The Museo Egizio has launched a collaboration between various organisations and associations with the aim of digitally bringing together the corpus of photographs taken during archaeological excavations in Egypt in the early 20th century.

State Archive in Turin

Since 2005, the State Archives of Turin have been in charge of three successive transfers of the Museo Egizio’s archives, the last of which took place in 2015, from the time of the Museum’s establishment (1824) to its transformation into a Foundation in 2004. After the unification of Italy (1861), the State Archives of Turin had the institutional task of preserving the archival fonds of the State Offices in the Province of Turin and in the Aosta Valley. Before the establishment of the Museo Egizio as a Foundation, it was a state-run museum, dependent on the Ministry of Culture.

In recent years, thanks to a fruitful collaboration between the State Archives of Turin and the Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie, more than 80,000 digital images of documents in the archives of the Museo Egizio have been created. The entirety of the material can now be freely consulted on the State Archive’s website, and on this website, several photos have been carefully organised in relation to the photographic documentation of the Museum’s archaeological excavations in the early 20th century.

Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin

The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin (MAET) houses an important photographic collection relating to the Italian Archaeological Mission (M.A.I.) in Egypt. It consists of about 900 silver bromide gelatin glass positives and negatives, collected or taken in the first half of the 20th century by the founder of MAET, the psychiatrist and anthropologist Giovanni Marro (1875-1952). The photographs reflect Marro’s scientific interests and trace his experience as an anthropologist with the Italian Archaeological Mission (M.A.I.) between 1913 and 1935.

The 163 photos chosen for this project illustrate excavation campaigns at Gebelein, Asyut, Deir el-Medina, the Valley of the Queens, amongst others.

The entire collection was digitised between 2020 and 2021, as part of the project (translated from Italian): " Fondi fotografici del Sistema Museale di Ateneo dell’Università di Torino: immagini del brigantaggio e rappresentazioni coloniali, un patrimonio inedito da scoprire e salvaguardare", winner of the public notice "Photography Strategy 2020" financed by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture. The digital images are catalogued on the ICCD's SIGEC WEB platform and can be consulted in the General Catalogue of Cultural Heritage.

Centro di Egittologia Francesco Ballerini

The Centro di Egittologia Francesco Ballerini (CEFB) was founded in Como in 1993 by the Egyptologist Angelo Sesana.

Since its foundation, the CEFB has been actively working to spread and promote knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture, carrying out archaeological investigations, as well as deepening relations with all other ancient civilisations of the Near East and the Mediterranean.

The entire archive of photographs and documents belonging to Francesco Ballerini (1877-1910), Egyptologist and collaborator of Ernesto Schiaparelli (1856-1928) during his excavations in Egypt, was donated to Angelo Sesana in 1994 by Ballerini’s grandson Franco Ballerini, so that Franco could work to promote and create awareness of his grandfather “Franz”, who had long remained in the shadows. Subsequently, A. Sesana made all the documents that were received available to the CEFB for study and research. A selection of photographs taken by Francesco Ballerini during excavation campaigns enriches and supplements the knowledge of the Museum’s archaeological excavations and is therefore made available here.