“Snapshots” of the Classics Library’s Collections






The Classics Collection


The Classics collections include more than 270,000 volumes and c. 2,000 journal titles spanning all areas of classical civilization, including language and literature, archaeology, art, history, epigraphy, papyrology, numismatics, palaeography, religion, philosophy, politics, science and technology, and medicine. The collections in all areas of classical studies are outstanding, although especially exhaustive in Greek and Latin philology and Minoan-Mycenaean archaeology.  The comprehensive level of current acquisitions continues. A few highlights include some 18,000 German dissertations and Programmschriften in classics, especially philology, from the 18th to the early 20th c., a separate room of more than 2,000 books on Palaeography, the collecting of which began with the namesake of the library, Latin palaeographer John Miller Burnam, some 3,500 early imprints from the 16th-18th c. as well as various incunabula such as Statius’ Thebaid, Silvae, Achilleid from 1483, Diodorus Siculus’ Bibliotheca Historica from 1496, Tacitus’ Historiae from 1497, Justin’s epitome of Trogus’ Philippic Histories from 1497, and Josephus’ De bello judaico from 1499 as well as some exquisite facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts such as Ptolemy’s Cosmographia (Codex Urb. Lat. 277), the Joshua Roll (Codex Vat. Pal. Graec. 431), and the Vergilius Romanus (Codex Vat. Lat. 3867), and a facsimile of the oldest preserved Sophocles manuscript (Florence, Ms. Codex Laurentianus 32.9). The collections also include representations of Medieval Latin in the superb facsimiles of the Book of Kells with 24 mounted color plates (Turin), and the Lindisfarne Gospels (Cottonian Ms. Nero D.IV) from the British Museum. Continue reading “Snapshots” of the Classics Library’s Collections

Research Strategies for Classics Majors: A Tutorial


This tutorial is chiefly aimed at undergraduate majors in Classics and beginning graduate students who are about to write a research paper, a junior or senior thesis. To illustrate this step-by-step approach to research, a topic, “Aristotle on the Function of Music in Tragedy,” has been chosen. It seems a particularly useful one for this purpose since it incorporates several disciplines — ancient Greek language and literature, philosophy, music, history, education, and politics — and, therefore, offers good practice in conducting research at the UC Libraries. To illustrate these principles of research, as well as to highlight a multitude of library resources at the University of Cincinnati, especially in the John Miller Burnam Classics Library, concrete and live searches are performed in video and audio.

Two New Exhibitions in the Reading Room

There are two new exhibitions in the Classics Library’s Reading Room:

One is to highlight our Modern Greek collection. Among the gems on display are, for example: Έρμς λόγιος (1811-21), the first journal published in “Modern Greek”; Constantine Cavafy’s Ποιματα with the author’s signature; and Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas’ illustrations to Nikos Kazantzakis’ Ὀδύσσεια.

Another exhibition is curated by the classics department and features Mycenaean so called psi, phi, and tau (because of their shapes resembling the Greek letters) female figurines as well as horse and other figurines dated to c. 1400-1200 BCE.

Classics Students: Welcome to a New Academic Year!

New releases of guides and tutorials this fall include:

  • “The Classics Library Guide” which in addition to highlighting the history of the Library and some of its works of art, offers a detailed description of the circulation policies in the Classics Library and advice on how to search the Library Catalog. https://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/liblog/2017/08/classics-library-guide/
  • “A Virtual Tour of the Library” which offers a brief introduction to the physical layout, collections, and staff of the Classics Library. Because virtual tours are expected to be kept to a minimum length, there is much that had to be left out including additional physical locations and collections, but this virtual tour may at least offer some basic understanding of how the materials are organized as well as offer a somewhat lighthearted presentation accessible to classicists and non-classicists alike. http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/liblog/2017/08/classics-tour/
  • “A Research Guide for Classics Majors” is a tutorial chiefly directed at undergraduate students: however, beginning grad students may also benefit from learning something about the Library Catalog and some of the digital resources in the Library. http://guides.libraries.uc.edu/classics-research

Following a survey conducted among classics grad students in the spring, the Classics Library has enacted a few additions and changes: Continue reading Classics Students: Welcome to a New Academic Year!

Happy Winter Solstice, Greeks and Romans! From the Classics Library’s Staff.

Recommended holiday readings include Latin writings on agriculture, festivals, and the seasons:

Macrobius’ Saturnalia https://www.loebclassics.com/view/macrobius-saturnalia/2011/pb_LCL510.3.xml?rskey=zBWyFV&result=1

Columella’s Res Rustica https://www.loebclassics.com/view/columella-agriculture/1941/pb_LCL361.3.xml?rskey=2qvhvQ&result=1

And De Arboribus https://www.loebclassics.com/view/columella-trees/1955/pb_LCL408.343.xml?rskey=2qvhvQ&result=2 

Varro’s Res Rustica https://www.loebclassics.com/view/varro-agriculture/1934/pb_LCL283.161.xml?rskey=IlRdAQ&result=2

Cato’s De Agri Cultura https://www.loebclassics.com/view/cato-agriculture/1934/pb_LCL283.3.xml?rskey=A8FqDU&result=1



PS. If you have not yet picked up a classics library mini-bookmark (perfect for pocket-size books!), please come to the Reading Room and do so. While there, you can also view a display of rare books and modern editions of the agricultural writings above. Also, stay tuned for Angelica Wisenbarger’s witty description of the classics library’s “Book of the Month,” Stephanus’ 1543 imprint of Cato and Varro on Agriculture with commentary by Petrus Victorius, on Facebook later this month.