In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Research Resources for Classical Art and Archaeology

  • Introduction
  • General Resources
  • Bibliographies
  • Specialized Databases and Sources
  • Libraries
  • Objects
  • Photographs
  • Software and Fonts
  • Texts
  • Classic Scholarly Works
  • Blogs
  • Miscellaneous

Classics Research Resources for Classical Art and Archaeology
Jocelyn Penny Small
  • LAST REVIEWED: 26 June 2012
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 June 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0092


This bibliography provides a first stop to finding more information about many topics in classical art and archaeology. Since its scope is so large, it has no pretensions to being authoritative for the field. Instead, it aims to show the kinds of material available and emphasizes usefulness. It differs from standard Oxford Bibliographies articles by stressing online resources and in providing suggestions for how to find further information, such as shortcuts to searching databases or finding out-of-print books. An additional bias is the focus on Italy, the area that the author of this article is most familiar with. The examples in this bibliography are similar to what is available for most classical areas, all of which will eventually be covered in separate articles in Oxford Bibliographies. Because the classical archaeologist must deal with classical texts, history, archaeological techniques, etc., some entries into these fields are also given. Unless otherwise noted, online sites are free to access. Some of the sources and advice may seem simple and obvious but may not be to all. Additionally, many of the choices in this entry are highly selective and highly idiosyncratic. They are meant more as examples than as the sole, best works on a particular subject. When conducting online searches, researchers should generally be advised to search for the single most specific item (e.g., if you know the museum inventory number for an object, use that). Looking for “Etruscan” is not nearly as useful as looking for the Tragliatella oinochoe, an Etruscan Protocorinthian vase. Do not overload the search with too many terms. Google and Bing searches try to give what they think is the best result first. Nonetheless, it is often necessary to scan multiple pages, because the most popular result is not necessarily the most useful for scholarly purposes. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is the “universal” system used to refer uniquely to a published item. In some cases, the DOI links are included in online sources to enable you to go directly to the publication, if your library subscribes or owns that digital publication. You must be logged into your library account for it to work. Conversely, you can paste the DOI into the library’s DOI search page and go directly to the article, if your library subscribes to that journal. Keep in mind the importance of exact spelling and punctuation. For example, two websites have the name “Mysterious Etruscans,” but one of them separates the two words with a period. Neither site is recommended (a clue is the use of “mysterious,” which indicates a less than scholarly approach, since no scholar considers the Etruscans “mysterious”). For any book out of copyright, always do a search to see if it has been digitized. A surprising number of books in a variety of languages are available online for free. This bibliography will note some of the more useful in the appropriate sections.

General Resources

This section includes “works” and websites that cover most areas of Classical Antiquity and that are often the first stop for scholars. The best one-volume English dictionary is the OCD (Goldberg 2016). More complete is the multivolume Brill’s New Pauly (Cancik, et al. 2006), which, nonetheless, does not replace the original German RE (Pauly, et al. 1894–1980). Kirke and the Digital Classicist are portals to a wide variety of classical projects. Witcombe’s Art History Resources website provides the handiest entry into art history.

  • Cancik, Hubert, Helmuth Schneider, Manfred Landfester, and Christine F. Salazar, eds. 2006. Brill’s new Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the ancient world. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

    This is a sometimes rough English translation of the German edition (2003) but, nonetheless, covers most topics, again with bibliography. Available for purchase as an online database.

  • Digital Classicist.

    Website hosted by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London. Lists many classical projects, tools (such as Greek fonts), general resources, and guides to “practice.”

  • Goldberg, Sander, ed. 2016. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Digital ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    A readable, up-to-date dictionary with bibliography and some surprising gaps.

  • Kirke.

    German portal to blogs, listservs, and other resources.

  • Pauly, August, Georg Wissowa, Wilhelm Kroll, Kurt Witte, Karl Mittelhaus, and Konrat Ziegler, eds. 1894–1980. Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft: Neue Bearbeitung. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

    The grandfather of them all. RE includes virtually every known figure, real and mythological, as well as virtually every ancient site, and much more.

  • Witcombe, Christopher L. C. E. Art History Resources.

    The best portal for websites for all of art history. Regularly updated.

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