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How to Search the Berkeley & Regional Partners Database

Content section: 

Advanced Search

To conduct an advanced search of the Berkeley & Regional Partners Database, select search criteria at: 


Guidelines for Searching the Berkeley & Regional Partners Database

Entering text or choosing a constraint in more than one field functions as Boolean AND. For example, typing "Menches" in the Personal Name/Author field and "Kerkeosiris" in the Geographical Name box, then choosing "Search", retrieves texts by the village scribe Menches in which Kerkeosiris is mentioned. To clear the search form, choose "Reset".

It is usually only necessary to enter a keyword in any field. For example, "Pakebkis" not "Pakebkis, Son of Marsisouchos"; "Ptolemy VIII" not "Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II". Truncation also can be used. For example, entering "mam" in the Personal Name/Author index retrieves "Mamertinos", "Mamerteinos," and "Mamertinos (Perfect)"; "Trajan" retrieves the variant forms "Trajan" and "Trajanus". Asterisks should not be used.

The default arrangement or sort of search results is by author/title. By selecting Call Number or Year in the “SORT BY” drop-down list before choosing "Search", retrieved texts will be arranged accordingly.


In transliterating Greek personal and geographical names, the following rules have been applied:

  • Epsilon and eta -> e
  • Omicron and omega -> o
  • Upsilon -> y, except in au, eu, and ou, where it has been rendered as u
  • Zeta -> z
  • Theta -> th
  • Xi -> x
  • Phi -> ph
  • Chi -> ch
  • Psi -> ps

Roman personal names are given in their Latin transliteration: Flavius, not Phlaouios; Julius, not Ioulios.

Call Number

This field indexes the call numbers (Inventory/Publication numbers) under which texts are shelved. It suffices to enter the number in the box, not necessarily the alphabetic designation, for example "0025" not "P. Tebt. 0025". Entering "25" would retrieve not only 0025 but also 0125, 0225, etc.

Examples of complete Bancroft Papyri call numbers, with alphabetic designations:

●O.Berk.01 -> ostrakon not from Tebtunis (always two digits)

●P.Berk.02 -> papyrus not from Tebtunis (always two digits)

●P.Hearst 01 -> The Hearst Medical Papyrus

●O.Tebt.26 -> ostrakon from Tebtunis (always two digits)

●P.Tebt.0591 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always four digits)

●P.Tebt.Frag.07,846 ->papyrus from Tebtunis (always five digits)

●P.Tebt.Berkeley 1604 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always four digits)

●P.Tebt.Tin 01 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always two digits)

●T.Tebt.01 -> tablet from Tebtunis (always two digits)

Personal Name/Author

This field indexes personal names such as Onnophris, Apollonios, or Sophocles; authors; and recipients of letters, receipts, accounts, and other documents. Where many names are associated with a text, such as a land survey, not all have been indexed. Generally, where four or more names are given, only the first three names judged prominent by their inclusion in multiple texts or identified by more than a name (e.g. officials) have been indexed.  Names, functions, and occupations have been transliterated according to the rules outlined above (e.g. basilikos grammateus, komarches, hiereus); however, well known literary or historical names are generally given in standard English form, such as Homer, Virgil, or Cleopatra.

It is usually only necessary to enter a keyword, for example "Pakebkis" not "Pakebkis, Son of Marsisouchos".

Personal names have the following patterns:

●Aurelius Sarapion

●Ptolemy IX Soter II, King of Egypt

●Gordian III, Emperor of Rome

●Dictys, Cretensis

●Petesouchos alias Ammonios

●Harmiysis (Komarches of Kerkeosiris)

●Horion, Son of Apollonios

●Thaubastis, Daughter of Maron

Roman personal names are given in their Latin transliteration: Flavius, not Phlaouios; Julius, not Ioulios.

NOTE: Not all personal names associated with a text appear in the result page’s brief view. Names other than the author, or first author, appear under "Persons" in the detail view.

