The History of the Library of the Museo Egizio of Turin



If the birth of the Museo Egizio occurred in 1824 with the acquisition of the collection of Bernardino Drovetti by the king of Sardegna Carlo Felice, then it was at the same time that the library was started, with the acquisition of catalogues of extraordinary relevance, whose texts were responsible for diffusing Egyptian culture:

  • Description de l’Egypte by the Napoleonic Commission,
  • Monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia by Ippolito Rosellini,
  • Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien by Richard Lepsius,
  • Pyramids of Gizeh by Perring,

all of which constitute the gems of the library.

In 1863 the library acquired the first volume of the prestigious "Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altersthumskunde", of which it has every issue until the present day.

In the following decades until the Second World War, the holdings of the library were increased by volumes of considerable prestige and rarity, such as

  • the first catalogues of the Leiden Museum,
  • the Wörterbuch der aegyptischen Sprache by Erman and Grapow

and other archaeological and philological texts by scholars such as Ernesto Schiaparelli and Giulio Farina.

After World War II, the library began to resume its acquisitions thanks to a policy of acquiring objects on the antiquities market, and to generous gifts even by scholars, such as

  • the 33 issues of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology donated by Sir Alan Gardiner,
  • and the Chronique d’Egypte given by the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth.


In 1968 Giuseppe Botti bequeathed to the library his rich personal library. This was followed by the gift of inestimable value by Gianni Agnelli of the Histoire de l’art égyptien d’après les monuments by Emmanuel d’Avennes, published in 1863.