As represented in a recent lineup of museum exhibitions and new installations featuring Egypt and the Near East (e.g. Egypt Reborn (at the Brooklyn Museum), Ancient Egypt Transformed; Egypt: Faith After the Pharaohs), not to mention this year’s Hollywood blockbuster Gods of Egypt, the land of Pharaohs and pyramids continues to captivate our imaginations. It should come as no surprise, then, that French explorer Frédéric Cailliaud, who first traveled to Egypt in 1815 on a mission to rediscover emerald mines, became enamored with the country and its treasures (Bednarski and Harer 2013).
Genius, misguided, obsessed – these are a few of the terms used to describe the Egyptologist Gustavus Seyffarth (1796-1885) – one of many scholars who attempted, but failed, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs.
A library is a living thing – and a first rate-research facility is set-up to not only answer questions, but to help stimulate new ones. This kind of give and take between resources and researchers has been a hallmark of The Brooklyn Museum’s Wilbour Library of Egyptology for all of its 80 years. Since its inception, the Wilbour has nurtured a family of scholars, seekers and enthusiasts who’ve let the library lead them to wonderful discoveries in the fields of Egyptology and the Ancient world.