Collection Carter MSS - Howard Carter Collection

Thebes: evolution of the Theban royal tombs Thebes: component parts of royal hypogea of the XVIIIth Dynasty Thebes. Valley of the Kings. Carnarvon excavations: photograph  lion-hunt ostracon Thebes. Valley of the Kings. Carnarvon excavations: photograph  lion-hunt ostracon, verso Thebes. Valley of the Kings. Carnarvon excavations: Gardiner's transcription of lion-hunt ostracon Thebes. Birabi. Asasif. Carnarvon-Carter excavations. Site 14. Ptolemaic Vaulted Tombs: stela, ph... Thebes. Birabi. Asasif. Carnarvon-Carter excavations. Site 14. Cemeteries: copper implements, pho... Thebes. Birabi. Asasif. Carnarvon-Carter excavations. Site 14. Ptolemaic Vaulted Tombs: statue ba... Weight of Shepses and a scarab of Amenophis III: notes with drawings Royal genealogy. Late 18th Dynasty: 'Heretic Family' (Amarna Period) Howard Carter miscellanea: silver desk-set Howard Carter miscellanea: portrait of Howard Carter Howard Carter miscellanea: portrait of Phyllis Walker
Carter MSS viii.2. Portrait of Howard Carter. Copyright Griffith Institute, University of Oxford.

Identity area

Reference code

Carter MSS


Howard Carter Collection


  • 1899-1939 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 boxes, 1 album, 5 enclosures, 55 maps and drawings, 1 silver desk set

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

British Egyptologist. Born, London 1874. Died, London 1939. Privately educated. Employed by P. E. Newberry in 1891 working for the Archaeological Survey. Assisted in excavations for the Egypt Exploration Fund 1892-3, was with Petrie at Amarna in 1892, and as a draughtsman to the Deir el-Bahri expedition 1893-9. Appointed Chief Inspector of Antiquities of Upper Egypt 1899-1904. Discovered several royal tombs, including those of Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis IV and Amenophis I. Inspector of Lower Egypt 1905. Employed by Lord Carnarvon from 1909 onwards, to excavate in the Theban necropolis, the Delta and Middle Egypt. His most famous discovery, that of the intact tomb of Tutankhamun, was made in 1922. He spent the next ten years recording the tomb's contents. Most of Carter's records for Tutankhamun's tomb remain unpublished.

Archival history

Carter bequeathed these records to his niece Miss Phyllis Walker in 1939. A watercolour and a silver desk-set were among Carter's possessions, kept at Carter Castle II, at Thebes. Carter bequeathed his Thebes house and contents to the New York Metropolitan Museum Expedition at Thebes. Items were removed from the house and taken to the U.S.A., probably in 1940. The watercolour and silver desk-set were kept together and passed through two private collections before being presented to the Griffith Institute.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Miss Walker donated the Carter MSS in several groups in 1945, 1946, 1959, and 1972. An anonymous donor presented a watercolour and a silver desk set in 2003.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Notebooks, loose notes, maps, plans, drawings, newspaper cuttings, watercolours, and a silver desk-set. The documentation was created during Carter's career between 1899-1939. This material excludes material connected with the tomb of Tutankhamun, see the Tutankhamun Archive.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Kept as received. Catalogued as six groups.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Property of the Griffith Institute. No restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright Griffith Institute, University of Oxford.

Language of material

  • English

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 the originals.

Existence and location of copies

Two A3 ringbinders containing copies of maps and drawings (I.G. series).

Related units of description

Other Archives:

  • Group of papers and some personal objects, including correspondence, autobiographical draft and notes, material relating to his own death and funerary rites and photographs, auctioned together with Tutankhamun material at Bonhams London in 12 June 2012 (, much of which is now in the Peggy Joy Egyptology Library in Michigan, USA [information provided in November 2017], and in a private collection in Boston, USA [information provided in August 2021].

Griffith Institute Archive:

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0108-0112, 1704-1706