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Andersen Library

April 17, 2014
8:30am - 7:00pm

Papyri and Ostraka Collection

Use accession number to retrieve individual fragments when visiting the Reading Room.

The University of Minnesota's department of Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts holds twenty-three pieces from Egypt: nineteen fragments of papyri written in Greek; one fragment in Greek on leather; one papyrus fragment in hieroglyphics; and two ostraka, one in Greek, the other in Egyptian hieroglyphics. The provenance of these documents is unknown, except in the following cases, where it has been deduced from the text: P. Minnesota 4, 11, 16, and 21 (from Oxyrhynchus), 20 (perhaps from Oxyrhynchus), O. Minnesota 1 (perhaps from southern Thebaid).

The collection has been amassed through five separate purchases:

    1) 1933: the two ostraka, the hieroglyphic papyrus, two Greek papyri from the Dutch dealer Erik von Scherling
    2) 1937: three Greek papyri again from von Scherling's collection
    3) 1939: one Greek papyrus from Maggs Brothers
    4) 1940: three more Greek papyri from Maggs Brothers
    5) 1952-1956: a lot of twelve Greek papyri advertised in the sixth issue of von Scherling's sale catalogue "Rotulus" (1952), and purchased before 1956, the year of von Scherling's death1

To date, twelve of the fragments from the Special Collections holdings have been published (see catalogue below for details)2.

Notes

1. The James Ford Bell Library (UMN Bell 400) also holds a papyrus fragment originally belonging to von Scherling's collection (inventory no. G110). It was purchased by James Ford Bell in 1956 from Frances Edwards in London to be part of a collection on the history of trade. The papyrus was published by C. A. Noordegraaf in Mnemosyne 6 (1938), 273-310, and discussed by S. McNally in her catalogue of the 2003 exhibition "Life in Late Roman and Late Islamic Egypt," published online at http://egypt.umn.edu/abstracts.html (an image of the Bell papyrus is available at pages 229-231).

2. Independent of work done in the spring of 1994 by a group of students at the University of Minnesota in a seminar entitled "Documents from Greco-Roman Egypt" coordinated by N. Krevans and supervised by J. Sheridan with the collaboration of O. Nicholson and S. McNally. This work was previously published on the this webpage, but has been superseded by the publication of M. Bakker, A. Bakkers, K. A. Worp, ‘Back to Oegstgeest. The von Scherling Papyrus Collection. Some von Scherling Texts in Minnesota’, BASP 44 (2007), 41-73: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/b/basp/0599796.0044.001/43:6?rgn=main;view=image (who based their research on the scans published by the Department of Special Collections & Rare Books on a previous website platform: see below for permission details). The seminar acknowledged the kind assistance of Dr. Jennifer Sheridan of Wayne State University and Dr. Nita Krevans of the University of Minnesota for coordinating the project. We would also like to acknowledge Roger Bagnall for prompting the publication of our collection; Thomas W. Shaughnessy (retired), University Librarian, University of Minnesota, for giving us permission to publish the documents; John Jenson (retired), Assistant Curator for Special Collections, Wilson Library; Carol Urness (retired), Curator of the James Ford Bell Collection, Wilson Library; and R.A. Coles of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, for consultation on accession no. 1381093. Thanks are also extended to Almira Poudrier and J. Kent Gregory for help in conservation. The Department of Special Collections & Rare Books offers additional thanks to Prof. Dr. K. A. Worp of the Papyrological Institute, Leiden University, The Netherlands, for assistance with additional information on these fragments.

The current web page was updated by M. Perale, R. Cullick, R. Seaberg and T. Chresand (University of Minnesota), in collaboration with K.A. Worp (University of Leiden). It reflects the state of research as of August 2012. The digital images and web page encoding were provided by the Department of Special Collections & Rare Books, University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers interested in using these images should contact Timothy J. Johnson, Curator, for permission.


