History of the Blegen Library

History of the library

Blegen Library is a major research library, which supports the academic programs and the membership of the American School of Classical studies at Athens and at the same time, it functions as a research venue for scholars, students and archaeologists.

Important dates in library’s history:

1888: Foundation of the library. American researchers visiting Greece at the time were consulting books in a single reading room!

1903: Development of a local classification system to serve patrons’ needs by T. W. Heermance (Director of ASCSA).

1959: Construction of the “Davis wing” with two levels funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

1973: The School Library, in 1973 was named "The Blegen Library" in memory of Carl and Elizabeth Blegen.

1982: Renovations in the Main building resulted in the expansion of stack, reading and library office space. A reception area, including a security check, was established while visiting hours were expanded offering the possibility to a larger audience to use library's holdings. 

1991: Construction of a four-level wing (still called “New Extension”) partially funded by the United States Agency for International Development, which doubled library’s space.

2017-2019: Reclassification of the collection to the Library of Congress system, implementation of RFID technology for books’ check-out, remodeling of -1 level (ex Archives) in order to increase stacks’ and seating space.

Blegen's reading room in 1902

Reference Area (1982-1987)

Davis Wing (built in the '60s)