Mythology and Magic in the Archives

This post was written by Emily Rusch, Research Services Assistant.

Ever since Rick Riordan published The Lightning Thief, I have been fascinated with mythology. Growing up, I read Riordan’s series on Greek mythology multiple times and I enjoyed his spin off series exploring Roman and Egyptian mythology. As a college student working towards a degree in Religious Studies, I still love learning about mythologies from all over the world. When I started working at Special Collections Research Center, I was excited to discover all of the books about mythology that we have. A particularly intriguing book we have is The Gods of the Egyptians by E.A. Wallis Budge. The Gods of the Egyptians was published in London in 1904 and includes beautiful portraits of Egyptian gods, which have been reproduced from papyri and coffins found in Egypt. I think The Gods of the Egyptians is particularly unique because Budge has included stories of the gods in the original Egyptian hieroglyphics. Readers can refer to these hieroglyphics while reading the English translation.




















Studying mythology is important because it can teach us about the customs, beliefs, values and ceremonies of a culture. For example, Ra, the sun god, was one of the most important gods to ancient Egyptians. This tells us that the sun and weather patterns were of the utmost importance to civilizations along the Nile River, most likely due to their reliance on sunlight and rain for a good harvest. Special Collections Research Center has a wide variety of books on mythology from all over the world. Some of our holdings include Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland and, from the Middle East, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. If you are interested in gods, goddesses, monsters, magic and the afterlife, come visit us in Fenwick Library!


Budge, E.A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians. London, Methuen & Co, 1904.

Croker, T. Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. London, W. Swan Sonnenschein, 1898.

Payne, John. The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London, 1901.

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