Classics Library Picture Gallery

Blegen Library

The Blegen Library building was named after distinguished classical archaeologist Carl W. Blegen, UC professor of Classics, 1927-1957. 

Classics Library

The John Miller Burnam Classics Library is housed in the Blegen Library building. The virtuous ancient Roman military leader Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (c. 519–c. 430 BCE) guards the door to the Library.

Portrait of JM Burnam

Portrait of Latin palaeographer and Chair of the Classics Department, 1900-1921, John Miller Burnam. In the portrait he is holding the copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead on display in the case below, which houses parts of his personal library.

Reading Room

The main Reading Room, a space for consultating major ancient text editions, language dictionaries, atlases, enjoying exhibitions, works of art, lectures, performances, but above all for studying with large bright windows, cheerful flowers, and cozy lamps to help. 

Seating in reading room

Comfortable seating in the Reading Room by the Greek Budé volumes. 

Circulation area

The Classics Library’s Circulation area for group study, searching the online catalog, printing, scanning, and checking out books. The Circulation area with a reference collection as well as the mezzanine with current journals and German historic dissertations.

German dissertations

The mezzanine holds some 18,000 German dissertations and Programmschriften in classics from the 18th to the early 20th century, although a couple of the dissertations date back to as early as the 17th century. 

Seating in Circulation

Comfortable chairs to relax in while perusing the monthly arrivals of new books in the Circulation area.

Rare Book  Room

The Classics Library's Rare Book and Manuscript Room. To consult items in this room,  check the Library's catalog and request the item(s) at the Circulation desk. Library staff will retrieve the item(s) for use in the Circulation area. 

Rare Book Room

The Rare Book and Manuscript Room on Stack floor 4 houses some 4,000 early imprints from the 16th-18th centuries as well as various incunabula such as Statius’ ThebaidSilvaeAchilleid 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.

Rare Book Room

The Rare Book & Manuscript Room.

Rare Book Room

The Rare Book & Manuscript Room.

Rare Book Room

The Rare Book & Manuscript Room.

Facsimiles of manuscripts

The paleography collection houses an amazing working collection of facsimiles of the oldest and most important ancient text manuscripts.

Medieval missal

The Classics Library also has several hundred original medieval and more recent manuscripts. One of them is a bossed illuminated choir book from 15th c. Italy.

Book of the Month display

Each month the UC Classics Library features a “Book of the Month.” 

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The life and works of Greek comedy playwright Aristophanes was celebrated in the Reading Room with a lecture and performance of his play Lysistrata, accompanied by music, followed by a reception of Greek foods, March 2019. 

Lecture on Aristophanes by Susan Prince, Classics Department

Susan Prince, UC Associate Professor of Classics, gave a lecture on Aristophanes.

Brant Russell directing students in play

Assistant Professor Brant Russell, CCM, directs graduate students from Classics and CCM in a performance of Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

musicians at Aristophanes event

Ancient Greek "Dionysian" music performed by graduate students from CCM under the direction of oboist Yo Shionoya at the performance of Lysistrata.

"God Dionysus" welcomes guests

Dionysus, the god of wine and drama, welcomes theater goers at the Aristophanes event, March 2019.

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The 2000-year anniversary of the Roman poet Ovid's death was celebrated in the Reading Room with a lecture on his life, readings from his poem, the Metamorphoses, in Latin and English translation by English poet Ted Hughes, and a performance of Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, followed by a reception of ancient Roman vegan foods that could have been eaten by Ovid and his contemporaries, March 2018. 

President Pinto mentions the Ovid event
Bridget Langley giving a talk on Ovid

Bridget Langley, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, gave a lecture on the life and work of ancient Roman poet Ovid.

Colin Shelton reads from Ovid

Colin Shelton, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, gave a reading in Latin and English translation by Ted Hughes from the Metamorphoses.

Ancient Roman candy at the Ovid event

The guests at the Ovid event were treated to “ancient Roman” candy, the so called Confetti di Sulmona, from Ovid’s hometown of ancient Sulmo, present-day Sulmona, in the province of Abruzzo, Italy.

Exhibit on the works of Roman poet Ovid

The Reading Room features book and artifact exhibitions and text editions highlighting some of the rich collections of UC Classics. This display features an exhibit of rare editions of the works of Ovid.

Display of Books of Hours and Breviaries

The Classics Library owns several books on so called "Breviaries" and "Books of Hours," as well as other Christian medieval texts, but also manuscript facsimiles of biblical texts and original illuminated medieval manuscript leaves.  

Exhibit on the works of Greek playwright Aristophanes

Exhibit of rare editions of the plays of Aristophanes.

