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Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Heidelberger Papyrussammlung - digital

The Institute for Papyrology in Heidelberg houses a collection of around 10,500 Egyptian papyri, parchments, rag papers and ostraca. This collection is of major scientific importance and has been continually developed since the first acquisitions in 1897. This makes the collection in Heidelberg the second largest in Germany, next to the collections of the Berlin museums belonging to the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation). The collection contains c. 5,300 Greek papyri and parchments, c. 3,200 Arabic papyri and rag papers, c. 1,370 Coptic papyri and parchments, 815 demotic papyri, smaller holdings of hieratic, Middle Persian, Hebraic, Aramaic and Syrian papyri, parchments and rag papers, as well as 760 ostraca.

Between 1999 and 2002 the papyrus collection was digitized with the support of the DFG and recorded in an electronic catalogue. The online presentation of the c.9,000 pictures and the corresponding catalogue data were presented though in a now outdated form via static HTML pages. The presentation of the digitized material has been significantly improved in cooperation with Heidelberg University Library and with support of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts within the project CS-FDP (Community Specific Research Data Publication). The previous Filemaker databases have been replaced with an MYSQL database and via an interface the base metadata and scans, as well as transcriptions of the texts are now presented online using DWork, the digitizing system established by the UB Heidelberg. In this way could not only all requirements of the DFG be met (DFG-Viewer etc.), but it was also able to include all functionalities available there. These include the application of norm data including georeferencing, sustainable guarantee of citability, long-term archiving of images, interface for OAI harvesting, annotation options, inclusion of TEI-P5 relevant coding for transcription/translation, responsive design, etc. All items are also linked to the entries in the international database

The online edition will be gradually made available here, from the end of 2016 onwards.

The rights to the images remain with the Institute of Papyrology. The images may only be used for study purposes. Requests for permission to work on previously unpublished items should be addressed to the head of the collection The right to publication and (re)printing must also be applied for separately.


Greek Papyrus collection

Koptic Papyrus collection

Latin Papyrus collection


Prof. Dr. Andrea Jördens
Institute for Papyrology

Dr. Maria Effinger
Heidelberg University Library
Brief E-Mail

Leonhard Maylein
Heidelberg University Library
Brief E-Mail

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