Date range: 4th-19th centuries
Number of items:
The collection comprises texts on papyri, parchment, paper and ostraca.
There are 47 ostraca which were acquired by Enriqueta Rylands in 1901 from Lord Crawford, as were most of the 478 items on papyrus, paper and parchment described by Crum (see 'Further Information' below).
The bulk of the items catalogued by Crum are Sa'idic, dating from the 4th century AD onwards. They include biblical, liturgical and apocryphal texts, legal documents and letters. Among the manuscripts are the earliest Bohairic New Testament manuscript and a series of private letters older than any previously identified in Coptic.
There are also many hundreds of papyri fragments not catalogued by Crum, most of which are from the Ashmunain collection acquired by the 26th Earl of Crawford.
- Walter E. Crum, Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the Collection of the John Rylands Library Manchester (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1909). 285 pp. (P. Ryl. Copt. 1-467, including manuscripts, papyrus and other fragments).
- Walter E. Crum, ‘New Coptic manuscripts in the John Rylands Library’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 5 (1918–20), pp. 497–503 (P. Ryl. Copt. Suppl. 1-52).
- Walter C. Till, ‘Coptic Biblical fragments in the John Rylands Library’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 34 (1951–52), pp. 432–58.
- Maria Cramer, ‘Some unpublished Coptic liturgical manuscripts in the John Rylands Library’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 50 (1967–68), pp. 308–16.