Some of these papyri represent more or less complete manuscripts, but numerous tiny fragments kept in folders in the museum may belong either to these ensembles or to other, as yet unidentified texts. Despite forming part of the museum collection for almost two centuries, and in spite of its historical importance, this material has remained largely unpublished, while the documents that have been published have mostly been edited in the form of hieroglyphic transcriptions.
In 2014, the museum’s director, Christian Greco, entrusted an international group of scholars with the study and online publication of these important papyri. Beginning in September 2015, a research network was formed to begin work on this much neglected material. It combines the Egyptological and technological expertise of the Museo Egizio and the universities of Basel, Copenhagen, Leiden, Liège, Leipzig, and Munich (G. Burkard, T. Christiansen, R.J. Demarée, K. Donker van Heel, A. Dorn, K. Gabler, A.-K. Gill, M. Goecke-Bauer, F. Hagen, B.J.J. Haring, L. Prada, S. Polis, F. Poole, L. Popko, D. Soliman, S. Töpfer). Up to fifteen specialists at a time have held meetings in Turin and in Leiden, in January and August 2016, January 2017, and March 2018 in order to lay the necessary groundwork for this project. This preparatory work includes a first index of the papyrus fragments, the creation and structuring of digital data on the papyrus manuscripts, pilot studies on their palaeography, automatic handwriting analyses, and study of literary fragments. Kathrin Gabler in Basel and Stéphane Polis in Liège were part of this international team from the beginning. Both were directly involved in modelling the ‘Turin Papyrus Online Platform’ (which is now under the direction of Susanne Töpfer).