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Classics and Ancient History: Home

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers studying Classics and Ancient History at the University of Oxford, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about books and online resources for Classics and Ancient History, including ebooks, ejournals, bibliographic databases.

Finding books

The study of Classics and Ancient History in Oxford University is supported by two major research libraries - the Bodleian Library and the Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library. Anyone studying or researching classical subjects in Oxford should expect to make use of both libraries. In addition to the physical resources, printed books, papyri and manuscripts that we hold in Oxford, we also have access to a large number of online databases, ebooks and electronic journals to support research and teaching in Classics and Ancient History. 

The Bodleian Library is home to one of the world's greatest collections of classical scholarship. In the Bodleian Library, the open shelf provision for classics is situated in an area of the Lower Reading Room. The aim of today's open shelf collection is to complement and facilitate research and teaching in classics, specifically in the areas of Greek and Latin literature and language.

The Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library is home to the main research collections in Ancient History, Classical Archaeology, Numismatics and Papyrology (as well as other non-classical subjects), and there is a good collection of texts and commentaries of ancient authors and monographs on classical literature and languages in the library also. The Art, Archaeology and Ancient World is home to the Classics Lending Library (a short-term lending library, aimed at undergraduates).

The majority of books in the Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library are on open shelves. Many of the books and periodicals in the collection may be borrowed, although major reference works and most editions of classical authors are confined to the library.

Researchers benefit hugely from having access to the Bodleian Library's Legal Deposit collections, as they have access to material not widely available. Read more about Legal Deposit and electronic Legal Deposit.

Key journals

The majority of journals held by the Bodleian Libraries in both physical and electronic formats can be searched for via SOLO or eJournals A-Z

Key databases

Oxford subscribes to many databases. They can be used to locate journal articles, conference proceedings, books, patents, images, data and more.

Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library Sub-Collections

Special Collections

The Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library holds a number of different special collections including the Wind Collection, Haskell Collection, Rare Book Room, Library of Oxford Architectural and Historical Society and Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Archives.

Key libraries

Key Bodleian Libraries for Classics and Ancient History 

Reading lists for Classics