The catalogue is ordered by papyri, as numbered by Gardiner and Ibscher (P. Ramesseum …) and with the inventory numbers of the British Museum (EA …) and of the Berlin Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (P. Berlin …); within each inventory number, the individual frames (also sometimes referred to as ‘sheets’) of a papyrus are ordered by frame number as mounted by Gardiner and Ibscher. In the case of P. Ramesseum 1, the main sequence of frames was numbered with Arabic numbers and the remaining frames of unplaced fragments were designated by letters. In many cases, individual lines of the ancient manuscript are now split between two frames, so in the catalogue entries the same line can occur in two entries. The images provide a photographic record of how the papyri are now, and were mostly taken in 2008. In some cases, these have been supplemented with scans. Where relevant, scans of historic photographs (published or archival) are included on the database. Although some rolls are preserved almost entirely, some are exceedingly fragmentary, and it remains surprisingly hard to estimate what proportion of the original collection of manuscripts has survived and indeed exactly how many separate manuscripts there originally were in the box.
Due to technical limitations no transliteration font is available in the online catalogue entries, so Egyptian transliteration is entered using the keystrokes of the Manuel de codage.
The main aim of the catalogue is to provide an aid to research, and all projects of which the British Museum is aware are listed in the relevant catalogue entries for each frame. The catalogue aims to provide not a full publication and re-edition but a photographic record of the frames together with a listing of ongoing research with published bibliography. Relevant passages from Gardiner’s publication are cited in the entries. In some cases, where appropriate, a translation based on published editions has been added. Concordances are provided between the line and fragment numbers in the published editions and the frames in which those lines and fragments are now mounted. Since some of the papyri are very fragmentary and are scattered between many frames, the concordances are occasionally complicated.