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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Classics


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Karen Greever
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Classics Collection Development Policy


The Collection Development Policy of the Kenyon College Classics Department for the Kenyon College Library includes support primarily for the courses offered by the department and secondarily for the members' research. Our policy also includes our taking part in building a general Classics collection for the Consort libraries.

Majors in Classics may take one of four forms: Latin and Greek; Latin; Greek; Classical Civilization. Greek Literature, Greek History, Greek Archaeology, Latin Literature, Roman History, Roman Archaeology, and Classical Mythology survey courses are taught in addition to a full range of Greek and Latin language courses. Advanced courses in Greek and Latin study a variety of texts, and change each year. Sanskrit continues to be offered as an independent study.

The research of the current and emeritus members of the department includes work on fragmentary tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles; diffusion of Christianity in late antiquity, especially in Italy and Egypt; Latin epic poetry, ancient epistolography, and Roman social history, in particular the importance of spectacle in Roman society; old world archaeology, cult practice and its relation to social status, numismatics; epic poetry and the literature of the early Roman Empire; Greek lyric poetry, the Greek novel, and Neoplatonism; and Plutarch and the Cappadocian Fathers Our research interests are subject to change, as the personnel of the department and our own particular interests change. In addition to the offerings of the Classics department, Professor Eugene Dwyer of the Art History department does research and teaching in ancient art and archaeology.

The Department is actively involved in building the collection. All members routinely submit orders, and they consult with the librarian who is department liaison (currently Karen Greever) as necessary. We do not in principle object to the library staff's acquiring materials in Classics, so long as this does not mean that we have little annual budget to spend.


Texts by classical authors are collected both in the original language and in translation. We also collect criticism, history and related works. A number of Kenyon departments collect in areas that overlap with ours, including Philosophy, Political Science, Drama, History, Religion, Art History, Women's and Gender Studies and the Integrated Program in Humane Studies.


The collection consists primarily of monographs and serials. Texts in the original language, translations, criticism, archaeology, and history are all important areas of collection. We try to acquire scholarly editions and commentaries of major authors and works. We also try to acquire major reference works, subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, and grammars.

Older Latin and Greek texts have enormous historical and practical value, as do grammars and language textbooks. Items appropriate for deselection are typically older editions, like Starr's on Ancient History, or Morford and Lenardon's on Classical Mythology. In general, the department wants to know the library's plans in detail prior to deaccessioning materials. It is helpful if the Department can be notified if a Greek or Latin text edition is lost, and this is true of other materials in Classics.

The Parnassus Study Room (Olin 317) contains a small collection of Classics materials, primarily second copies of materials in the circulating collection. Materials are added to this collection by gift rather than purchase.


In addition to printed books, which form the bulk of the Classics collection, we collect some videos and CD-Roms and electronic databases. New and emerging formats will be evaluated and included on an ongoing basis. Maintaining journal subscriptions both at Kenyon and in the Consort collection is important to the Classics department.


We collect texts in Latin and Greek and to a lesser extent Sanskrit, regardless of the language of the edition. We regularly collect texts edited in French, Italian, and German as well as English. Other than text editions, the bulk of our monograph collection is in English, but we find it necessary sometimes to collect monographs in other languages, particularly French, Italian, and German, sometimes as they relate to our research but sometimes because the text is important and only available in a language other than English.


We collect texts and monographs pertinent to the ancient Mediterranean world, including ancient Europe (primarily Greece and Italy), the Near East and North Africa.


The field of Classics deals with the history and culture of the ancient Mediterranean from approximately 2000 BCE through the fifth century of the Common Era. Our collection of Greek texts, however, covers the entire history of the Greek language to the present, and its literature. We also collect some later Latin texts. Some items in classical scholarship might deal with classical themes in the contemporary world.


Kenyon Special Collections has some manuscript facsimiles, a few 17th and 18th century editions of classical texts as well as a few 16th-18th century works on classical subjects.


Through Consort we have access to the collections of Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, and the College of Wooster. Through OhioLINK, we have access to the collections of all colleges and universities in Ohio; the classical collections of Ohio State University and of the University of Cincinnati are particularly important to us. Artstor is a collection of digital images, including many relating to classical antiquity. The OhioLINK Digital Media Center contains a collection of digitized squeezes of Latin and Greek inscriptions.


This policy was first created on October 2, 1999 by Professor Robert Bennett, in collaboration first with Karen Greever and William McCulloh in the summer of 1999 and then with the other members of the department: Clifford Weber, Michael Barich, and Carolin Hahnemann. The January 13, 2000 draft is a revision based on their input. The policy was revised  again in January 2008 by Karen Greever in consultation with the department.



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