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About the Emma B. Andrews Diary Project

The goal of the Emma B. Andrews Diaries Project is to preserve and make accessible a story of the past. 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, Andrews 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. The challenge facing modern historians is that the original hand-written travel journals are now lost; all that remains are two typewritten copies created around 1918, now housed in libraries in New York and Philadelphia. Emma’s valuable perspective has therefore been, for the most part, inaccessible to both scholars and enthusiasts for almost a century. The Emma B. Andrews Diaries Project intends to change that. Our research team is in the process of creating digital editions of her 19 diary volumes and other related contemporary writings. Students associated with the project work with the diaries in varying capacities. Some research, others transcribe, edit, tag and write code. All work is directed towards making this valuable resource readily accessible by all. Currently we have transcribed all 19 volumes of the journal and have converted them into an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format. Additionally, diary content has been ‘tagged’ to draw out further information relating to the people and places mentioned in the diaries. Research relating to these people and places has been aggregated and put into an online database which we are calling the ‘Emmapedia’. A stand-alone online viewer has been developed for not only viewing the diaries in multiple presentation formats, but also to connect the rich textual information found in the diaries to the Emmapedia resource. Future iterations of this project will continue to transcribe, research, and even digitally publish these materials, while exploring alternate visualizations of the data, possibly integrating Emma’s perspective into other mapping or timeline applications.