Geographical Name

This drop-down list indicates geographical names according to their occurrence in the text, using the rules of transliteration outlined above (with the exception of Tebtunis and Alexandria). The capital of the Arsinoite nome occurs as Ptolemais Euergetis, Krokodilon polis, Arsinoe, and Arsinoiton polis; a similar multiplicity applies to other places. Where many place names are associated with a text, such as a land survey, not all have been indexed. Generally, where four or more place names are given in the text, only the first three places judged prominent by their inclusion in multiple texts have been indexed. Occasionally, as in land surveys, the larger area has been given instead of many villages (e.g., Arsinoites nomos, rather than Kerkeosiris).


This drop-down list indexes forms of texts (such as Accounts, Private letters, Registers), types of legal documents (such as Contracts, Leases), literary forms (such as Epic poems, Plays), and physical characteristics (such as Figure drawings, Ostraka).


Most full records include one or more topical subject terms. One may also search on a subject or topic not in the list by entering it in the Keyword field. To narrow the search geographically, enter a place name in the Geographical Name field: for instance, enter "Crown land" as Subject and "Kerkeosiris" as Geographical Name. Similarly, to search for multiple subjects, such as land surveys of both Temple land and Cleruchic land, select one term from the Subject drop-down list and enter the other term in the Keyword field.


The Tebtunis collection contains several groups of papyri which can be either traced back to a single archive (collection of papers around an individual, family, or office assembled in antiquity) or collected to form a dossier (modern artificial assemblage of papers related to a person or group). This drop-down list allows searching on such groups.


The Tebtunis Papyri and other holdings include papyri that are related by provenance, that is, place of discovery. For instance, many come from crocodile cartonnage, from houses in the town of Tebtunis, or from human mummies. This drop-down list allows searching on provenance by groups or individual numbers within a group.

Year or Earliest/Latest Year

This index enables searching by the year or approximate years in which a papyrus was written. Years are entered according to the Gregorian calendar designation. To search regnal periods or a specific month of the Egyptian calendar, enter the name of the ruler (for example, Ptolemy VIII) or the name of the month in the Keyword field.

Year or Earliest Year: enter the specific year or century in which a text was written, or the earliest possible year.

Examples of single years, or specific century periods:

●138 B.C.

●239 A.D.

●ca. 56 B.C.

●ca. 187 A.D.

●3rd century B.C.

●Early 4th century B.C.

●Mid 2nd century A.D.

●Late 3rd century A.D.

Latest Year: this field allows searching on varying ranges of years. The earliest possible year is entered in the Year or Earliest Year field, the latest possible year in the Latest Year field. Specific regnal years are permitted. Designate BCE years with a minus sign (for example, "-140", not "140 BCE") in both search boxes; do not use alphabetic text.

Examples of ranges of years, the first value for Earliest Year, the second for Latest Year:

●Between 204 and 181 BCE -> -204, -181

●Between 126 and 138 CE -> 126, 138

●140/139 BCE -> -140, -139

●189/190 CE -> 189, 190

●19th year of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes (187/186 BCE) -> -187, -186

●3rd year of the Emperor Domitian (83/84 CE) -> 83, 84


This field may be used for a general search that includes all text fields in each record as well as the translation of texts where provided. Here one may search for specific Egyptian months, the ruler designating a certain reign (e.g., Ptolemy VIII), for broader or more specific words than those listed in the Subject drop-down list, for specific scripts used (such as regular cursive, small uncial, or unpracticed hand), for physical properties (such as protokollon or join), etc.


This index retrieves texts by language, as given in the pull-down list.

Berkeley Inventory Number

This index retrieves texts by the University of California (Berkeley) four-digit inventory number. These were assigned to individual mounts (each containing one or more fragments) rather than texts in 1940 when part of the collection was mounted in vinylite. A given text may have several Berkeley numbers (for example, two separate short texts mounted in one vinylite frame), or the same number may represent several texts (for example, those on recto and verso of one papyrus).

APIS ID Number

This field indexes texts by the APIS ID number found in the APIS Union Database at Columbia University (now maintained at papyri.info). Enter only the numeric designation; for example "25", not "berkeley.apis.25".

Holding Institution

Restrict the search to texts held only by The Bancroft Library or by one of its APIS partners, as shown in the drop-down list.