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Papers of and concerning Austen Henry Layard., 1836-1968.

Identifier: MSS.42336-42414

Scope and Contents

Austen Henry Layard was a British archaeologist and politician. He is perhaps best remembered for his excavations at Nimrud and Nineveh. Layard was keen to publicise his discoveries and worked with John Murray to produce lavish publications about his discoveries. These were popular books and went through many editions.

The papers here concerning Austen Henry Layard offer a detailed insight into the publishing process surrounding his works about his excavations.

The correspondence is largely between Layard, his great friend Elizabeth Eastlake, and various members of the publishing house of John Murray. It covers a wide range of topics including his work, the production of the publications, including the detailed illustrations, and the reaction of the public to the discoveries.

The manuscripts and proofs provide insight into the work of Layard, including his excavations in the Ottoman Empire and his diplomatic work. The combination of manuscripts and annotated proofs allows for a better understanding of the publishing process of the mid 19th century. This can be further explored through the financial papers at the end of the sequence.

Correspondence relating to Layard indicates his continuing influence in Britain even after his death in 1894, through the publicaiton of his memoirs and other biographies.


  • Creation: 1836-1968.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reprographic conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


78 Folders

Language of Materials



Correspondence of and to Layard has been placed at the start of this sequence. This is followed by his passport and then the manuscripts and proofs. Material relating to Layard has then been ordered, including corresondence about him and his publications. Financial and legal records concerning Layard have then been organised chronologically, with a prospectus for a work by George Badger finishing the series.

Related Materials

MSS.40677-40681 : Letters to John Murray, publishers, of Austen Henry Layard.

Acc.13236/26-29 : John Murray Archive additional papers relating to Austen Henry Layard.

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700