Collection H. Burton MSS - Harry Burton Negatives Collection = TAA i.5

Identity area

Reference code

H. Burton MSS


Harry Burton Negatives Collection = TAA i.5


  • 1922-1933 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 filing cabinet drawers and 2 sets of pigeon-holes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

British archaeologist and photographer. Born, Stamford 1879. Died, Asyut 1940. Began his photographic career in Florence with the art historian R. Cust. He was then engaged as a excavator at Thebes by Theodore Davis between 1910-14. Then from 1914 onwards he worked for the rest of his career as a photographer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His task was to record many of the royal and private tombs at Thebes. Between 1922 and 1933 he was lent by the Metropolitan Museum to Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter to make a photographic record during the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Archival history

Part of the Carter bequest to his niece Miss Phyllis Walker in 1939.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Miss Walker donated the Carter MSS in several groups in 1945, 1946, 1959, and 1972. Exchange of photographs in 1951 with Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to complete gaps in both sets.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Photographic records made during the excavation of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, consisting of approximately 1400 black and white glass negatives. 10 albums of original prints made from these negatives for Carter, and original prints made for and kept with the object card index for the excavation.

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, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

No problems.

Finding aids


Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Griffith Institute, Oxford (TAA i.5.1-2024, i-xcvi), and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Existence and location of copies

2 sets of modern negatives made from the originals (TAA iii.4-5), 2 sets of modern prints ( TAA iii.6-7), scans made from negatives (TAA iii.17), all in Griffith Institute.

Related units of description

Griffith Institute Archive:

  • Griffith Institute reference set of photographs taken by Burton in royal and private tombs at Thebes. Copyright, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Publication note

  • See web publication (Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation).
  • The Tutankhamun photographs have been used extensively in numerous publications, most notably Howard Carter's publication of the tomb, and several fascicles of the Griffith Institute’s Tutankhamun Tomb Series.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Box: 0107, 0114, 1405-1408