General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.

Purpose of the Collection

The primary intent of the collection is to support the UCSB Department of Classics, with emphasis on collecting and providing access to scholarly information resources that enhance research strengths among the faculty, graduate emphases in the MA and PhD programs, and undergraduate curricular offerings.

Academic Department/Program Description

Research areas of strength in the Classics Department include textual criticism, Indo-European linguistics, mythology, religion, gender studies, “time” and “memory,” ancient and modern historiography, performance studies, and ancient pottery analysis. In addition, there are three major interdisciplinary clusters of research interest among the faculty: ancient drama and performance, ancient history and theory, and cultural studies. Undergraduate majors may choose one of three emphases: Greek and Latin literature, Greek and Roman culture, and archaeology. The department offers the MA and PhD with optional emphases in literature and theory, and ancient history. Based on lively interdisciplinary strengths in Greek and Roman history, society, and culture, faculty and students in the department enjoy strong relationships with other departments and programs, especially Comparative Literature, History, History of Art and Architecture, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Subject Parameters

Collecting activity emphasizes major editions of the works of ancient authors, and scholarly works on Greek and Roman literature, history, society, and culture.



The collection prioritizes editions of the works of ancient authors taught in the curriculum and emphasized in faculty research, as well as translations and commentaries on those works. As budget allows, all new major editions are collected, as well as major translations and commentaries in English from the principal publishers. General subject areas emphasized include Greek and Latin poetry and drama, Greek archaeology, Greek and Roman history and culture, Roman oratory and performance, gender studies, mythology, and religion.

Geographical Coverage

Emphasis is on Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek and Roman culture.


Editions in Greek and Latin are central. Major English translations and commentaries on the priority authors are collected; translations, commentaries, and scholarly studies in other Western European languages are collected selectively.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

The collection covers over a thousand years of ancient Mediterranean Greco-Roman history and culture, from the archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greek periods to early, republican, and imperial Rome through late antiquity.

Publication Dates

Priority is given to current publications.

Types of Materials Collected

Major collecting emphasis is on relevant publications of university presses, learned societies, and other specialized academic presses. Published dissertations on major research interests in the department are collected selectively, with emphasis on those from major centers of classical studies such as Oxford and Cambridge. Festschrifts, proceedings, and other edited collections are collected selectively. Collections of previously published texts are generally excluded. Archaeological survey and site reports in areas of faculty specialty are collected as budget allows.


Print and electronic formats are collected, with increasing emphasis on the latter for

books that are scholarly studies, edited collections, and reference works. Electronic with perpetual archival access is the default format for journals. Print continues to be emphasized for editions of ancient authors.

Systemwide and Other Resources

The UCSB Library participates with other UC campuses in funding journals, databases, ebooks, and other resources that are licensed and managed by UC’s California Digital Library (CDL) on behalf of the campuses. These collectively licensed and funded resources greatly extend the support that the library can provide for UCSB departments and programs, including Classics. Examples of CDL resources in which UCSB participates that support the department include L’Année philologique, Loeb Classical Library Online, JSTOR, Brill’s New Pauly, Brill’s New Jacoby, Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, and many core journals in Classics.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Richard Caldwell
Policy Last Updated: August 2017