Collection Hay MSS - Robert Hay Collection | copies of documentation in other collections

Identity area

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Robert Hay Collection | copies of documentation in other collections


  • 1824-1834 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 box and 1 package

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

British traveller, antiquarian, and collector. Born, Duns Castle, Berwickshire 1799. Died, Amisfield House, East Lothian 1863. Began a career as a midshipman, and whilst employed as such, visited Alexandria in 1818. In 1819 he unexpectedly inherited the family estate of Linplum following the death of his elder brother. With resources now at his disposal he was able to indulge in his passion for travelling, and spent much time in the Middle East, visiting Egypt in 1824-8 and 1829-34. He was accompanied at various times by several eminent artists, including F. V. J. Arundale, J. Bonomi, O. B. Carter, F. Catherwood, A. Dupuy, G. A. Hoskins, E. W. Lane, and C. Laver. He published Illustrations of Cairo (1840), which contained lithographs of his own drawings and well of those artists he travelled with, but the book made a huge loss due to poor sales, which subsequently curtailed Hay's ambitions to publish more of his work.

Archival history

Not known.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Not known. Some of the mounted photographs may have come with the Somers Clarke MSS. The microfilm roll was transferred from the Sackler Library Archive Room in November 2018.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Typescript copy of Hay's journal from 24th November 1824 to 27th October 1827, photographs of drawings made by Hay in the tomb of Neferhotp (TT49) (Griffith Institute photos. 3070-7), 13 mounted photographs made from Hay's drawings of el-Kâb, Philae, and Amada, and microfilm roll with copies of the Hay MSS once in the British Museum and now in the British Library.

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. Consultation only.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright British Library, London

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

The board on which the photographs are mounted is fragile. Must be handled with care.

Finding aids

Catalogue for Hay MSS 29812-60, 31054 in the British Library.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

These are copies. The originals are in Manuscript Collections, British Library, London.

Existence and location of copies

Not known.

Related units of description

Other Archives:

  • Accounts, letters, and papers, enquires to National Register of Archives, Scotland.
  • Plaster casts made by Hay in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, British Museum, London.
  • Hay MSS, in Manuscript Collections, British Library, London.

Griffith Institute Archive:

  • Lane MSS.
  • Photographs made from Hay's drawings, in Newberry MSS (box 'Objects - Photographs', folders 'Sites Vol. II - done', and 'Miscellaneous done' (PEN/G.IV/E.B)).
  • Bonomi diary (copy of extracts in Griffith Institute).

Publication note

  • Some of the drawings were used as the basis for lithographs for R. Hay, Illustrations of Cairo (1840).

Notes area


The 13 mounted photographs were originally kept together with 9 mounted photographs made from J. Burton's MSS. Of the 13 Hay photographs there are 5 images which are either Hay or Burton but have not been marked with a identifying MSS Number. At present these 5 photographs are being kept with the Hay group.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0701