Collection Crum MSS - Walter Ewing Crum Collection

Notebook 67 Notebook 71 Notebook 72
Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

Crum MSS


Walter Ewing Crum Collection


  • c.1890-1944 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

29 boxes, 78 card index boxes, 43 bundles, and 113 notebooks

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

British Coptologist. Born, Capelrig, Renfrewshire 1865. Died, Bath 1944. Educated, Eton, 1879, then Balliol College, Oxford, BA 1888. Became interested in Egyptology whilst an undergraduate, and went to study hieroglyphs, ancient Egyptian and Coptic with W. N. Groff in Paris, then with A. Erman in Berlin. Hon. PhD. Berlin. Went on to specialise in Coptic, eventually becoming the most eminent scholar in his field. He is most renowned for his Coptic Dictionary which he started work on in 1892. He visited many museums and libraries compiling all available material. The Dictionary was published in six volumes between 1929-39. In recognition of his contribution to the subject, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy, 1931, awarded D. Litt., Oxford, 1937, Volume 25 (1939) of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology was dedicated to him, and the Byzantine Institute of Boston published a volume in his honour. He published extensively in his chosen field.

Archival history

The Coptic dictionary slip index was bequeathed by Crum. The remaining material, except for Thompson correspondence, was presented by Mrs Crum after Crum's death in 1944. The Sir Herbert Thompson correspondence was presented in 1953 by Brigadier J. A. S. Crum. Photocopies of Dr Abraham Arthur Schiller correspondence with Crum were presented in 1971 by Dr Schiller himself.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The estate of W. E. Crum. Additions to the correspondence group in 1953 (Sir Herbert Thompson correspondence presented by Brigadier J. A. S. Crum) and 1971 (Dr Abraham Arthur Shiller correspondence presented by himself).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Card indexes used in compilation of the <i>Coptic Dictionary</i>, photographs, photostats, notebooks, notes, correspondence, newspaper cuttings, negatives, and casts.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Mainly kept as received, arranged by type of material.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Property of the Griffith Institute. No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright Griffith Institute, 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 originals.

Existence and location of copies

Not known.

Related units of description

  • 30 letters to Hugo Schuchardt (1842-1927) within the Schuchardt papers at the University of Graz Library (Austria).

Notes area


  • Dr Jenni Cromwell revised the original typewritten catalogue in 2014.


  • Series Crum MSS 14-18 not assigned.


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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0408-0418