Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Collection Summary

THE JOHN MILLER BURNAM CLASSICAL LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

COLLECTION SIZE:  over 269,000 books, periodicals, microforms and other materials
SUBSCRIPTIONS: approximately 2,000 periodical, serial and monographic set subscriptions
APPROVAL BOOK & NOTIFICATION VENDORS:  Harrassowitz, Casalini, and Puvill, Yankee Book Peddler, Andromeda, and Aux Amateurs
SELECTED E-RESOURCES:  L'Annee Philologique, Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina, Brill's New Jacoby, Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture, DYABOLA, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, LSJ: the Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon, New Pauly Online, Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics, Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum Online, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, TOCS-IN, ZENON DAI
New:
Loeb Classical Library   

The John Miller Burnam Classical Library is named after a former faculty member of the Classics Department, whose excellent private library was willed to the University and became the nucleus of the present library in 1921. The collection was greatly expanded through the personal efforts and generosity of a former chairman of the Department and his wife, William T. and Louise Taft Semple.  Mrs. Semple later established a trust fund in honor of her father, Charles Phelps Taft that continues to be the primary support for the acquisition of library materials, thus making the library a major international resource for research in the area of Classical Studies.

Today, collection efforts focus comprehensively on all aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman world.  Research materials, whether print, electronic or other formats, cover history, archaeology, language and literature, art, numismatics, science and technology, papyrology, epigraphy and patristics.   Furthermore, the Classics Library provides extensive coverage in materials on Byzantine and Modern Greece and strong coverage on ancient Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and paleography. Additionally, the library has a significant collection of 19th century German dissertations and Programmschriften.    

As of May 2015, library holdings total over 269,000 items in the library facility.  The Classics Library currently subscribes to approximately 2,000 serials and monographic series or sets.  The library’s annual growth rate for print materials usually ranges between 4,000 and 5,000 items.   In addition, UC library users have access to considerable online resources.  The Classics Library provides access to many electronic databases specific to the field of classics, including the major bibliographic indexes, subject specific databases, and important image databases.  Classics researchers have also benefited from electronic resources supplied by OhioLINK and the University of Cincinnati Libraries, including OhioLINK e-journal packages and the locally supported JSTOR journal packages.  E-books are also made available through OhioLINK and the University of Cincinnati Libraries.  Finally, the collection of Hebrew Union College is useful for the provision of supplemental material, especially in the areas of Near Eastern archaeology and Judaic studies. 

Selection of current materials, at an upper-division and graduate/research level in all European languages, is as exhaustive as possible; likewise, retrospective purchasing is selectively pursued upon request. When new serial subscriptions are established, available back volumes or access to online archives are purchased.  Although a majority of materials are purchased through individual titles, we have three foreign language approval plans: Harrassowitz (begun in the 1960's); Casalini (1986); and, Puvill (mid 1980’s). English language titles are provided by Yankee Book Peddler.  Finally, a few exchange programs are handled directly by the Classics Library.

Graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars, including the numerous Tytus Scholars, regard the Burnam Classical Library as an excellent research facility both because of the collection’s breadth, including many titles that are not widely found in other U.S. library collections, and the fact that materials on all subjects pertinent to Classics are available within this one library, making research as convenient as possible for scholars.

May 2015 JWR