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Modern Literature Collection and Manuscripts

Washington University's collections of manuscripts contain a broad range of materials dating from the 2nd century BC through the present. The largest group of materials is the Modern Literature Collection.

Papyri Collection

The manuscript collections include the Papyri Collection which consists of more than 400 Egyptian manuscript fragments, dating from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD. As is the case with a number of North American universities, Washington University initially acquired its papyri collection through a subscription to the Egypt Exploration Society, which raised operating funds through the sale of subscriptions. These fragments were excavated in 1923 by Sir William Flinders Petrie and the Egypt Exploration Society at the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus.

The physical Papyri Collection is owned by the WUSTL Department of Classics but housed and accessed in Special Collections. Contact the Department of Classics for permission to access the collection 

The content in our papyri digital exhibition represents the fragments that were published in two volumes: Washington University Papyri I : Non-literary Texts (1980) and Papyri from the Washington University Collection, St. Louis, Missouri. Part II (1990), both available at Olin Library and in Special Collections. Imaging and cataloging sponsored through Advanced Papyrological Information Ssystem III, a National Endowment for the Humanities funded project, in 2003.