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Dr. Lane's lifelong interest in early Egyptian and Babylonian cultures led him to compile an extensive collection of ancient artifacts. He began donating the collection to SMU in 1917. He became a prominent member of the Archaeological Institute of America and the honorary secretary of the Texas branch of the Egyptian Exploration Society of London. In 1922 he arranged for the British Museum's permanent deposit of twelve important papyrus fragments at SMU. On 8 November 1926, SMU opened its first University Museum in old Kirby Hall (now Florence Hall of the SMU Law School), the home of the theological seminary. Two years later, to honor his generosity and leadership, the university's Trustees officially named it the A. V. Lane Museum.
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