Syro-Egyptian Society

Scope and Content

The Minutes of the "Syro-Egyptian Society of London. Instituted 1844". These handwritten minutes cover the time period from the first meeting of the Society on 3 December 1844 to their 146th meeting on 12 March 1861. The Society met fortnightly until June 1846, then monthly, with extended summer breaks. The minutes cover the decisions made at the meetings and the Papers read. Yearly Anniversary Meetings were held in April. The minutes are written in a hardbound volume purchased from H. Penny, Stationer & Manufacturer of Improved Patent Account Books.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Syro-Egyptian Society was founded on Tuesday 3 December 1844, the inaugural meeting taking place at the Society's Rooms, No. 71 Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, London. Dr. John Lee was in the Chair and the meeting was attended by a 'very numerous company of Ladies and Gentlemen distinguished by their rank in Society, and by their attainments; including various celebrated Authors and Oriental Travellers...'. The Society was founded 'to bring together those who had travelled in, and directed their attention to the Antiquities and general History of Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor'. It seems that a Council had already been formed before this meeting to oversee the Society whose originator was Dr. W. Holt Yates.

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 Minutes of the Syro-Egyptian Society were given to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1919 with a large donation of books and papers from the Society of Biblical Archaeology on its incorporation into the Royal Asiatic Society in 1919.

Archivist's Note

This 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 Minutes belonged to the Syro-Egyptian Society, and at some point came into the possession of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. This Society was founded in 1870 covering a broadly similar geographical region to that of the Syro-Egyptian Society. The Society of Biblical Archaeology was incorporated into the Royal Asiatic Society in 1919 and many of its books were added to the Society's Collections.

Related Material

The Library Collections hold a copy of "Original Papers Read before the Syro-Egyptian Society of London", Volume 1, Part I, 1845 and Part II, 1850. Both bound into a single volume. Full details can be found here .

Geographical Names