Since the first donations of Egyptian artefacts to the Fitzwilliam Museum, including the sarcophagus lid of Rameses III donated in 1823, its ancient Egyptian holdings have grown steadily. This collection, now one of the most important in Britain, was catalogued for the first time by Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (1857-1934) of the British Museum's department of antiquities. Budge was a leading authority on ancient Egypt and had himself acquired several pieces for the museum in Egypt in 1886-7. The collection as listed in this 1893 publication included 577 objects: sarcophagi, coffins, canopic jars, mummies, scarabs, sculptures, and other decorative objects. Budge provided transcriptions and translations of the hieroglyphs that appear on the objects with his descriptions of each item. Although the collection has been augmented by many further gifts and purchases, Budge's catalogue remains a valuable record of the collection in the late Victorian period.