Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 78–c. 100 B.C.E. Papyrus 131. 

An ATBL Grant to the British Library to Support the Cataloguing and Digitization of 2,100 Papyri Fragments 


The British Library houses one of the largest and most important collections of papyri in the world, comprising papyri in Greek, Coptic, and Latin alike. Thanks to external funding, the Library’s entire holding of Greek and Latin papyri has now been fully digitized and is being catalogued and published in several stages in the Library’s online catalogue. High-resolution images are—and will be—published in the Library’s online viewer.  

In 2020, the ATBL provided grant support to complete the most recent project phase, completed in August 2021. In a nod to the ATBL’s mission to foster transatlantic understanding, the ATBL’s grant focused on papyri that the British Library shares with American collections. Such papyri examples either are part of the same work originally, or are derived from the same ancient site or archive. This phase of the Library’s digitization project was notably a collaboration between the British Library and the American institutions that hold other important papyrus collections, such as the libraries of Yale University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan. With the ATBL’s 2020 grant, the Library was able to make significant headway with this phase of the project through the employment of a post-doctoral researcher, Federica Micucci, to catalog 610 Greek papyri in the collection and to identify c. 200 items that have counterparts in American collections. Today, there are 2,100 papyri catalogued in the Library’s online catalogue, of which 1,583 are available to view in the Library’s online image viewer. All the papyri, including the remaining 517 items that had not yet been published online, will be available on the British Library’s new viewer by June 2022 to allow further virtual unifications of the fragments. 

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