Sawyer Library has an extensive collection of texts, scholarly works, and journals for the study of ancient literature, history, philosophy, art, archaeology, political science, law, and more. Sawyer’s Website also provides many helpful online guides (e.g. to research and citation practices). Librarians are always eager to help you, including Walter Komorowski, the library’s liason with Classics, and Lori DuBois, the library’s Instruction Coordinator.
Note that some books, especially on subjects like ancient medicine, science, mathematics, and botany but also sometimes in areas like psychology and ethics, are located in Schow Library; all of these are included in Sawyer’s online catalogue, Francis.
When using Francis, in addition to making author, title and subject searches, try browsing by call number. The following Library of Congress call numbers mark the beginning of their sections: P1 (Greek and Roman language, linguistics, and journals); PA1 (Greek and Latin literature); DF1 (Greek history); DG1 (Roman history); B165 (Greek and Roman philosophy); JC51 (ancient political history and theory); HQ1127 (women in the ancient world); N5610 (Greek and Roman art, architecture and archaeology).
The Chapin Libary
The Chapin Library is rightly proud of its holdings in Greek and Latin classics, including Stephanus’ edition of Plato’s works (Geneva, 1578) and such fine productions of the Aldine press as the Aristotle Opera (Venice, 1495-98); the first printed editions of Aesop, Aristophanes, and Homer, inter alia; over 525 incunabula, among them the first printed editions of many classical authors and the Aldine pocket-sized Vergil of 1501, the first book set throughout in italic type; the first classical texts printed in England (Aristotle, Ethica ad Nicomachum, Oxford, 1479) and in the “New World” (Dialectica resolutio cum textu Aristotelis, Mexico City, 1554); and the earliest extant text printed in Italy and the earliest classical text printed anywhere (Cicero, De Oratore, Subiaco, Italy, before 30 September 1465). The Chapin also has ancient Greek fragments on papyri from Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, fine 15th-century humanistic manuscripts of Ovid and Vergil, and many more Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and books in Latin and Greek, including a copy of the Gospels in Latin prepared in Tours, France (ca. 800) and a Greek New Testament, Codex Theodori (ca. 1295).
Because the Chapin is temporarily quartered at the Southworth Schoolhouse while the new Sawyer Library is under construction, until fall 2014 access to the Chapin’s collection will be reduced but will by no means be cut off, and many of the holdings just cited can be viewed during normal working hours. Robert Volz, Custodian of the Chapin Library, and Wayne Hammond, Assistant Chapin Librarian, are always eager to accommodate students, and no one should hesitate to contact them.
Most of the Chapin Library collection (excepting manuscripts) is catalogued in Francis, which also indicates which holdings in the collection remain available at the temporary Southworth Schoolhouse location.
Williams College Museum of Art
The Williams College Museum of Art has a varied and interesting collection of classical artwork on permanent display, in its rotating collection, and in permanent but accessible storage, and all of its holdings are available for study and teaching. For further information, read about Teaching with Art, or contact Professors Benjamin Rubin, Guy Hedreen, or Elizabeth McGowan.
Classics Department Collections
The Classics Department has an extensive collection of Roman coins spanning the 4th century BCE through the Byzantine era, some of which can be viewed here. The coin collection, which is securely stored in Sawyer Library, is currently being catalogued and photographed with the goal of publishing an illustrated catalog on the Web. Thus far, 340 coins have been photographed and the catalog is being converted to web-friendly form, so we are moving ever closer to publishing the collection.
The Department also holds a number of objects from daily life in Greece and Italy, including vases and bowls, lamps, loom weights, a strigil, chains and keys. Some of these will soon be displayed in the Faculty Lounge in Hollander Hall, and some of them can be viewed here.