Collections of the Abbey of Montserrat

Roca-Puig Collection

The Roca-Puig collection, donated by Father Ramon Roca-Puig, has a great documentary, literary and historical value. It consists of more than 1,800 pieces of papyrus and parchment from Egypt, chronologically ranging from the Ptolemaic period to the 10th century CE. The collection was gathered by the Father Roca-Puig (1906-2001) during his trips to Cairo and through acquisitions from European antique dealers.

In 1998 Father Roca-Puig decided to change the name of Papyri Barcinonenses to Papyri Montserratenses II, because he spent his last years in the monastery of Montserrat, to which he bequeathed all his possessions. Later, for practical reasons, it was decided to call it P.Monts.Roca. Some of the pieces are real treasures, both literary and documentary. They are mainly written in Greek and Coptic, although there are a considerable number of pieces in Latin, Arabic and Demotic. Father Roca-Puig himself published a large number of papyri from his collection, with special interest in the Biblical ones. After his death in 2001, four volumes of editions have been published and at least two more are planned.

Ubach Collection

In addition to the Roca-Puig collection, the Abbey also houses the Ubach Collection. Of a volume of approximately two hundred pieces, it is composed mainly of Greek material, with a few papyri in Coptic, Arabic and Demotic. This small collection was acquired by Father Bonaventura Ubach (1879-1960), and reached the monastery in 1928, along with the magnificent oriental collections of the Biblicum Museum and the Montserrat Library. A few papyri from this collection were edited in scientific journals.

Contact: Gabriel Soler, Sofía Torallas Tovar
Email: -
TM Coll. 232

M. T. Ortega Monasterio, “El Instituto Papirológico Roca-Puig y el CSIC: ¿Proyecto o realidad?”, Palabras bien dichas. Estudios filológicos dedicados al P. Pius-Ramon Tragan, Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2011: 59-76.
R. Martín Hernández, “El fondo papirológico del Padre Ubach de la Biblioteca de Montserrat”, Palabras bien dichas. Estudios filológicos dedicados al P.Pius-Ramon Tragan, Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2011: 49-56.

Palau-Ribes Collection

The more than two thousand manuscripts that make up the Palau-Ribes Collection were acquired by Father Josep O’Callaghan (1922-2001) under the patronage of his brother-in-law Josep Palau-Ribes i Casamitjana, who gave his name to the collection, during the 1960s and 1970s. The collection was deposited at the Borja Center in Sant Cugat del Vallès, where it served as a support for the Seminary of Papyrology of the Faculty of Theology of Barcelona, until its transformation into the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia in 1983 marked the end of the Seminary.

After O’Callaghan’s death in 2001, the papyri were transferred to Barcelona, to the Historical Archive of the Society of Jesus in Catalonia, where they are housed now. Approximately one hundred of the collection’s papyri have been published, mainly in the volumes of Studia Papyrologica, a journal founded by Josep O’Callaghan in 1962 active until 1983. This relatively small sample of the collection is very significant of its richness: no less than the following languages and writing systems are present in it: hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac. The chronological period covered goes from the 7th century BC to the 10th century CE, while the nature of the texts offers a very wide spectrum, from profane and biblical literary texts – the Sahidic Coptic Gospel of the 5th century, the oldest preserved, is particularly noteworthy – to official documents of an administrative nature, as well as magical and school texts.

Contac: Francesc Casanovas, Alberto Nodar
Email: -
TM col. 304

J. O’Callaghan, “El fondo papirológico Palau-Ribes (Sant Cugat del Vallès – Barcelona)”, Aula Orientalis 2.2 (1984) 285-88.
A. de Frutos García, “A Note on the O.Gerundense, its Whereabouts, and the Formation of the Palau-Ribes Collection”, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 199 (2016) 128-30.
M. J. Albarrán Martínez - A. Nodar Domínguez, “The Palau-Ribes Collection and its Coptic Fund ”, Journal of Coptic Studies 19 (2017) 11-16.
S. Daris, “Due note a papiri Palau-Ribes. Avec résumé en anglais”, Emerita 64 (1996) 289-294

Fundación Pastor Collection

The Fundación Pastor de Estudios Clásicos in Madrid, currently presided by Prof. Emilio Crespo (UAM), houses a papyrus collection of somewhat smaller dimensions than those of the Palau Ribes Collection or the Roca-Puig Collection of the Abbey of Montserrat, but with a similar composition. Its 350 pieces were a donation by Penélope Photiadés to the Foundation during the presidency of Dr. Manuel Fernández-Galiano.

One of the most interesting pieces in this collection is a part of the codex 967 of the Old Testament, currently deposited in the National Library of Spain.

Part of this codex is also preserved at the Abbey of Montserrat. Other pieces, mostly in Greek, were published by Penelope Photiadés, Sergio Daris and Josep O’Callaghan, and more recently by Ágnes T. Mihálykó, Greta Kádas and Juan Rodríguez Somolinos. From this collection it is important to highlight a series of documents written in Coptic dialects that are scarcely documented to date in the entirety of the world’s papyrus collections. This group of documents is therefore of great importance for dialectal philological studies of Coptic.

The collection of the Fundación Pastor was restored in the 1990s by Dr. María Victoria Spottorno (CSIC) and is in a stable condition.

Contact: Emilio Crespo
TM Col. 212

E. Crespo, “Los papiros matritenses”, Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί: Lo que hay entre tú y nosotros. Estudios en honor de María Victoria Spottorno, Córdoba: UCOPress, Editorial Universidad de Córdoba, 2016: 87-93.
General bibliography:
J. O’Callaghan, “Las colecciones españolas de papiros”, Studia Papyrologica 15 (1976) 80-93.
S. Torallas Tovar, “Papirología en España hoy”, M. Á. Almela Lumbreras et al. (eds.), Perfiles de Grecia y Roma: Actas del XII Congreso Español de Estudios Clásicos, Valencia, 22 al 26 de octubre de 2007, Madrid: Sociedad Española de Estudios Clásicos, 2009: 155-66.
S. Torallas Tovar, “Papirología en España hoy”, M. Á. Almela Lumbreras et al. (eds.), Perfiles de Grecia y Roma: Actas del XII Congreso Español de Estudios Clásicos, Valencia, 22 al 26 de octubre de 2007, Madrid: Sociedad Española de Estudios Clásicos, 2009: 155-66.