UCL home page



UCL Library Services


Magnifying glass image
Explore the Library’s books, journals and online resources. Find out more


Subject guides: Classics

Classics section

Printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about:

Visit the blog Ancient world studies/Archaeology to keep up to date with news from the Library.

Click here for WISE, a series of web-based information skills courses.

Printed collections

The principal collections for Greek, Latin and Papyrology are in three reading rooms adjoining the North Corridor of the Main Library (in the Wilkins building). Other collections which may be relevant include Ancient History, Jewish Studies, Comparative Philology, Roman Law (part of the Law collection), Linguistics and Philosophy which are all housed in the Main Library. The Classical Archaeology and Egyptology collections are located in the Institute of Archaeology Library, 31-34 Gordon Square (5th floor).

See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Book collections
The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves: a typical classmark for a book on the “open” shelves will consist of the name of a subject (indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section. The CLASSICS prefix indicates books on Classical studies generally as well as Greek and Latin language and literature, separating into two sequences for the latter subjects. It allows for an alphabetical order on the shelves by ancient author, with editions followed by literary and textual criticism, biography, etc. For example:

CLASSICS C 24 HER for a work on themes in Greek and Latin poetry
CLASSICS GN 11 WIL for a book on Homer’s Iliad
CLASSICS LV 20 for a translation of Virgil’s Aeneid

The collection includes the following series of Greek and Latin texts:

Scriptorum classicorum bibliotheca Oxoniensis (the “Oxford Classical Texts” or “OCT”) (CLASSICS GD 25 & LD 25).

The Loeb Classical Library (the original text with a parallel English translation) (CLASSICS GD 30 & LD 30)

These series and those the Library holds in the Bude and Teubner series are shelved en bloc. The Library also holds several copies of: Liddell & Scott’s Greek Lexicon (CLASSICS QUARTOS GB 2 LID) and Lewis & Short’s Latin Dictionary (CLASSICS LB 2 LEW).

The Library also holds complete sets of Patrologiae cursus completus, Series Graeca & Latina and the Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina & continuatio mediaevalis.

The Papyrology collection is indicated by the prefix PAPYROLOGY. The collection is especially strong in texts, studies and series relating to the decipherment of ancient papyri, e.g.: The Oxyrhynchus papyri (PAPYROLOGY PA 340 OXY). The classification scheme allows for an alphabetical sequence of editions of papyrological texts. There is also an important collection of Egyptian papyrological texts in the Egyptology section of the Institute of Archaeology Library. The Main Library also holds a Palaeography collection.

This section in the Main Library also houses those journals with the prefixes CLASSICS Pers & PAPYROLOGY Pers, with a display unit for the most recent parts. Included in the collection is: L’Année Philologique, a critical and analytical bibliography published annually, giving details of all publications on any aspect of Classical studies and an indispensable reference work. It also contains a useful list of abbreviations applied to journals in this field. Journals are normally available for overnight loan (from 4.00pm). For electronic journals, see below.

Top of the pageTop of page

Electronic collections

Electronic sources

Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL: you will usually need your UCL userid/password from Information Systems in order to gain access to them. For the full list of electronic databases presently available please consult: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database/.

Databases on the UCL Network of particular interest to those studying the Ancient world include Database of Classical Bibliography (based on L’Année Philologique. It is not complete yet it offers references ‘to all known scholarly work published in any language anywhere in the world’) and Arts & Humanities Citation Index covers many of the journals in the field of classical studies.

Electronic journals

A range of electronic versions of journal titles is available. Start from the list on the Library's web pages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/ejournal/ where you will find details of access arrangements for each title.

Exam papers

Copies of UCLe examination papers for undergraduate courses (from 1997 onwards) are available on the web at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/exam.shtml. Printed copies of the Undergraduate and postgraduate exam papers for the last 6 years are shelved in the South Corridor of the Main Library.


Top of the pageTop of page

Other libraries

The Institute of Classical Studies Library/Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies has one of the finest collections in Classics in the country. Postgraduate members of UCL can apply for a reference ticket, or members (annual subscription payable) of the Societies have borrowing privileges.

For more information about the collections of other libraries please see www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml which includes a link to http://www.m25lib.ac.uk/ and which offers a subject based-search of other libraries' collections in the London area.

Top of the pageTop of page

Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or ask for the subject librarian for Classics:

Jes Cooban (Wednesdays only)
E-mail: j.cooban@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 54062; external: 020 3108 4062

Top of the pageTop of page

Last modified 7 October 2009

University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999-