The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri

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The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri

The Tebtunis Papyri Collection and the Advanced Papyrological Information System Project at The Bancroft Library

The Tebtunis papyri were found in the winter of 1899/1900 at the site of ancient Tebtunis, Egypt. The expedition to Tebtunis, which was led by the British papyrologists Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, was financed for the University of California by Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst.

The Tebtunis papyri form the largest collection of papyrus texts in the Americas. The collection has never been counted and inventoried completely, but the number of fragments contained in it exceeds 30,000.

This web site, which is under continuous development, will provide electronic access to images of the Tebtunis papyri as well as textual information. We are trying to enhance understanding of the collection by providing information about the sites where the papyri were found, the intellectual and physical history of the collection, and the contents of the papyri contained in it. A particularly interesting aspect of the collection is that it contains many related groups of texts, which can either be traced back to actual archives or collected to form dossiers. Since such texts, possessing a context, typically provide more information (and are more interesting) than pieces in isolation, we have given emphasis to them in this presentation.

The project of conserving, cataloguing and imaging these papyri has been supported by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS).

The APIS project is the result of the efforts of papyrologists at a number of American universities to integrate in a "virtual" library the holdings of their collections through digital images and detailed catalogue records that provide information pertaining to the physical and textual characteristics of each papyrus, corrections to previously published papyri, and republications.