Wilkinson's papers include: sketchbooks, 1815-c.1875; foreign travel papers, 1819-c.1872; papers relating to academic and literary projects,c.1821-1921; general academic and antiquarian papers, ca. 9th cent.-1876; personal papers, c.1816-76; and papers of Lady Wilkinson and others c.1850-1890. Wilkinson's Egyptological work contributed to the foundation of that discipline in Britain, but his research and publications ranged beyond Egypt into architecture, aesthetics, international relations and the classics, as well as travel and the study of ancient Britain. Moreover, in his detailed water-colours and drawings, as in his extensive notes and 'journals', he recorded his impressions of the architecture, costume and contemporary society of all the countries he visited.
Papers of Sir John Gardner Wilkinson (1797-1875)
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 161 MSS. Wilkinson dep. a. 1-35, b. 1-16, c. 1-32, d. 1-163, e. 1-95
- Dates of Creation9th century-1921 (predominantly 1815-1921)
- Language of MaterialEnglish, Arabic, Ancient Greek (to 1453), Latin, Turkish, Coptic, Spanish or Castilian, Italian, Persian, French, Welsh, and German.
- Physical Description341 shelfmarks
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Sir John Gardner Wilkinson (1797-1875) was an Egyptologist. In 1856 he married Caroline Catherine Lucas (1822-81), a keen botanist and antiquarian. Further details can be found in the introduction to the online catalogue ( http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollectionswmss/online/online.htm and in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Conditions Governing Access
Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollections)
In 1984 the National Trust became the owner of Calke Abbey and its contents, including all Wilkinson's manuscripts, which were soon afterwards placed on deposit at the Bodleian and which this catalogue describes.
Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.
Other Finding Aids
A catalogue of the collection is available online at http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollectionswmss/online/online.htm.
On his death in 1875 Wilkinson's library and papers were bequeathed to Sir John Crewe and his family, and were sent to Calke Abbey. It was known that his publications represented only a small proportion of his work, and interest in his papers continued. In 1925 many of the manuscripts relating to Wilkinson's Egyptological research were lent to Francis Llewellyn Griffith, professor of Egyptology at Oxford; after Griffith's death in 1934, these items passed with his library to the Griffith Institute in Oxford. They were used by Bertha Porter and Rosalind Moss in the preparation of their Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings (Oxford, 1927-51; revised and reissued, 1960-95), and were given reference numbers used in that work.
Bertha Porter and Rosalind Moss, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings (Oxford, 1927-51; revised and reissued, 1960-95).
Professor Jason Thompson, Sir Gardner Wilkinson and his Circle (Austin, Texas, 1992).