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Overview of the Tebtunis Papyri Collection

Content section: 

human mummy portraits from Tebtunis

Mummy portraits from Tebtunis. Photograph 1899/1900; courtesy of the Egypt Exploration Society


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 26,000.

The Center for Tebtunis Papyri strives 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 creates context.  We have given emphasis to such texts on this site.

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 APIS project (now incorporated in the papyri.info database).

This project is the result of collaboration among papyrologists at a number of American universities to integrate their digital images and detailed catalogue records into a virtual library.  These online records provide information pertaining to the physical and textual characteristics of each papyrus, corrections to previously published papyri, and notes about re-publications.

The Berkeley & Regional Partners Papyrus database includes information from the APIS (papyri.info) project that is currently housed on the servers of Berkeley IT.  It includes papyri from The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley as well as records for papyri in select collections in the western United States. This metadata was produced or collected in conjunction with APIS-Berkeley’s “Regional Partners” initiative. The Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology (Pacific School of Religion), California State University (Sacramento), Stanford University, and Washington State University participated in this initiative. The Badè Museum papyri have since been sold. The Collection section of the CTP site is categorized as follows:

For the convenience of those new to the study of papyri, in this section we also have included a Glossary of Technical Terms and a link to the database Papyri.info, of which the Regional Partners Database is a part.