Roman lamp

Roman oil lamp with ring handle. 1st c. CE. On loan from the UC Art Collection.

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Professor Artemis Leontis, University of Muchigan, gave a talk on her archival research to learn about the life of Eva Palmer-Sikelianos (1874–1952) and her correspondence with Natalie Clifford Barney in the Reading Room, October 2018. 

Graduate student with elephant folio

Graduate student Angelica Wisenbarger with one of the Classics Library's huge books, a so called elephant folio.

Drawing of Garfield as Julius Caesar

Veni, vidi, edi. Garfield as Julius Caesar. Original drawing by the cartoon's creator Jim Davis. Gift to the Classics Library from Connie Ruebel, wife of Dr. James Ruebel (UC classics alumnus). 

Map cabinet

The library owns a 20th c. Mediterranean Army Map Collection consisting of several hundred maps outlining unsurpassed topographic details of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. This collection is currently being digitized.  

Jack Davis, Chairs of the Classics Department, is excavating the Palace of Nestor with Nestor, the Cat

Jack Davis, Chair of the UC Classics Department and world-renowned archaeologist, is excavating the Palace of Nestor at Pylos together with Nestor, the feline archaeologist, almost as famous.

Apollo, the Mouse God

Apollo Smintheus, the Mouse God. 

animals in antiquity, feline

Exhibit on animals in ancient and medieval times in the Reading Room.

Exhibit on Animals in Antiquity

Poster exhibition on Animals in Antiquity, curated by the Classics Library, spring 2019.

Cat studying Latin

Roman feline philologist Glyka is busy looking up the word cattus in the Oxford Latin Dictionary.

cat at excavation

After gathering finds excavated from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement Çatalhöyük in Southern Anatolia (in modern Turkey), this feline archaeologist decides to take a nap on top of the latest discoveries. Many UC archaeologists have worked at this site. Photo by UC Classics alumna.

Cat on pottery

Not solving the Gordion Knot. Instead this feline archaeologist is quite exhausted from the painstaking work of examining pottery sherds for dating and other purposes. Phrygian Gordion in modern Turkey is being excavated by the now former chair of the UC Classics Department, Brian Rose. Photo by UC Classics alumna.

cat at theater in Ephesus

The great temple of the ancient Greek goddess Artemis was located at Ephesus in modern Turkey. She was the goddess of all life. Here is one of her animal companions/stand-ins at the amphitheatre in Ephesus surveying her domain. Photo by UC Classics alumna. 

Goat on Samothrace

Wild goat on the Greek island of Samothrace, a sight that would have been just as familiar to the ancient Greeks. Photo by UC Classics alumnus. 

Water fountain with Aldus emblem

Aldus Manutius (c. 1450-1515) was one of the most important publishers of ancient texts in the early days of printing. His press used as its printer's device a dolphin around an anchor. Here on a water fountain outside the Classics Library and Department in the Blegen building.

no smoking sign

Smoking is strictly forbidden in the stacks (actually the entire UC campus is smoke free!).

ghost for Halloween

Halloween in the Classics Library.

Halloween 2019

GA and assistant bibliographer Angelica Wisenbarger as "Fallen Angel" together with the Library's Welcoming Ghost and Creepy-Crawly Welcoming Committee, Halloween 2019.

Student worker moving shelves

Shifting books and shelves in the Reference section.

Carrying a book cart

Carrying book carts to the mezzanine to begin the shifting of reference books to the floor below.

Cleaning book shelves

Student workers busy cleaning the shelves to make room for the reference collection being moved from the mezzanine.

Interim student worker supervisor

Former interim student worker supervisor and stacks manager, Yo Shionoya, focusing on scheduling and budgeting student workers.

A stack floor

The Classics Library’s stacks floors house almost 300,000 print volumes in Classical Studies, including Philology, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Papyrology, Law, Medicine, Philosophy and more.

Classics Library in 1983

The above pictures are of the library circa 2020. This and the following pictures are of the Classics Library in 1983, a time when the library had more staff although not necessarily staff who worked harder. The staff at that time was clearly more laid back, the tasks were fewer (in spite of a larger staff!), and there were fewer formal library meetings, more relaxed dress code, no technology to worry about, books could be thrown on the floors along with catalog cards.  The man below in red satin trousers, pink silk shirt, and bandana is our very own bibliographer, Mike Braunlin. This was his usual attire back then.  

Classics Library 1983 again
Classics Library 1983 more

Sufficient staffing, a fixed work schedule, a card catalog and printed books may have generated a healthier balance of work and life in those days. 

Classics Library 1983 some more

A youthful Mike Braunlin holding court.