Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Visiting the papyri

It seems that not many people know where to go to find the Herculaneum papyri, but as I recently went on a visit myself to see them I thought I'd share my information about how easy it is.

The papyri are currently housed in the National Library of Naples (note, they are no longer in the National Museum) - in a section called the "Officina dei Papiri Ercolanesi Marcello Gigante".

The papyri themselves can be consulted, along with a specialist section of the library - or you can simply book a guided tour. Tours need to be booked in advance, but can be arranged in either English or Italian. They include a short presentation on the history of the papyri from discovery to recent scholarship, and then a visit to see the items themselves: you get to see both intact scrolls and unrolled ones, and the famous unrolling machine made by Father Antonio Piaggio.

Congratualtions to the library on offering access even to those of us who aren't specialist scholars!

For more information: bn-na.papiri[at]

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