mobile menu decorative search icon decorativeSearch the site

Egyptian Manuscripts

A substantial collection of papyri and ostraca in hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic was acquired from Lord Crawford.

There are seven hieroglyphic and nineteen hieratic items, all being funerary documents dating between the 14th century BC and the 2nd century AD.

The demotic collection comprises fourteen ostraca (uncatalogued) and 166 papyri, of which Egyptian MSS 1-49 (actually 106 pieces) have been catalogued.

Of these, the early papyri are from El Hîbeh in Middle Egypt, the early Ptolemaic papyri from Thebes, the later Ptolemaic from Gebelên (south of Thebes) and the Roman from Dimê in the Fayûm.

Of the 60 uncatalogued items, many are legal documents, the majority being from Upper Egypt and dating from the middle Ptolemaic period.

Finding aids

  • Demotic papyri nos. 1-49 (106 pieces) are described in F. Ll. Griffith, Catalogue of the Demotic Papyri in the John Rylands Library (Manchester, 1909).
  • Six of the hieroglyphic and hieratic papyri are described in an unpublished account by Samuel Birch (d 1885) of the British Museum, entitled Egyptian Papyri [in the Bibliotheca Lindesiana] which came with the collection; the remainder are uncatalogued.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

Image collections

View a selection of high-resolution images of the Demotic papyri, via Luna Insight, the Library's image management system.