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Department of Classical Studies Records

Call Number: UA145

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records pertaining to the Department of Classical Studies at Tufts University including the course listings for Spring 2000, a portrait of professor Alpheus Augusts Keen, and both glass plate and 35 mm slides used in classes.


  • 1857 -- 2000


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Slides were transferred by the Department of Classical Studies in May 2022, UA-2022-060.


This collection is organized into two series: Department of Classics, Subject files and Photographs and slides.


26.14 Linear Feet (57 boxes)


This collection contains the records of the Department of Classical Studies and includes subject files, photographs, and slides.

Biographical / Historical

In 1939, the Department of Greek and the Department of Latin united to form the Department of Classics. Its mission was to "discover the intrinsic worth of the culture of classic antiquity and to appreciate its pervasive relation to our own way of life." Undergraduates could pursue majors in Greek or Latin, and graduate students could undertake a Master of Arts in Classics.

The department offered rosters of courses in Greek and Latin that covered aspects of ancient Greek and Roman history, literature, and philosophy as well as language comprehension. There was also a Classical Studies track for which no knowledge of Greek or Latin was required. Its roster included courses in Greek and/or Roman literature, art, drama, pedagogy, and mythology. Prior to the creation of the Department of Classics, these topics had been taught under the headings of Classical Archaeology (1899-1911), Classical History and Archaeology (1911-1920), Classical Civilization (1920-1928), and as offerings of the Department of History (starting in 1932). The Greek and Latin professors continued to teach Greek and Roman history for the Department of History until 1952.

The curriculum of the Department of Classics remained fairly constant in the ensuing decades. Classics was one of six disciplines included in the doctoral program of Humanistic Studies, which was offered from 1959-1972. From 1961-1967, the department offered a study-abroad program based near Naples, Italy, in which students could do field work in classical archaeology and take courses in the history and literature of Greece and Rome.

By the 1970s, the description of Classics in the course catalogue had expanded to argue that "Classics is more than the study of the Greek and Latin languages; it can liberate the student from the parochialisms of both time and place." Classical Studies was touted as a liberal arts major, and a course on Women in Antiquity was added, perhaps reflecting an effort to be relevant to contemporary social concerns. In the 1990s, the catalogue description stressed that "the field of Classics is constantly changing in light of new discoveries, new methodologies, new interpretations and new relationships with other areas of study."

The most dramatic development within the Classics curriculum is the emergence of archaeology as a popular field of study. Courses about archaeology had been offered as far back as the 1890s. An undergraduate major in Classics and Archaeology was made available during the 1970s, and a Master of Arts in Classical Archaeology was established in 1981. However, the field came into its own when Archaeology gained the stature of interdisciplinary major (under the aegis of the Department of Classics) in 1984. The major incorporates courses from the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. The program is affiliated with summer field schools in Italy and France, and with Boston-area institutions including M.I.T.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Processing Information

Slides were processed by archives assistants Cat Rosch and Qing Qing Pan under the supervision of Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt in Summer 2022. Glass slides had been previously rehoused by the Department of Classical Studies, following the original physical arrangement. 35mm slides were rehoused by Cat Rosch, following the original physical arrangement, and original slide drawer titles were retained in the title of the new boxes. From original slide drawers, physical arrangment and original titles were retained in the new box dividers. An inventory list was created at the time of processing and series and collection level information was updated.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States