"Pursuing Papyri and Papyrology by Way of eBay:
Preliminary Report"

by Robert A. Kraft, University of Pennsylvania

to the 25th International Congress of Papyrology, 3 August 2007
(University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

[Abstract] Starting early in 2005, bits of papyri began to appear on the eBay online auction site. Now two years later, nearly 1000 lots have been sold (cartonnage, Greek, Coptic, Demotic, Hieratic, Arabic, etc.), and more are scheduled to appear. These are from the holdings of a bankrupt antiquarian (Bruce Ferrini) required to sell his extensive stock of various antiquities and related materials by a lawcourt judgment. I have been monitoring the papyri sales since about August of 2005, and will provide a survey of the situation in this presentation. Fortunately the eBay images are of relatively good quality and may in the long run be of help in attempting to keep track of these now widely dispersed materials, as well as helping to re-unite (virtually, at least) larger pieces that were dismembered for the sales.

The full report is available at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/papyri/ebay/report-2007/report-frame.html