Description of the collection
The papyrus collection of the university library in Leipzig possesses approximately 5000 objects, included 1600 ostraca. It
belongs to the larger papyrus collections in Germany. Besides few very important literary papyri (P.Lips.Inv.39
the longest papyrus roll with texts from the Old Testament) the collection holds first and foremost documentary papyri of
different kinds from the Ptolemaic, Roman and especially Byzantine periods. The majority of the texts are written in ancient
Greek, but there are also writings in Hieratic, Demotic, Coptic, Latin and Arabic. The most famous piece is the Hieratic
with its 18.63m the longest and most beautiful book roll on medicine from ancient Egypt.
After first acquisitions in the 19th century a committee for the purchase of papyri was founded in 1902, which was also a
member of the Deutsches Papyruskartell before World War I. The majority of the papyri came from this source. Famous papyrologist
worked in Leipzig: Ludwig Mitteis, Ulrich Wilcken and Wilhelm Schubart. Today the papyrus collection is integrated in teaching
and practical training of Ancient History at the University of Leipzig. Many projects served and serve for the academic cataloguing
of the collection.
Griechische Urkunden der Papyrussammlung zu Leipzig, (P.Lips. I), hrsg. von Ludwig Mitteils mit Beiträgen von Ulrich
Wilcken, Leipzig 1906.
Griechische Urkunden der Papyrussammlung zu Leipzig (P.Lips.II), hrsg. von Ruth Duttenhöfer mit einem Beitrag von
Reinhold Scholl, K.G. Saur München und Leipzig 2002 (=Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, Beiheft 10).
R. Scholl, Der Papyrus Ebers. Die größte Buchrolle zur Heilkunde Altägyptens, Leipzig 2002 (=Schriften aus Universitätsbibliothek 7).