Travels in Search of the Source of the Nile: the James Bruce Archive at the Yale Center for British Art


This two-year project through the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Yale Center for British Art will create a detailed finding aid for the uncataloged archival collection of the Scottish explorer James Bruce, which documents Bruce's eighteenth-century travels in North Africa and his exploration of Ethiopia in search of the source of the Nile. The project will culminate in an item-level inventory of the collection, which includes over 1,500 items of correspondence, journals, manuscript maps, and other unique material. The finding aid will be an indispensable tool for significant primary source material that will be of interest to scholars of eighteenth-century history, political science, archaeology, art, and natural history.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



Yale Center for British Art


  • Ms. Elisabeth Fairman (Yale Center for British Art)
  • Mr. Francis Lapka

Geographic Scope

North Africa, Ethiopia, The Nile, Europe, Middle East


  • 1500 Architectural Drawings , Artwork (Including Original Paintings, Prints, Sculpture, Etc.), Book (Including Serials), Ephemera, Image, Manuscript, Maps, Text (Including Electronic Texts)