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Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]
Extent: 0.4 linear foot (the records of the egypt exploration fund fill one archival box of correspondence and financial records)
Amelia B. Edwards, a novelist and travel writer, traveled in Egypt from 1873 to 1874 to escape bad weather in her native England. Her stay in Egypt inspired the book, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile. A best seller at the time, Edwards story presented a view of nineteenth century Egypt along with descriptions of the previously unknown antiquities of the ancient civilization. After returning to England, Edwards and Reginald Stuart Poole of the Department of Coins and Metals of the British Museum co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund. Its 1882 mission was to "explore, survey and excavate ancient sites in Egypt and Sudan and publish the results of this work." The work of W.M. Flinders Petrie was of great interest to the amateur Egyptologist Edwards, and she supported Flinders Petrie's appointment as successor to Edouard Naville in Egypt. Petrie arrived in Egypt in 1884 with funds from University College, London. He later became the first Edwards professor of Egyptology at the University of London. Subscriptions to the Fund came from all over the world. An office was founded in Boston to do the work of the fund in the United States. Organizations such as the Free Museum of Science and Art who subscribed to the fund were able to share in the artifacts recovered by Flinders Petrie's work. The Egypt Exploration Fund records fill one archival box. There are seven folders of correspondence and financial records including several circulars from the London and Boston offices of the Fund.