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A Guide to Classics Resources

A research guide to resources for the study of classical philology and ancient history at Washington University Libraries and on the Web.

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Classics

Collection: General

Date revised:  February 2014

Subject Librarian: Deborah Katz


1. General purpose:
The primary purpose of the collection is to support the teaching and research of the Department of Classics faculty and M.A. students, as well as undergraduate philosophy majors and minors. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of classics, the collection is of interest to those individuals also working in philosophy, religion, Jewish studies, art history, performing arts and history of science, technology & medicine.


2. Subjects excluded:

Classics depends on the Art & Architecture librarians to collect Greco-Roman Archeology, Architecture, and Art. The Performing Arts librarian also purchases works related to Greek drama and music.


3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

There is subject overlap with:

  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Judaism
  • Early Christianity
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • History.


4. Languages included and excluded:

  • Essential languages for the reading of primary texts are ancient Greek and Latin.
  • Modern European languages, in particular, German, French, and Italian – are important in the secondary literature.


5. Geographical limitations:

The core regions of the Greco-Roman world are Greece, Cyprus, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and areas now called Tunisia and Libya. The periphery regions are also of interest and they include but are not limited to the British Isles, German lands, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Persian Gulf.


6. Chronological limits:

1250 BCE - 1476CE



7. Retrospective acquisition:

Upon the arrival of new chair, Tim Moore, in 2010 the dean of Arts and Sciences and the University Librarian funded the purchase of a significant number of single monographs, monographic series, and reference works to fill large gaps in the collection.


8. Types of material collected and excluded:

  • Primary types of materials collected:
    • Books
    • Journals
  • Other types of materials collected:
    • Databases
    • Digitized Collections
    • Catalogs for Coins
    • Films upon request


9. Other factors to consider:

  • The Classics lacks an endowed to supplement its budget.
  • Some of the emerging trends in Classics include the status of women, new perspectives on slavery, domestic culture/everyday life, and renewed interest in numismatics and epigraphy.


10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

  • Inscriptions/Epigraphy
  • ​Numismatics
  • Ancient History,
  • Mediterranean Region – Greco Roman World
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Italy – 476
  • Classical Languages and Literatures
  • Myth
  • Ancient Calendar
  • Church Fathers
  • Textbooks – upon request Greek and Latin language instruction

Collecting level is Research and Undergraduate (Choice Reviews categories)