The Arabic Papyrology Database

What is the APD for?

The Arabic Papyrology Database is a tool enabling you to access the editions of Arabic documents written on different material such as papyrus, parchment or paper. Those productive editions are an often unraised treasure for almost every aspect of Islamic history up to the 16th c. A.D.

The APD comprises a total of 12780 documents. For 4340 out of these, we give both the full text and the metadata, while for 8440, we give the metadata only. The tool 'Documents' allows to search for documents and read their text in different layers. The tool 'Text' accesses single words or combinations of words - perfect for investigating linguistic peculiarities. The tool 'Lexicon' gives you direct access to all of the lexicon, incl. Greek, Coptic, etc. words. Each document is also provided with its metadata, amongst others place and date of origin or its genre as for instance a contract of lease or a petition.

The Arabic Papyrology Database is the first electronic compilation of Arabic papyri. It is a non-commercial project running under the patronage of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) and a partner of the Trismegistos metadata project of Greek, Demotic, Coptic, Arabic, etc. documents. Access is free via the Internet.


Who is the APD for?

The Arabic Papyrology Database is conceived for a wide range of users. Primarily it is meant to respond the needs of proper papyrologists, but linguists and historians will find it as well essential for their research. Scholars and students - anyone interested in primary documents reflecting everyday life, legal and administrative practice in the first centuries of Islam, will appreciate the Arabic Papyrology Database.

The Arabic Papyrology Database brings Arabic papyrology and its possibilites in research up to a wider field of interested people. The Arabic Papyrology Database is not a beginner's tool, but easily accessible and we hope it will make a satisfying contribution to your research.

Current work: A Digital Typology of Arabic Documents (2016-2020)

We are currently preparing a formal typology of Arabic documents based on the documents in the APD. The documents are marked up with typological information which will help to easily classify unknown or even fragmentary documents. The results of our work will be published in a free search tool for typological document studies.