Chicago, IL, Haskell Oriental Museum, University of Chicago
The University of Chicago’s Department of Semitic Languages resolved to collect artifacts in order to further its teaching mission. The first president of the University, William Rainey Harper, was a Biblical scholar, and in 1894, he appointed James Henry Breasted, the first American to received a PhD in Egyptology as Instructor in Egyptology and Assistant Director and Curator of Egyptology of its museum (Abt 2011:56). The first Egyptian objects were purchased by Breasted during his honeymoon in Egypt in 1894–95. In 1896, the collection was installed (along with Far Eastern artifacts) in the new Haskell Oriental Museum. In 1897, the University of Chicago established the Chicago Society of Egyptian Research (also known as the “Fund for Chicago”) that raised subscriptions for the American branch of the EEF in order to build up the University’s collection through divisions. From 1926 to 1933, the Oriental Institute, with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., excavated Medinet Habu, adding more than 4,000 objects through division with the Antiquities Service, including a monumental statue of Tutankhamun. The Oriental Institute also conducted epigraphic surveys in Saqqara and Luxor, that latter of which is ongoing. In 1931, the collection (which incudes artifacts from across the ancient Near East), was moved from Haskell Museum to a new building built expressly for the Oriental Institute.
OI has material from EEF/BSAE/EES:
1894-95: Naqada, Ballas
1895-96 Thebes, Ramesseum
1894-95: Deir el-Bahri
1897-98: Naucratis, Daphnae
1903-04: Inhasya, Deir el-Bahri, Oxyrhynchus
1904-05: Deir el-Bahri, Sinai
1921: BSAE Petrie
Related archive documents
Abt, Jeffrey 2011. American Egyptologist: the life of James Henry Breasted and the creation of his oriental institute. Chicago, IL; London: University of Chicago.