Chester Beatty Library – Collections – The Western Collection – Papyri – Merton | The Western Papyri Merton Collection, Chester Beatty Library Papyri Merton Collection
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Merton

Wilfred Merton (1888-1957) was the business partner of Sir Emery Walker, the publisher of nearly all of Alfred Chester Beatty's early collection catalogues. Merton was also a close friend of Chester Beatty and a fellow book collector, specialising in rare Oriental printing and papyri.

In tribute to their long friendship and association, Merton bequeathed many of his books and manuscripts to Beatty on his death in 1957. The Merton Papyri are, for the most part, Greek documentary papyri, but the collection also includes some Demotic, Coptic and Arabic texts. 

These texts are invaluable records not only because they are dated but also because they provide a very clear account of everyday life in late Roman Egypt. Included are private and official letters, as well as documents dealing with business affairs and two of life’s certainties – death and taxes.

Publications

Idris Bell, H. and Roberts, C.H. (eds) (1948) Descriptive Catalogue of the Greek Papyri in the Collection of Wilfred Merton, Vol. I

Rees, B.R. Bell, H.I. and Barns, J.W.B. (eds) (1959) Descriptive Catalogue of the Greek Papyri in the Collection of Wilfred Merton, Vol. II

David Thomas, J. (ed.) (1967) Descriptive Catalogue of the Greek Papyri in the Collection of Wilfred Merton, Vol. III