UC Berkeley Library

Update: Moffitt Library is closed for seismic work, but most other libraries are open. Learn more.

Using the Library during COVID-19

Most of UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

The Classics Collection

Content section: 

Scope of Collection

The collection was selected to support teaching and research by faculty in the department of Classics (including the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri), the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, and the Departments of History, History of Art, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Rhetoric, and the Program in Medieval Studies.

The collection covers all aspects of ancient Greco-Roman civilization and many aspects of its legacy cultures: Latin civilization prior to the emergence of vernacular cultures in Western Europe; Hellenic civilization from the Byzantine period to the present; early Christianity; and the involvement of Greeks and Romans with bordering cultures. The collection includes Greek and Latin as related to Classical Antiquity.

The core collections include text and commentaries, corpora, site reports, journals, and standard reference works.


Classical philology, ancient history, and the study of classical philosophy have a long history of eminence at Berkeley, and our holdings reflect the interest in those fields that flourished from the late 19th c. forwards. These collections are complemented by the Bancroft's important holdings of ancient documents and manuscripts on papyrus; the Main Library collection of late 19th -21st c. secondary literature on papyri is generally well developed.

Special Collections

The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri is the most important American archive of ancient documents and manuscripts from Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine Egypt, and the Main Library and Art History/Classics support Center research with related secondary material.

The Art History/Classics Library holds important collections of facsimiles of ancient and medieval manuscripts of classical texts.

The Main Library, Bancroft, and Hearst Museum hold the collection of Norman Neuerburg, documenting Roman architecture, urbanistics and the rediscovery of such sites as Herculaneum and Pompeii from the 18th century forward.

Primary Languages and Formats

Languages include the major modern Western European languages (primarily German, French, and Italizan), classical and modern Greek, and Latin.

Formats are dominated by print for editions of texts and secondary monographic literature; much Anglo-American journal literature is acquired both in print and digitally. We subscribe to all the major collections of classical texts and documents that are available electronically, and to the electronic bibliographic sources for the field. We acquire microfilm and facsimiles selectively for manuscript sources, and when possible acquire significant antiquarian titles.