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Chanoine Drioton's Egyptology collection

The Drioton collection was acquired by the BNU in 1961 using the compensation received after the Second World War. Etienne Drioton (1889-1961) was Director General of the Egyptian Antiquities Department (1936-1952), and subsequently taught at the Collège de France (1957-1961). The works in his collection are kept in the Joffre Room and were catalogued on index cards in the second half of the 1960s. An index by author and title if anonymous, a systematic index (following a specific classification - see below) and a concordance may be accessed in the numismatics department. In 2005, these catalogues were retroconverted and the records for the works are available in the BNU's computerised catalogue as well as on the Internet.

The collection comprises 5 000 volumes (about 2 200 titles). A number of Drioton manuscripts are included in the BNU's collection of manuscripts (MS.5.359 to MS.5.436).

Classification of the collection

AA Museum catalogues

BB Archaeology, general aspects

CC History

DD History and civilisation

EE Dictionaries and grammar books

FF Egyptology

GG Works by Drioton

HH Geography and travel

I I Religious texts, inscriptions and papyruses

JJ Major temples

KK Nubia

LL Philology, writing

MM Demotic Greek

NN Literary history

OO Greek texts on Egypt

PP Religion

QQ Science and technology

RR Egyptian prehistory

SS Mixes

TT Collections

Copt. Coptica

Fol. Works in very large format

All the inventory numbers for the collection start with DRI.

These books may be accessed freely during the opening hours of the Joffre Reading Room. They may not be removed, except in exceptional circumstances when authorised by the curator in charge.

The BNU's collection of Egyptology items is kept in a strongroom in the numismatics department. In addition to papyruses, ostraca, mummy labels and other writing media, it also contains a small number of varied objects that are currently being processed systematically (inventory).

The BNU's collections also contain other Egyptology works, scattered - depending on when they were acquired - in the sections on history, archaeology and ancient linguistics. Purchases of Egyptology items are still being made. The periodicals that formed part of the Drioton collection when it first arrived were incorporated in the BNU's collections of periodicals, or given to other institutions (Egyptology Department at the University of Strasbourg) if the BNU already had a copy.

Overview of the collection

The works in this collection make up a rich group of documents, in various languages, on Egypt in general and on Egyptian archaeology. The dates of publication range from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. The most remarkable items include the famous Description de l’Egypte, which was the result of the French campaigns in Egypt in the early nineteenth century, and a number of collections of original engravings of varied origin.

For more information:

Françoise d'Orival. Etienne Drioton. Strasbourg: Françoise d'Orival, 1998 (History thesis: USHS Strasbourg: 1998).

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