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The large-scale discovery and acquisition of Greek papyri in Egypt, by excavation and purchase, from the 1890s onwards resulted in the export of huge numbers of texts to Europe and North America. In the process archives of related texts from particular sites were dispersed and many remain fragmented and only partially published. It seems clear that a detailed reconstruction of the process of acquisition of papyri from Egypt by excavation and through the antiquities market would allow connections to be re-established between groups of texts that have become dispersed and lead to advances in our knowledge of the archaeology and documentation of Egypt.

To this end and following a pilot project undertaken by Dr. Willy Clarysse of the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven (, the CSAD between 2002-2004 compiled a gazetteer, as complete as then practicable, of the source, content and location of papyrus collections in libraries, museums, universities and private ownership in Britain, describing holdings, provenance, circumstances of acquisition and archival elements.

The database service originally provided for the gazetteer data set is no longer (February 2017) available. While the database is being rewritten and updated, the gazetteer is offered here as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.