers, including legal documents, in Bristol Records Office.
  • Papers, including correspondence and some art work, in the Egypt Exploration Society, London.
  • Books (first and other early editions, many signed or annotated), published articles, music, photographs, significant group of correspondence, a pen and ink sketch (caricature) of Gustave Doré dated 1868, and an album of nearly 100 watercolours, also containing a smaller number of pen and ink sketches and graphite drawings, titled "Italy, Dolomite, & Egypt. 1872-3-4." and including works made in England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Nubia, in the Peggy Joy Egyptology Library in Michigan, USA [information provided in November 2017].
  • Ink sketch titled "What will he do with it?" in The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, USA (

Griffith Institute Archive:

  • Diary of Mrs Kate Griffith (née Bradbury), made during the journey to America with Amelia Edwards in 1890 (2 volumes).

Publication note

  • Some of the drawings and watercolours in the albums have been used in Amelia Edwards's publications Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys (1873), and A Thousand Miles Up the Nile (1877).
  • Edwards MSS i.343-6 published in Recueil de Travaux iv (1883), 79-81.
  • 'Small Egyptian Scraps, 1874' published online on the Griffith Institute website: Amelia Edwards new sketch album (
  • Most of the watercolours made during Amelia Edwards's visit to the Dolomites published in Alan Boyle & Susan Boyle, Spirits of the Dolomites (2018).

Notes area


  • Portrait: Griffith Institute Photographs 101.108.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0620