Assyrian Excavation Fund

Scope and Content

  • Letter from Samuel Phillips, Honorary Secretary, Assyrian Excavation Fund, to Richard Clarke, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to ask whether the enclosed circular concerning the aims of the Assyrian Excavation Fund might be sent to all the members of the Royal Asiatic Society. Handwritten, dated 16 November 1953.
  • "Assyrian Excavation Fund: Society for Exploring the Ruins of Assyria and Babylonia with Especial Reference to Biblical Illustration". Printed list of the Committee and a letter to invite attendance at a meeting concerning the discoveries made by M. Botta, Mr. Layard and Colonel Rawlinson to be held in the Town Hall, Manchester, on 27 May 1854. The letter is dated 22 May 1854.
  • Letter from Henry Ellis, principal librarian at the British Museum, to Samuel Phillips concerning the draft of a proposal from the King of Prussia to the Assyrian Fund Society (Assyrian Excavation Fund) which also asks whether the Authorities of the British Museum might give full authority to remove to England any such pieces of Sculpture not needed for their own collection. He reminds Phillips of a letter he wrote in 1852 to Colonel Rawlinson, concerning the position of the Trustees of the British Museum and their willingness to accept any Sculpture not deemed as necessary by the Society. Handwritten, dated 7 June 1854.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Henry Ellis was an English librarian and antiquarian. In 1798, Ellis was appointed as one of the two assistants in the Bodleian Library. He took the degree of B.C.L. in 1802. He was a Fellow of St John's till 1805. In 1800 he was appointed a temporary assistant in the library of the British Museum, and in 1805 he became assistant-keeper of printed books under William Beloe. Ellis moved to the manuscripts department in 1812, accepted the office of secretary to the museum in 1814, and in the same year became secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of London. Ellis became Principal Librarian in 1827. He was knighted in 1833.

The Assyrian Excavation Fund was established in 1853 to dig for the benefit of British collections.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The material forms part of the institutional records of the Society from its dealings with other organisations.

Archivist's Note

The material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The items were probably all received by the Royal Asiatic Society in the course of its business.

Related Material

We have a large archive of the Papers of Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson. A detailed list came be found here.

Personal Names

Corporate Names