Peter Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, received a $6,000 grant from the Anne and Jim Rothenberg Fund for Humanities Research. His project "Harvard and Egyptian Archaeology: The Ashton Sanborn Papers", will process a Harvard-MFA Expedition Egyptologist’s letters currently housed in Schlesinger Library.
From 1905 to 1947, the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition (HU–MFA) enjoyed spectacular success at twenty-three archaeological sites along the Nile, in both Egypt and Nubia (modern Sudan). Harvard is now engaged in reclaiming this archaeological legacy after a hiatus of seventy-five years with no Egyptological faculty. Although HU–MFA Expedition director George Reisner (1867–1942) published prolifically, there nevertheless remains a tremendous backlog that scholars continue to study today. Of critical importance is the setting of this archaeological expedition in its historical, political, and cultural context within early twentieth century Egypt and Sudan.
Until 2015, no one knew that one of the key sources for presenting this important story, the Ashton Sanborn papers, lay dormant within the archives of the Schlesinger Library. Once assembled, and matched with recently identified archives in other collections, this Schlesinger collection will present a unique window into the history of archaeology, early 20th century Egyptian politics, international relations and, of course, many exciting discoveries.