Oxyrhynchus papyri vols 1-14 online at Archive.org

Mark Goodacre has made a valuable discovery:

Archive.org now has the first fourteen volumes of The Oxyrhynchus Papyri online in toto and in a variety of formats, for viewing and for download; Volumes 1-5 are digitized by Google Books from Harvard University Library and so should appear also on Google Books in due course.  They do not yet have my favourite format, the flip book, but no doubt that will appear in due course. Volumes 6-14 are digitized by Brigham Young University and include the flip book format. I have also noted below an alternative (and superior) version of Volume 4, from University of California Libraries, which has been online for much longer. Here are the links:

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 1 (1898)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 2 (1899)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 3 (1903)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 4 (1904) [Alternative version]
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 5 (1908)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 6 (1908)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 7 (1910)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 8 (1911)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 9 (1912)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 10 (1914)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 11 (1915)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 12 (1916)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 13 (1919)
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 14 (1920)

(HT: Wieland Willker on the Textual Criticism list)

It’s a reminder of how much we owe to Google books and Archive.org.  There is an online site somewhere, where for years academics have been messing around in a snail-like manner.  But this is the raw material.

Quite often an academic library, asked to digitise its collection, will decide to implement some very slow, very expensive ‘Rolls-Royce’ solution.  They talk about “portals”, they talk about getting users to register — even to pay — and all that.  They frequently decline to make the content available in PDF form, because they would “lose control”.  But all these endeavours are futile, and they will all fail.  People don’t want that.  What they want is PDF’s.

It may well be that some site will come into being for collaborative working in the future.  But it won’t be because people are forced to, in order to access some manuscript which happens to be at Crumbagdalen College Oxford because of a historical accident.  It will be where actual value for the user is created.

I hope the arrival of these volumes online gees up the Oxford people.  An online site for the papyri is a good thing; but they need to start with getting all the volumes online, and then with enhancing what those give us.  In that order, please.

10 thoughts on “Oxyrhynchus papyri vols 1-14 online at Archive.org

  1. “But all these endeavours are futile, and they will all fail. People don’t want that. What they want is PDF’s.”

    a true word, maybe one day we finally get access to all these marvelous works.

  2. PDFs and no backtalk. 🙂

    Of course, if universities also implemented associated forums for academics to flame each other over interpretation of the books, that would probably also increase usage. In a gladiatorial combat sort of way. 🙂

  3. On a lower level, me too. What it has also meant is that I can engage with the primary data on all sorts of issues that would never have been possible before.

    It hurts, therefore, when I actually *can’t* access something. I was looking for a plate of an inscription in the Santa Prisca Mithraeum in Rome and … it’s not online! Aargh!

    How quickly we adapt to luxury!

  4. We are truly blessed, not only with Google Books and Internet Archive, but with the websites of people like Roger and his friends. With each, after using them to the point where we take them for granted, we see what else needs to be put online.

    And they are free! There are now materials online that you can’t get at a university library (…unless it has Internet connectivity).

    YouTube is another avenue to consider. Lectures on some general topics are already available. There is no reason we can’t have our scholarly presentations there as well. It’s a question of having first-rate content and learning some new and intriguing skills.

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