In these pages, the John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester, and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), an international research project based at the University of California, Los Angeles, present a database of 1148 inscribed objects in the JRL collection. All texts were imaged with conventional photography using High Dynamic Range technology; for some 25 per cent of the available texts, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) was used with the assistance of a photo dome. Corresponding image files deriving from this procedure are now being prepared in Oxford for web presentation. The imaging in Manchester, and post-capture processing, were undertaken by Klaus Wagensonner (then University of Oxford; currently Yale University), made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; they are part of the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term digital preservation of ancient inscriptions on cuneiform artifacts and, in furtherance of humanities research, to provide free global access to all available text data.

Introduction to the collection
JRL homepage


Tablets by period:

   Early Dynastic (ca. 2800-2350 BC)
   Old Akkadian (ca. 2350-2200 BC)
   Lagash II (ca. 2200-2100 BC)
   Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1600 BC)

Tablets by text genre:

   Administrative texts
   Royal/Monumental texts

Tablets by provenience:


Search all CDLI inscriptions

The John Rylands University Library tablet to the right (JRL 541), dating to the 21st century BC, contains a record of release of two brothers as a bond by their mother to a named individual. Their valuation was set at twenty shekels of silver, corresponding to ca. five years’ compensation for an unskilled laborer (click image to be directed to the text’s dedicated CDLI page with full translation).

  Copyright © Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative A cooperative effort of the John Rylands University Library, University
of Manchester
, and the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative