The Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri (DDBDP)

The DDBDP is an electronic corpus of all Greek and Latin texts found on papyri, ostraca or wooden tablets which have been published in discrete volumes or in series. Currently the DDBDP contains all texts so published to 30 June 1996, representing over 5,000,000 words and nearly 500 volumes. The DDBDP is accessible in two forms:

  1. PHI 7 CD ROM may be purchased directly from the Packard Humanities Institute, 300 Second St. Suite 200, Los Altos, CA 94022.
  2. The updated version of the DDBDP may be accessed on-line through the Perseus Project.

The creation of the DDBDP has been the result of a collaboration between Dr. David W. Packard and Professors William H. Willis and John F. Oates at Duke University. Dr. Packard provided the intellectual and technical support necessary to begin the project in September of 1982. Funding from inception to the end of June 1996 was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Packard Humanities Institute. Additional support came from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Duke University provided the funds for the initial purchase of equipment, and the Perkins Library of Duke University and its Special Collections Library have provided the physical space for the work to take place. Many hands contributed to the creation of the DDBDP, but special mention must be made of Dr. Louise P. Smith and Ms. Catherine Rine who served respectively as Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator of the DDBDP project for most of its active existence until June of 1996.

Explanations of the various escapes used to present the texts on PHI 7 can be found on the disk itself. These are under heavy revision as part of the current to convert the DDBDP to TEI-conformant SGML. The Pandora search program for Macintosh computers can be downloaded from the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae site. Directions for searching the World Wide Web version are available at the Perseus site.

A companion to the DDBDP is the Checklist of Editions of Greek and Latin Papyri, Ostraca and Tablets, a bibliographical guide to editions of documentary texts arranged according to the abbreviations used in the DDBDP. Most papyrologists now use these abbreviations. Neither the Checklist nor the DDBDP includes the Greek inscriptions from Greco-Roman Egypt; these have been entered at Cornell University and are also available on PHI 7. Some literary papyri are included in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae CD ROM.

Work on the DDBDP continues as part of the Advanced Papyrological Information System, and now also with the generous support of Professor Dieter Hagedorn and the Institut für Papyrologie, Universität Heidelberg, in connection with the "Gesamtverzeichnis." The DDBDP and Gesamtverzeichnis, when used together, are a powerful tool and we look forward to future cooperation between the two projects. Apart from the data entry of volumes of papyri, ostraca and tablets published since June of 1996 present efforts are focused on providing the user with more powerful and more user-friendly search capabilities.

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Last updated 21 April 2005