The French Institute for Eastern Archaeology (EFEO) is home to the excavation notebooks of the French Egyptologist Bernard Bruyère (1879-1971). These handwritten documents describe the excavations at the archaeological site of Deir el-Medina, the village of the craftsmen who participated in the digging and decoration of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Cédric Larcher, head of the EFEO’s Archives and Collection Department, commissioned TEKLIA to automatically transcribe these notebooks so that they could be indexed automatically and made more easily usable by researchers. In addition to a very dense text, these notebooks contain numerous drawings of objects, surveys of monuments and archeological site plans. The goal of the project is not only to provide a complete transcription, allowing full-text searches, but also to locate and index the illustrations.

Access to all the images in the notebooks and to the search engine will be open to the general public and to researchers, who will be able to participate in correcting errors and enriching the indexation, for example by transliterating hieroglyphs.

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Notebook page from the Bernard Bruyère archives. IFAO MS_2004_0154_007, DEM 3, 1932-1933, p.4.