- Division: Humanities
- Unit: Oriental Studies Faculty
- Sub-Unit: Griffith Institute
The Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs, and Paintings is one of the longest-running and largest research projects in the humanities in the University, or indeed outside it. The undertaking originated in the 1890s, under the overall direction of F. Ll. Griffith, who was appointed the University’s first Egyptologist at the beginning of the 20th century, later becoming Professor. It is the central project of the Griffith Institute, which was founded with the legacy of Griffith to the University. The project has published eight original volumes with three major revisions, in a total of sixteen books; it is now about to begin a major phase of development toward online provision. This will be supported through synergies with the Online Egyptological Bibliography, the second major project of the Griffith Institute, led by Professor John Baines and run by Dr Gareth Roberts.
The Topographical Bibliography is a primary research project, in which published and archival material is brought together, analysed, and synthesized on the basis of the project officer's judgment. As an integrated research conspectus, it provides comprehensive published and unpublished information about ancient Egyptian artefacts and sites, beginning with those in their original location or for which a definite provenance can be traced. Alongside bibliographic data, this information includes, for example, details of iconography and the content of texts. The results it presents are integral to scholarly debate on issues such as the nature of archaeological sites, typology, attribution, and dating. Thus it provides a universally recognised and essential point of departure for research on Egyptian artefacts and sites, most of which still await proper publication. These records are especially vital in face of today’s population pressure and rapid environmental degradation. Such pressures mean that some sites may never be fully published before they suffer damage or destruction.