"Mr. Hay's portfolio is the most magnificent which has ever been brought from that country," wrote George Hoskins in 1835, the year Hay returned to Scotland following eight years of work in Egypt. "It comprises plans, sections, and detailed drawings, by eminent architects; also delineations of sculpture from the tombs and temples, by himself and able artists, whom he employed, with a complete series of picturesque views, entirely by his own pencil." But few beyond Hay's circle ever saw the works. "I often think of Egypt," wrote Hay later, "but do nothing concerning it." His family passed his little-known collections to the British Library.