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Egyptology: Databases

The Sackler Library is the premier research library for Egyptology at the University of Oxford. It incorporates the libraries previously housed in the Griffith Institute and the Ashmolean Museum.
Subjects: Egyptology

Introduction

Databases contain large amounts of data including (but not limited to) statistics, bibliographic information, images and abstracts.

Bibliographic databases are a useful tool for finding scholarly literature in your subject area. This includes (but is not limited to) journal articles, conference proceedings and books. They are very useful to consult when carrying out your own research because:

  • they provide powerful search functionality
  • have citation tools
  • have thesauri
  • their content is selected by experts in your subject

Bibliographic databases are helpful when you want to start exploring beyond your reading list or are researching a new topic.

On this page you will find recommended databases and guidance on how to search for and access databases.

Definitions

Terms you may encounter in your research

Database:
A collection of structured and organised data that is stored, searched and accessed electronically.

Bibliographic database:
A searchable platform that contains descriptive records of articles, books, conference proceedings, audio-visual material, maps, newspapers, and more.

Abstracting service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides abstracts of publications.

Indexing service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides descriptors to help organise and navigate publications.

Full-text:
This means you can read the item in full from beginning to end, not just the abstract or summary.

Top tips: databases useful for Oxford Egyptology courses

The Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, (also known as "Porter & Moss" or "TopBib") is an essential and comprehensive reference resource for Egyptologists, presenting and analysing both published and unpublished information about ancient Egyptian monuments.

Ramses Online is an interface which gives access to part of the data and functionalities of the Corpus annoté des textes néo-égyptiens, also known as Projet Ramsès which is based at Liège University.

Trismegistos is a searchable online database of metadata of all published and semi-published texts from Egypt and the Nile valley, between roughly BC 800 and 800 AD, not only in Greek, Latin, and Egyptian in its various scripts (Demotic, hieroglyphic, hieratic and Coptic), but also in Meroitic, Aramaic, Arabic, Nabataean, Carian, and other languages.

Image databases

Union collection of image collections worldwide. Approaching 1,000,000 images covering all periods, all geographic areas and all types of art, architecture and archaeology as well as other subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Hisitory of Medicine and Science. Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives.

300,000+ images of objects from museums, galleries and private collections, as well as buildings and monuments. Images cover visual culture worldwide, from pre-History to the present day. Covering all periods and all geographic areas, it addresses the interests of such disciplines as art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, & ethnography, history, science & medicine.

The Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is the German Centre for Documentation of Art History. Containing over 1.7 million images, the Archive includes images relating to Egypt and the Ancient Near East.

The database contains 8,000 images taken by Siegfried Schott in Egypt during the 1920s and 1930s in Egypt.

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives.

The Griffith Institute Archive houses a diverse and significant collection which explores the wealth of Ancient Egypt, the jewel being Howard Carter's complete excavation records for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

This open-access photo-archive aims to provide high resolution, searchable images, freely-downloadable for teaching, research, heritage projects, and publication. It covers buildings and art in the areas of the former Roman empire which later came under Islamic rule (e.g. Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Arabia, Egypt, and North Africa), from ca. 300 BC to the present.

Our private collection of over 15,000 pictures of most sites in Egypt is at your disposal, free of charge. You are welcome to use them in your publications, provided the source is acknowledged. 

The website gives access to a sampling of images from the photographic archives of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, capturing the Institute's archaeological work in the Near East, Egypt and the Sudan from 1892 to the present.

AI is a search engine that groups on a single platform photographic reproductions of works of art (HD & free of rights), accompanied by the information necessary for their contextualization and retrieval.

Full-text extended essays not only on British people but also non-Brits who spent time in the UK. Excellent resource for finding biographical information on artists, art historians, patrons, collectors and dealers. People still alive are excluded.

Useful general databases (selection)

The New Pauly provides comprehensive coverage of the ancient world from the prehistory of the Aegean (2nd millennium BCE) to late antiquity (600-800 CE). A special section of the encyclopedia is devoted to the reception of the ancient world until the present day and the history of classical scholarship. 

Based at the British Library EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service which aims to maximise the visibility and availability of the UK’s doctoral research theses.

ORA is the institutional repository for the University of Oxford and it is home to the scholarly output of its research members. It holds publications, theses and research data.

The ODNB contains full-text extended essays not only on British people but also non-Brits who spent time in the UK. Excellent resource for finding biographical information on archaeologists, art patrons, collectors and dealers. People still alive are excluded.

This archive contains over 11 million articles on everything from history and literature to culture and art, inc archaeology.

Databases A-Z

Oxford subscribes to a large number of bibliographic and other databases and these, together with some free online resources, can be found in our Databases A-Z . By choosing the subject Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - Egyptology from the drop down menu, you will find all the databases relevant to Egyptology. Databases specific to Ancient Egyptian art and architecture can be found in the drop down menu under the subject Art and Architecture - Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art and Architecture. The subject heading Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies lists the combined databases of both subject areas.

Recommend a database

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have a database you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).