The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

About the Blegen Library

The Blegen Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens was founded in 1888 with a single reading room. An initial addition to the library was dedicated in 1915, and, in 1959, a new wing was added, funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation. A further extension, partially funded by the United States Agency for International Development, was completed in 1991, effectively doubling the space of the library.

The collection currently holds more than 110,000 volumes including nearly seven hundred periodical titles (current and defunct), forming a major research library on prehistoric and classical archaeology of the Mediterranean region, and classical languages, history, and culture. About two thousand readers of all nationalities use the library. The library is non-circulating, and all books must be consulted on the premises. See Access and Hours for information about using the Blegen Library.

Donation Policy

The Blegen Library welcomes gifts of books, journals, or offprints which may be appropriate for its collection as defined by the Acquisitions Policy.  Gifts are accepted with the understanding that the Library will make all decisions regarding their retention, location, cataloging, or any other consideration relating to their use.  A letter from the Library will be sent to acknowledge all gifts.  Gifts may be added to the collection, donated to another library, or sold with the proceeds to benefit the Blegen Library.

Classification system

Books in the Blegen Library are classified according to a system developed in 1903 by the director T. W. Heermance.  An investigation and analysis of the classification systems was published by former Head Librarian, Camilla MacKay in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, Vol. 36(2) 2003: Classification of a Classical Studies Library in Greece and the Changing Nature of Classical Scholarship in the Twentieth Century,  and is made accessible here with the kind permission of the author and publisher.

Acquisitions Policy

The Acquisitions Policy of the Blegen Library can be found here.

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