Purchase #1: January 6, 1933

Ostrakon 1
Images of front and back
Accession number: 554185
Date of acquisition: January 6, 1933
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: Receipt, Red Pottery
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 11


Ostrakon 2
Images of front and back
Accession number: 554186
Date of acquisition: January 6, 1933
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: Text of Uncertain Character in Hieroglyphics


Papyrus Fragment 1
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 554183
Date of acquisition: January 6, 1933
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Greek Deed, verso: blank


Papyrus Fragment 2
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 554184
Date of acquisition: January 6, 1933
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Greek Document, verso: blank


Papyrus Fragment 3
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 554187
Date of acquisition: January 6, 1933
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Text of Uncertain Character in Hieroglyphics, verso: blank



Purchase #2: December 22, 1937

Papyrus Fragment 4
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 762402
Date of acquisition: December 22, 1937
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Declaration to a Strategus of the Oxyrhynchite Nome, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp BASP 44 (2007), no. 1


Papyrus Fragment 5
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 762403
Date of acquisition: December 22, 1937
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Receipt for the Return of Some Marriage Goods, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 2


Papyrus Fragment 6
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 762404
Date of acquisition: December 22, 1937
Dealer: Erik von Scherling
Description: recto: Private Letter, veso: blank
Publication: W. Nichipor, L. Ricketts in BASP 18 (1981), p. 131-132 http://quod.lib.umich.edu/b/basp/0599796.0018.003/37:5?rgn=main;view=image



Purchase #3: June 19, 1939

Papyrus Fragment 7
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 819633
Date of acquisition: June 19, 1939
Dealer: Maggs Brothers
Description: Petition to an Official



Purchase #4: August 7, 1940

Papyrus Fragment 8
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 942989
Date of acquisition: August 7, 1940
Dealer: Maggs Brothers
Description: recto: Money Account Recording Receipts and Expenditure, verso: blank


Papyrus Fragment 9a
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 942990
Date of acquisition: August 7, 1940
Dealer: Maggs Brothers
Description: recto/verso: Documents of Uncertain Character


Papyrus Fragment 9b
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 942990
Date of acquisition: August 7, 1940
Dealer: Maggs Brothers
Description: recto/verso: Documents of Uncertain Character



Purchase #5: In or after 1952

Papyrus Fragment 10
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381982
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (former inventory number G130)
Description: recto: Census return?, verso: blank


Papyrus Fragment 11
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381983
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G25)
Description: Request for the Payment of Puros sunagorastikos
Publication: M. J. Bakker in BASP 44 (2007), no. 3


Papyrus Fragment 12
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381984
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G63)
Description: recto: Receipt for the Price of Green Fodder, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 4


Papyrus Fragment 13
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381985
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G24)
Description: recto: Declaration of Exemption from Prosecution, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 5


Papyrus Fragment 14
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381986
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G159)
Description: Antichretic loan, reign of Antoninus Pius


Papyrus Fragment 15
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381987
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G74)
Description: recto: Fragment of lease, verso: blank


Papyrus Fragment 16
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381988
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G107)
Description: recto: Fragments of Two (?) Epikrisis Applications, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 6


Papyrus Fragment 17
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381989
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G12)
Description: Declaration of Exemption from Prosecution
Publication: A. V. Bakkers in BASP 44 (2007), no. 7

Papyrus Fragment 18
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381990
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G300)
Description: recto: Fragment of Uncertain Character (reign of Caracalla), verso: Fragment of Uncertain Character


Parchment Fragment 19
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381991
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G133)
Description: recto: Fregment of a Regnal Formula on Leather; verso: Fragment of Uncertain Character
Publication: M. J. Bakker in BASP 44 (2007), no. 8


Papyrus Fragment 20
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381992
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G149)
Description: recto: Fragment of an Official Letter or Petition, verso: blank
Publication: M. J. Bakker in BASP 44 (2007), no. 9


Papyrus Fragment 21
Images of recto and verso
Accession number: 1381993
Date of acquisition: In or after 1952
Dealer: Erik von Scherling (G52)
Description: recto: Beginning of a Document, verso: blank
Publication: K. A. Worp in BASP 44 (2007), no. 10