The American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Research Facilities

Thanks to its superb libraries (the Blegen, dedicated to classical studies, and the Gennadeion, concentrating on post-antique Greece) the School attracts an international array of scholars who consider these combined libraries one of the world’s great resources for the study of Hellenism. The Blegen and Gennadius Libraries serve as important research tools for members of the American School, both students and academic professionals, members of the other foreign schools in Athens, staff of the Greek Archaeological Service, and the academic and scholarly community of Greece in general.  Substantial investment has recently been made in digitizing information resources at the two libraries. In addition, they recently established an electronic union catalogue, AMBROSIA, with the the library of the British School at Athens.

The Archives of the School consist of the collections from both Libraries.  In the Gennadius Library, the collection contains that of its founder, Joannes Gennadius; the papers of Heinrich Schliemann, the excavator of Troy and Mycenae; many collections that contribute to an understanding of political developments from the 18th to the 20th century in Greece and the Balkans; and the papers of important Greek literary figures.

The archives in the Blegen Library comprise records related to the mission of the School, excavation records from American archaeological projects in Greece, and personal papers of American archaeologists and architects working in Greece. There are also extensive holdings of photographs of Greece during the early years of the American School.  These include a rare collection of glass plates that document various ASCSA archaeological expeditions around Greece between 1880 and 1940 and record many monuments, objects, and topographical features no longer visible today. 

The American School sponsors archaeological excavations at two of the most important sites of the Classical world.  Since 1896 the School has been digging at Ancient Corinth, a large urban center in the northern Peloponnese with a long and illustrious history.  A museum is on-site and the School maintains a research center in Corinth for the benefit of scholars. Exceptional academic resources make the Corinth Excavations a hub for archaeologists, natural scientists, and geologists who work in the broader region, while local offices of the Greek Archaeological Service also benefit directly from these facilities.

The excavations in the Athenian Agora encompass the center of civic activity in ancient Athens. In addition to the archaeological park, the site includes the Stoa of Attalos which houses the museum for the site. All material excavated from the site is stored in the Stoa, together with the complete archaeological record: day-by-day notes of the excavators, conservation procedures, photographs, and plans and drawings. This makes the Agora a unique resource in Mediterranean archaeology, in that every object and its complete archaeological record are housed together and can be studied side-by-side.

The Wiener Laboratory of the School has gained recognition as a promising leading research facility supporting American and Greek scholars applying a wide variety of analytical techniques drawn from the natural, physical, and biological sciences to archaeology and history. Through fellowships, associate memberships, consultations, lectures, seminars and workshops, the Lab plays an integral role in encouraging scientific work and in enlarging the base of scholarship and scope of research in Greek archaeology. The Wiener Laboratory houses a growing scientific library that supports the research of Lab Fellows as well as that of other scholars and excavators.