Special Collections

The Center maintains an excellent library of books on epigraphy and palaeography as well as an extensive collection of photographs and squeezes (accurate paper impressions) of Greek and Latin inscriptions and microfilms of Latin manuscripts. In addition to the Center's resources, the University Libraries contain a strong collection of scholarly materials for the study of the ancient and mediaeval world.

The Center's holdings have been enhanced by gifts from a number of private collections:

The Arthur and Joyce Gordon Collection of Latin photographs, squeezes and books has been with the Center from its foundation, thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Joyce Gordon and Professor Gordon's colleagues at Berkeley. This collection formed the basis for their many publications but it contains some unpublished items.

The Stephen V. Tracy Collection of Athenian squeezes and photographs has been with the Center on long-term loan since its inception. This collection, which forms the basis of the Center's holdings in Greek epigraphy, was created to support Tracy's groundbreaking work on identifying hands of Athenian inscribers of stone inscriptions.

The A.G. Woodhead Collection resulted from Professor Woodhead's years as editor of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum. Many of the books and offprints in this collection were sent to him from scholars in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the Cold War years and are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the United States.

The J.K. Evans Collection of Latin photographs was donated to the Center in 1992 by Professor John K. Evans of the University of Minnesota. Professor Evans received special permission to take these photographs of inscriptions in the museums of northern Italy. A number of these inscriptions are still unpublished.

The J.M.R. Cormack Collection was given to the Center in 1995 by Mrs. Sybil Cormack. It contains all the papers, photographs and squeezes Professor Cormack made while working on the Macedonia volume of Inscriptiones Graecae, which was left uncompleted due to his sudden death in 1975. The collection also contains books and maps of Macedonia.

The Sterling Dow Collection of offprints was given to the Center by Professor Dow's estate in 1995 after his death at age 93 earlier that year. This is a vast collection of offprints touching on nearly every aspect of the ancient world. Included in the collection are invaluable notes and correspondence.

The Benjamin D. Meritt Collection of offprints was given to the Center by Professor Meritt's estate in 2004 after the death of his wife, Lucy Shoe Meritt. This large collection of offprints, many of which he has annotated, is largely, though not exclusively, concerned with Professor Meritt's own interest in Attic epigraphy and history. The collection also contains a number of photographs.

The J.G. Plante Collection of books, offprints, and papers was donated to the center by Dr. Julian Plante, former director of the Hill museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John's University in Minnesota. The highlight of this collection is the many unpublished catalogs of manuscripts in European Libraries.

The Grundy Steiner Collection of microfilms was given to the center by Professor Steiner's daughter in 2006. The microfilms are of Latin manuscripts, primarily of Ovid's works.

The Rolf O. Hubbe Collection of squeezes, photographs, and papers was donated to the center by Professor Hubbe, emeritus professor of the University of Maryland, in 2007. Much of the material relates to his work on the Athenian Asklepeion.

The Virginia Brown Collection of books, offprints, photographs, papers and notes on manuscripts and palaeography in general and on Beneventan script in particular was donated to the Center in 2009 by Professor Brown's estate, with the support of her husband, Professor James Hankins of Harvard University. Professor Brown was a Senior Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies for many years and her materials have made the Center one of the most important repositories for the study of Beneventan script.

The Donald R. Laing Collection of books, offprints, photographs and squeezes were donated to the Center shortly before his death in 2009. Professor Laing was an active member of the Classics department at Case Western Reserve University for more than 40 years and was a member of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens from 1964-1994. The Laing Collection reflects Professor Laing's interest in Athenian history and epigraphy, especially Athenian naval inscriptions.

The Henry S. Robinson Collection of offprints on Greek archaeology and pottery came to the Center with the Laing Collection in 2009 as a gift from Case Western Reserve University, where he was Harold North Fowler Professor of Classical Studies. Professor Robinson served as Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens from 1959 to 1969 and also directed the excavations at Corinth. The Robinson Collection concentrates on archaeology, especially ceramics and in material from Corinth.

The John M. Mansfield Collection of books, offprints, and papers was donated to the Center by his estate after his untimely death in 2011. Dr. Mansfield was co-director of the PHI inscriptions database project at Cornell, along with colleagues here at Ohio State. The collection primarily concentrates on Greek inscriptions, but it also reflects his interest in the history of the early Christian Church and Byzantine history.

The Avery-McDonald Collection of Attic squeezes was donated to the Center in 2017 through the generosity of Professor John F. Newell, of the Classics Department at the University of Pittsburgh, in honor of his colleague at the University of Pittsburgh, Professor Emeritus Harry C. Avery and his late wife, JoAnn McDonald Avery, daughter of William F. McDonald, a long-time professor of Ancient History at Ohio State. The squeezes were made in 1971-72 when Professor Avery was a visiting professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Most of the squeezes come from inscriptions in the Epigraphical Museum in Athens and were made by the museum's staff, which explains the high quality of the squeezes. Dr. Carrie L. Sulosky Weaver, visiting assistant professor at Pitt, helped to make this gift possible. 

The Center's collections are non-circulating. For more information about the Center's holdings, please contact the Curator, Wendy A. Watkins.

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