Griffith Institute

The Griffith Institute is an institution based in the Griffith Wing of the Sackler Library and is part of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, England.[1] It was founded for the advancement of Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies by the first Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford, Francis Llewellyn Griffith. Griffith bequeathed funds in his will (augmented by the personal fortune of his wife Nora Griffith)[2][3] for the foundation of the Institute and it opened on 21 January 1939, with its own independent committee of management. Rosalind Moss operated the Griffith Institute from its opening until the mid 1960s.[4]

The Griffith Institute Archive is home to an important and unique set of Egyptology resources. Built upon Griffith's original collection of manuscripts and excavation records, it contains and preserves early copies of inscriptions, drawings, watercolours, old negatives, photographs, squeezes, and rubbings.

Among some seventy major groups of material the Institute holds the papers of Sir Alan H. Gardiner, Battiscombe Gunn and Jaroslav Černý, records made by Howard Carter during his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, as well as the documentation from the Nubian expeditions of Griffith and Sir Henry Wellcome.

The Institute edits and publishes two major research projects, the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings, and the Online Egyptological Bibliography (OEB). It is also responsible for a number of important publications within the field of Egyptology, the best-known being Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar and Faulkner's A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian.

Finally, the Griffith Institute administers the A.H. Gardiner Travel Scholarship in Egyptology, the aim of which is to promote friendship and cooperation between Egyptologists from the United Kingdom and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

An exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Discovering Tutankhamun, open from July until November 2014, explored Howard Carter’s excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Original records, drawings and photographs from the Griffith Institute were on display.[5] The complete records of the ten-year excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun were deposited in the Griffith Institute Archive at the University of Oxford shortly after Carter's death.[6]


  1. "Oxford University: Griffith Institute". UK: The National Archives. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. Nora Griffith - Artefacts of Excavation: British Excavations in Egypt 1880-1980 The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford
  3. Nora Griffiths- Scots & Egyptology - Egyptology Scotland
  4. James, T.G.H.; Malek, J. (1990). A dedicated life: tributes offered in memory of Rosalind Moss. Oxford: Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum. ISBN 0-900416-56-4.
  5. "Ashmolean Museum". Ashmolean website. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  6. "Griffith Institute Archive". Griffith Institute Archive. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
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