The University of Oxford has made available a new informational website for the Oxyrhynchus Papyri at https://oxyrhynchus.web.ox.ac.uk, which replaces the old one which is no longer available.
According to an announcement by Oxford Papyrology Professor Amin Benaissa, the new website also gives access to the images of the Oxyrhynchus papyri. The images have also been migrated to Oxford’s Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform, which also hosts images of the papyri of the Kharga Oasis Nekrotaphoi Archive (P.Nekr. ) and the Bodleian facsimiles of the Herculaneum papyri (P.Herc).
As it is stated on the website of the Egypt Exploration Society, which owns the Oxyrhynchus Papyri collection, the papyri are housed in Oxford’s Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library. The collection comprises thousands of texts on papyrus and parchment and is the largest of its kind in the world. It includes principally literary, documentary, and other texts in Greek, dating from the second century BCE to the seventh century CE; other languages represented include Latin, Demotic, Coptic, and Arabic. Most of the papyri come from excavations conducted at the site of Oxyrhynchus (modern Bahnasa) by Oxford classicists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt in 1896–1907 on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society). Since then, scholars have worked continuously to catalog, decipher, and publish this material.
From 2014 to 2016 the Oxyrhynchus Papyri collection became the material for the groundbreaking citizen science project Ancient Lives, where thousands of laypeople were invited, under guidance, to work online and decipher/transcribe the writing on digital scans of the papyri. Shortly after, however, the collection was found at the center of a scandalous illicit antiquity trade case, since a number of its items had been offered for sale to the American chain Hobby Lobby by the then General Editor of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Prof. Dirk Obbink. The group was to be added to the collection of the Museum Of The Bible, whose board was chaired by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green. The items were identified and returned to the EES, while Obbink was dismissed from his duties as General Editor in 2016, and from his role as a fellow in Oxford in 2019, and leading editors retracted his publications while legal cases against him are ongoing.