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Research and Archival Collections

The Mycenaean Epigraphy Room holds a unique collection of correspondence, books, offprints, scholia, photographs, squeezes, and other material of essential importance for research on Linear B and other Aegean and Cypriot Bronze Age scripts.

The Ventris-Chadwick archives contain the original letters written by Ventris and Chadwick, from the moment of their first being put in touch with each other by Sir John Myres, to just weeks before Ventris’s death. The letters are crucial for understanding the history of the decipherment, and contain a great wealth of information which is still of great value and has never been published. A selection of these letters can be viewed here. The files also contain letters from many of the major scholars of the world, plus numerous original drawings by Ventris, including the originals for Documents in Mycenaean Greek. In addition, the Chadwick collection contains material covering Chadwick’s entire academic career (a 50-year period), including extensive correspondence with academics around the world as well as teaching and research notes.

(Note: Much of Ventris’s personal correspondence and other material was given by his widow, Lois (Betty) Ventris, to the Institute of Classical Studies, home of the London Mycenaean Seminar. A catalogue of this material is available. Other Ventris material is held by the Program for Aegean Scripts and Prehistory, University of Texas at Austin; this correspondence is available online.)

The photographs were made in the 1950s and 1960s and were the first complete set ever assembled. The images are of excellent quality, and some preserve details no longer observable on the original tablets, so that the photographic collection now constitutes in some cases a primary record. The photographs of the Pylos tablets have recently been digitised, and it is hoped that this will soon be made available online.

The library books represent one of the most complete collections of relevant publications in the world. Many were the bequest of John Chadwick and were his own personal copies; his annotations in these are often of interest. Scholars at Cambridge also have access to the outstanding holdings of the library of the Faculty of Classics. 

The offprints collection is unique, since John Chadwick received contributions from virtually every scholar in the world writing on the subject for some five decades; it now comprises around 80 boxes of articles on Linear B and related subjects. (We encourage scholars to continue contributing in this way to the collection—offprints are still gratefully received.)

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New Discovery

Sep 20, 2016

Professor Jack Davis and Dr Sharon Stocker (Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati), ‘Sometimes All That Glitters Is Gold: The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior at Pylos’, 5 pm on Monday 10 October. To reserve your place please reply to pylos.lecture@classics.cam.ac.uk by Monday 3 October.

Temporary University Lectureships in Classics (Ancient History)

Aug 31, 2016

Applications are welcome for two temporary lectureships in Classics (Ancient History) from 01 January 2017. Please see the Jobs & Vacancies page for further information.

Vacancy - Research Associate (Archaeology)

Aug 30, 2016

Applications are sought for a Research Associate (Archaeology) from 01 November 2016. For more information and details on how to apply, please see the Jobs & Vacancies page.

Celebrating Cambridge Classics

Aug 19, 2016

Tim Whitmarsh, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, will deliver his Inaugural Lecture, “Oedipus the Atheist”, on Friday 14 October at 5pm in the Little Hall, Sidgwick Site. This begins a weekend of Classics celebrations including the Greek Play and a Symposium on Greek Drama at Newnham College.

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