Classical studies collection development policy

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Program information

The Department of Classical Studies provides undergraduate and graduate programs in “all aspects of the broad field of Classical Studies”: languages, literature, history, archaeology, reception studies, and cultural studies. The richness of the department’s offerings are deepened further through the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and the Ancient History graduate programs and its intersecting with programs offered through the departments of Religious Studies,  English, Comparative Literature, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Linguistics, Italian Studies, History of Art, and through  the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Teaching and research interests fall into the areas of poetry and poetics, culture, political, social and intellectual history, ancient historiography, material culture, and reception studies.  See a list of recent publications from the department.

For more information visit the Department's Website.

Guidelines for Collection Development

1. Chronological

From Prehistory through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the modern Classical Tradition.

2. Formats

Books and journals in print and electronic formats; online databases for collections of texts, reference materials,and linguistic data. Find links to collections at Penn as well as selected links to outside resources through the guide for  Classical Studies.

3. Geographical

The collection focuses on the ancient Mediterranean, but over time expands to include Europe and the Americas. Reception materials encompass all relevant geographical locations.

4. Language

Primary source materials in Greek and Latin; secondary materials in a number of languages, especially English, German, French, and Italian.

5. Publication dates

Emphasis on current materials. Some retrospective purchasing, especially the replacement of missing and damaged books.

Principal sources of supply and major selection tools

The Classical Studies collection is strongly international in character, and for this reason materials are acquired from widely diverse sources. Approval plans, standing orders, and faculty requests account for new additions to the collection. The Library makes every effort to acquire appropriate books and journals wherever they are published. The major vendors include Otto Harrassowitz for German materials, Amalivre for Francophone materials, Casalini for Italian and Greek materials, and GOBI for US and UK materials.

  • Subjects collected and levels of collecting

    Subjects Collected Levels of Collecting
    Greek and Latin Paleography 3/3W
    History of the Greek Language, Grammar, Lexicography 4/4W
    Greek Language-Hellenic 3/3W
    Greek Language-Hellenistic Greek 3/3W
    Greek Language-Medieval & Modern 2/2F
    Greek Literature
    Homer & Archaic Epic 4/4W
    Classical 4/4W
    Drama (Tragedy, Comedy) 4/4W
    History 4/4W
    Hellenistic Literature 3/3W
    Greek Papyri & Papyrology
    Epigraphy (Greek and Roman) 4/4W
    Byzantine Literature 2/2F
    Greek Literature-Modern 2/2F
    History of the Latin Language, Grammar, Lexicography 4/4W
    Ancient Dialects & Languages of Italy 3/3W
    Latin Language-Medieval & Neo-Latin 3/3W
    Latin Literature
    Early Latin 4/4W
    Republican Literature 4/4W
    Augustan Literature 4/4W
    Early Christian Literature (Greek, Latin) 3/3W
    Medieval and Neo-Latin Literature 4/4W
    History-Greece
    Bronze Age, Homeric, Archaic 4/4W
    Classical Period 4/4W
    Hellenistic Period 4/4W
    Roman Period 4/4W
    Byzantine Empire 3/3W
    History-Italy
    Archaic 4/4W
    Classical 4/4W
    Republican Rome 4/4W
    Imperial Rome 4/4W
    Gender Studies 4/4W
    Myth and Religion 4/4W
    Medicine, Science, Technology 4/4W
    Roman Law 3/3W
  • Subjects collected and levels of collecting

    The Library seeks to maintain a research level, i.e., 4/4, collection in such subjects as Greek civilization, Roman civilizaton, Comparative literature (classical and modern), and the Greek and Roman influences on other cultures.

Subjects excluded

The Library has the collected works of the major nineteenth and twentieth century Greek authors in the original, but is not currently developing this segment of the collection. However, English translations of important literary works are acquired as they become available.

Cooperative arrangements

Strong Classics collections in the Middle Atlantic area to which Penn faculty members and students have access are Bryn Mawr (classical archaeology), Columbia, Princeton, and all collections of the Ivy Plus institutions. See more on the Penn Libraries' reciprocal borrowing agreements, especially the libraries' agreements with BorrowDirect Plus and Tri-Colleges.

Related subject collections