Libraries

Classics Library Collections

Ut conclave sine libris, ita corpus sine anima -- A room without books is like a body without a soul

attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106–43 BCE

UC'S BEST KEPT SECRET!

The John Miller Burnam Classics Library at the University of Cincinnati possesses one of the world's largest (almost 300,000 volumes) and most distinguished collections of Classical Studies with particular strengths in Greek and Latin philology, Aegean Bronze Age archaeology, and Latin palaeography. It is unique in housing under one roof the full spectrum of subdisciplines within the broad definition of Classics -- language and literature, art and archaeology, history, politics, philosophy, religion, law, science, medicine, in addition to Modern Greek studies, papyrology, epigraphy, and palaeography, and more -- spanning five millennia of recorded history and the vast geographic areas of Ancient Greece, including Asia Minor, the Black Sea region, and Magna Graecia, pre-Roman Italy, including the Etruscan civilization, and the full expanses of the Roman Empire, including Eastern Rome (Byzantium) in addition to sizeable collections covering the Near East and Ancient Egypt. 

Not only does the Library's extensive collections stimulate and facilitate discovery, study and research, but they also generate connections and discussions among our permanent and itinerant world-renowned classical philologists, archaeologists, ancient historians and others, which contribute to the productivity and creativity and knowledge of our students and faculty. Our goal is not only to satisfy the research needs of our current scholars, but also to build collections that we believe will have lasting value in order to meet future needs. For this reason our policy is not to weed the classics collections unless we have multiple copies of a book or if a book has become illegible because of poor physical condition in which case we attempt to replace it if possible. We do, however, always keep multiple editions that may differ from one another in some respect.     

Because of the uniqueness of the Library's collections, access and use have to be balanced with the need to preserve them for future scholarship. Many of the books have been acquired during more than a century and are in poor physical condition.

Books must be handled with care. Please do not pull books by their spines or photocopy books by pressing down on them or make notes in them. Food and drink inside the Library are not allowed since spilled water and humidy can cause irreversible damage to paper and food can attract mice and insects who eat paper.

For security reasons, all users are required to leave their UC or picture ID and to sign in and leave their bags in lockers when entering the Library. Bags and IDs are retrieved when leaving the Library. Handbags and laptop bags must be shown to the library staff when entering and exiting the Library. Please note that to safe-guard the collections and for everyone's safety, there are cameras at various points throughout the Library (at the entrance, in the Circulation area, in the Reading Room, and the book stacks). For additional information, see "Classics Library Access."

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