Today I started a pilot project to re-house the papyrus collection. My goal is to create enclosures that can house these fragments efficiently and safely whilst providing better access to the collection. Of course, they also have to be cost-effective.
Our papyri were digitized a while ago as part of the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) project. At the time each fragment was carefully placed between two glass plates that were then taped together. My research indicates that this is still an accepted method of storing papyri and as long as the fragments and glass are in good condition, I’m not keen on replacing the glass.
I am keen on giving each package a better enclosure. I want to make a sink mat for each item that will securely hold the glass/papyrus package in place, and allow us to house several in one box without them rubbing against each other. This should also allow individual fragments to be served to patrons in the reading room in a safe manner. Better Enclosures + Better Access = Preservation. Wish me luck!