The Duke University Libraries are committed to providing exceptional collections and research support for Classical Studies and related disciplines. From ancient textual artifacts to modern interpretations and digitized objects, whether print or online, the collection is both deep in the traditional literature, as well as wide ranging in related fields. Topics include Mediterranean archaeology; Greek and Latin philosophy, literature, drama and poetry; politics, government and culture; numismatics; and vase painting are diligently collected to support Duke researchers. Beyond classics, scholars at Duke in theology, philosophy, law, medicine, art history, music and anthropology are invested in Classical Studies’ materials and their ongoing acquisition.
In addition to the more than one hundred Greek manuscripts and papyri, and more than two-hundred Latin manuscripts, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library hosts a reference collection of Latin paleography and Greek papyri known as the Michael Rostovtzeff and C. Bradford Welles Collection. Because this collection is so valuable to scholars, it is housed in a dedicated room in Rubenstein Library known as the Paleography and Papyrology Reference Room. On loan to Duke University Libraries since 1978, the American Society of Papyrologists made this a permanent donation in 2005.
The Duke Collaboratory of Classics Computing, hosted by Duke Libraries, focuses on critical issues around the long-term sustainability of digital projects in Classical Studies. The staff maintain and enhance the code stack for papyri.info, and have contributed to a variety of classics and information science projects and communities, e.g., Pleiades, the Digital Latin Library and the Text Encoding Initiative.
Perhaps most challenging from a library perspective is how we can support research as Classical Studies engages in an entirely new landscape in a cross-disciplinary environment: it can take a scholar to the discipline of engineering (reconstructing an ancient pan-flute) or to agriculture (ancient Greek wastewater management). The strength of our collection is in its deep and thorough collection of traditional sources, whether print or online, and the wide ranging excellence of collections in other disciplines, with a progressive view of how to prepare for research needs in the future.
Establish a restricted Collection Endowment ($300,000)
With a collection endowment for Classical Studies, broad in scope and format, the library will be able to acquire resources in keeping with its rich and comprehensive collections and long term strategy. A restricted endowment will fund collection growth to support the research and teaching mission of the University, while continuing to increase the recognition of Duke in Classical Studies research worldwide.