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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 44 (2007) 5-6 John F. Oates (1934-2006) John Frances Oates, professor emeritus of classics at Duke University, died peacefully on June 24, 2006, after a long and debilitating illness, which he faced with grace and dignity. On the last day of his life he was still visibly enjoying the company of friends, and he talked sports with his student, friend, and colleague Josh Sosin in their last encounter. John Oates was born in 1934 and earned the BA, MA, and PhD (1960) from Yale University, where his beloved teacher was C. Bradford Welles. He spent time as a Fulbright fellow at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and as a Honorary Research Assistant at University College London. After teaching at Yale, he moved to Duke in 1967, where he played an important role in building the Department of Classical Studies and reviving its graduate program; he chaired the department from 1971 to 1980. He also gave generously of his time and energy as trustee of the National Humanities Center, Chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council, and in many other capacities, including a term as President of the American Society of Papyrologists (1976-1980). He taught history at every level for nearly four decades and supervised dissertations in both history and papyrology. He cared deeply for his students and has influenced many in the profession. His research focused mainly on Ptolemaic Egypt, but he also made three remarkable and lasting contributions to papyrology, all of which reflect his strong commitment to standards, to transparency, and to making information accessible to both specialists and beginners. First, he produced, in collaboration with R.S. Bagnall and WH. Willis (and eventually aided by others), the Checklist of Editions of Greek, Latin, Demotic and Coptic Papyri, Ostraca and Tablets (see BASP 11 [1974] 1-35, for the first edition), recently supplemented by the Checklist of Arabic Papyri, which he set up with A. Kaplony and P.M. Sijpesteijn (see BASP 42 [2005] 127-166, for the beta version). Together, by standardizing forms of reference, the Checklists contribute clarity and cohesion to papyrological publication. Second, he made a fundamental contribution to papyrology by co-founding, with the late WH. Willis, the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri. He was instrumental in designing, obtaining funding for, and supervising work on, this powerful tool for papyrological scholarship. Finally, in collaboration with the Special Col
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