Q&A: Egyptian Artifacts

Question:

I'm investigating Egypt's attempts to reclaim ancient artifacts from Britain. I'm interested in the historical background, as well as how this may affect their relations. Where should I look?

Answer: 

There are myriad sources you might consult about this. Here's a list of places you might start.

  • Stanford's databases for British and Commonwealth history offer scholarly and original sources: e.g., the old House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (1800-2004, original documentation on relations between Britain and Egypt)
  • An advanced Google search for "Britain and art and Egypt," limiting "domain" to .uk (for Britain) or to .eg (for Egypt).
  • Stanford's Subject Specialist in Middle Eastern Studies can help you search Egyptian and Arabic sites.
  • The British Foreign Secretary: staff has a number of blogs, which might offer interactive feedback.
  • British Archives: Official depository for all original documentation of British history, contains official government activities and records.
  • European and Middle Eastern newspapers and wires are available on LexisNexis, accessible from our Databases page: (you must do a search for each specific type of source--e.g., Middle Eastern News); you can also use LexisNexis to find law reviews by clicking on the "Legal" tab--searching U.S., Canadian, and British law journals might give some academic context about the international legal processes for art reclamation.
  • The PAIS database covers academic journal articles on foreign relations between nations.
  • Look through the books available at Stanford about reclaiming national treasures and works of art. This has become a big topic in museum administrative circles. One of the most useful subject headings is Cultural Property>Protection>Law and legislation.