Integrating Digital Papyrology (IDP)

Among humanistic fields, papyrology is notably well provided with digital resources for access to primary texts, metadata, and images of the papyri, ostraca, and tablets preserved in Greek, Latin, Arabic, various forms of ancient Egyptian, and several other languages. Over the past couple of years the two most important digital papyrological projects based in North America, the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP) have developed plans for integrating and sustaining the two projects. APIS is a multi-institutional, international database of papyrus collections, covering all languages, with extensive metadata, digital images, and translations (; DDbDP is a textual database of Greek and Latin documents preserved on papyrus ( Both have developed close links to a third resource, the Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der Griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), which includes extensive metadata for essentially the same set of documents included in the DDbDP (, and overlaps with many thousands of papyri accessible via APIS. In the past few months, the three projects have arrived at a joint strategy for interoperation and sustainability. Under this strategy we propose to build a standards-based, open technical architecture that will establish these three assets as a tightly integrated cluster, on the basis of whose rigorous, transparent, and collaboratively designed standards the rapidly growing and maturing host of other papyrological resources will be able to interoperate, and co-evolve.

Principal project staff
Joshua Sosin, Roger Bagnall, Brent Seales, Tom Elliott, James Cowey, Hugh Cayless, Gabriel Bodard
Start date
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Completion date
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Source material
Existing digital collections of papyrological transcriptions, metadata, and translations (Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri; Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens; Advanced Papyrological Information System).