My initial work with Emma Andrews’ diaries has expanded to include archival material for institutional and private collections in the US and Europe related to egyptology in the so-called ‘Golden Age’ at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The aim of this work is to create a digital repository of this material, which will be freely available for research and analysis.
One of the goals of the Emma B. Andrews project is to re-create Emma’s network of correspondents and her social circle on a digital platform. Working collaboratively with student interns, I have been been researching biographical information about the individuals Emma interacts with and describes in her diaries, and the preliminary results are displayed in our ‘Emmapedia‘. This resource is constantly being updated with the aim of creating a searchable biographical index, linked dynamically to the encoded diary and other related historical material.
Emma B. Andrews is best remembered for her association with the millionaire lawyer turned archaeologist/art and antiquities collector, Theodore M. Davis. Traveling to Egypt with him between 1889 and 1912, she kept detailed journals of these voyages along the Nile, including his important yet under-reported excavations of 20 significant tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Emma provides a vital commentary on the archaeology and pioneering Egyptologists of the time. She paints a revealing picture of the lives of the colonial gentry and the cultural and scientific literati in Egypt at the dawn of the twentieth century. Yet little is known about this intriguing woman; my ongoing research includes seeking out information about Emma’s life with the goal of writing her biography which is set against the backdrop of cultural change, war, fabulous wealth and intercontinental travel.
Emma’s diaries are unpublished; analysis of the 19 volumes will afford scholars and a general audience access to important historical material for the first time. I am also working to transcribe and encode related archival material from institutional and private collections, including letters written to and by Emma Andrews.
Read more at www.emmabandrews.org.