Chicago House History

Chicago HoOld Chicago House Library 2914-1930_0.jpguse, the Oriental Institute headquarters in Egypt, functions as a major center of Egyptological studies for Egyptian and foreign scholars alike, and is open from October 15 through April 15 every winter season. The research library, among the finest in Egypt, has more than 20,000 volumes. The Chicago House photographic archive is a major research collection containing over 21,000 negatives and 21,000 prints ranging in date from the late-nineteenth century to the present. A project to conserve, register, and provide proper archival storage for the collection was funded by the Getty Grant Program and a catalog of the archival holdings, The Registry of the Photographic Archives of the Epigraphic Survey, was published in 1995. Beginning in 1999, we undertook the process of scanning all of the negatives in the archive for inclusion in our Photo Archives database, a work of many years that has now been extended to incorporate other photographic collections housed in our facility, such as the Labib Habachi archives and the photographs of Helen and Jean Jacquet.

The Epigraphic Survey is the flagship field project of the Oriental Institute and demonstrates a commitment to long-term documentation and conservation projects of the highest quality that benefit the entire field of ancient Near Eastern scholarship. Partly funded by the University of Chicago, the Epigraphic Survey relies heavily on tax-deductible private and corporate support for its continued efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of ancient Egypt.

Plan a Visit to Chicago House

Visitors to Chicago House are always welcome, but please contact us in advance for the most convenient times for a visit. Contact J. Brett McClain, Interim Director,, or call him (in Egypt, direct dial from the U.S.) at: 011-20-122-322-5019. Our field season is from October 15 to April 15. Weekday hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, then 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Saturdays 8:00 to 12:00 noon; closed Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Direct dial from the U.S.: 011-20-95-237-2525; fax 011-20-95-238-1620.