Collection M. Burton MSS - Minnie Burton Diary

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Identity area

Reference code

M. Burton MSS


Minnie Burton Diary


  • 1922-1926 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 diary

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

First (of four) daughter of Thomas Morton Duckett (1852-1922) and Sarah Annie Williams (1854-1922). She was born in Folkestone, Kent on 31 December 1875. She married Alexander Bell Filson Young in 1902, whom she divorced five years later. In 1914 she married the British archaeologist and photographer Harry Burton (1879-1940). Neither Harry nor Minnie had children from either of their marriages. She died in Florence (Italy) on 30 May 1957. Her grave is located in the Allori Cemetery, where her parents are also buried.

Archival history

Previously in the hands of Mrs Rosalind Berwald (source: Beauman, S., The Visitors (2014), acknowledgment at end), who acquired it years ago from Bertram Rota, an established London book dealer.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Sotheby’s, London. English Literature, Sale L15404, 14 July 2015, lot 29. Acquired by the Griffith Institute at auction (£8,125.00) thanks to two grants from the Friends of the National Libraries (50%) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (50%).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Diary kept from 4 May 1922 to 20 October 1926 by the wife of the British archaeologist and photographer Harry Burton (1879-1940). The diary contains detailed daily entries recording social engagements and memorable events, including the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter’s team, of which her husband was a member. The diary details her life and travels with her husband at home in Florence, their stays in Egypt (especially Luxor, but also Cairo), the trip they made across the US and to Hollywood in 1924, and various holidays in Europe (London, Salzburg, St. Moritz, etc.), as well as trips to friends in Italy. Lined account book, 400 pages, 8vo (179 x 110 x 28 mm).

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, University of Oxford.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Accessioned with extensive loss at spine and lower cover detached. Conservation carried out by Nicole Gilroy, Head of Book Conservation at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and her team.

Finding aids


Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

This is an original.

Existence and location of copies

Not known.

Related units of description

Some correspondence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, within Harry Burton's correspondence files.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0108