The Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case has been completed! Made possible by a generous gift by Gardner and Ann Parsons, the Parsons Case is dedicated to the permanent exhibit of material from the Papyrology Collection. It guarantees that the Papyrology Collection will always have at least one piece of ancient papyrus on display for public viewing. The Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case is located in the Audubon Room on the first floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library.
From Monday, 9 December 2013 until Friday, 31 January 2014, The Audubon Room will be closed for renovations. This includes the Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case.
Previously on Display: A Glimpse inside the Village Writing Office
On Exhibit (September 19 - December 8, 2013)
P. Mich. inv. 4385, verso (see recto)
This papyrus is part of a long account recording activity in the writing office of the village of Karanis over a four-month period in the early-second century ce. The writing office was a public facility, where anyone could go to have a document written (for a fee, of course) and government-sanctioned record office, where archival material of interest to the state was created.
Day by day, this account tracked the various contracts and other documents that were drawn up for local villagers and the fees collected for the work. Each day’s income was then balanced against expenditures, which quite frequently included the purchase of fresh papyrus rolls in the regional capital!
While the manager of the writing office used new sheets of papyri for his clients, his account was written on recycled rolls, patched together using older documents. The join area can be seen in the middle of the papyrus where two rolls of unequal size were adhered together.