Services and tools available to support research

Yale Papyrus Collection: Search and Request

How to access the descriptive records

You can view a complete inventory of everything in the Yale Papyrus Collection at

To search for a specific Beinecke call number in this database, you will need to change the default search option in from "Text" to "Metadata." After you do that, you should wrap the call number in quotes, add it to the search form, and then hit the Search button.  For example, here is the URL that performs a call number search for P.CtYBR Inv. 1 qua.

How to view digitized images of the papyri

All of the papyri in the Yale Papyrus Collection that have been digitized are available at the Yale University Library Digital Collections website. Please note that even though most of the collection has been digitized (about 95%), there are still some items that have yet to be digitized.  Therefore, you must search for a complete list of everything in the collection.

Additionally, if an item has been digitized, then the record that is in will have a link to the Yale University Library Digital Collections website.  You will find that link in the Catalog Record portion of the record, after the heading Images.

How to request the materials for on-site use

To request anything from the Yale Papyrus Collection you must have the Beinecke call number for the item that you want to see, which will always start with “P.CtYBR Inv.”  You can find this call number in a variety of places, including:

  • In Yale Univerity Library Digital Collections, the Beinecke call number is both the Title of the record and also listed further down in the descriptive record, after the heading Call Number.
  • In, you will find the Beinecke call number in the Catalog Record portion of the record, after the heading Inv. ID.
  • If you have another reference number, such as P. Dura or P. Yale, you can find the Beinecke call number by looking in the Concordance section of the Guide to the Yale Papyrus Collection.  For instance, if you are looking for P. Yale 54, then you would consult the concordance to find out that that the Beinecke call number for that item is P.CtYBR Inv. 140.

Once you have the Beinecke call number, you request the item through the online request system used at the Beinecke for reading room access.  When making a request for one of the items in the Yale Papyrus Collection, please make sure to use the Beinecke call number (e.g. P.CtYBR Inv. 140)  in both the Call Number and Title section of the form, since those two fields are required to make a request.  For directions on how to access this form, please see the Requesting Collection Material from the ‘Aeon New Request Form’ section in the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale website.

For more information about conducting research at the Beinecke, please see the Planning Your Research Visit webpage on the Beinecke website.


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