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Classical Antiquity

Special Collections holds materials related both to classical texts and archaeological antiquities.  Particular areas of strength include a large collection of documents related to ancient philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, the Neoplatonists, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, and works by ancient and medieval authors who have a significant place in the history of Western ideas more generally.  Special Collections also has around 100 editions of Ovid’s works, especially illustrated editions and editions from the 16th century, and a collection of archaeological antiquities, particularly 19th and early 20th century descriptions, often illustrated, of major Greek, Roman, and Egyptian archaeological sites. Included in this area are around 300 books and periodicals the Walter Miller Collection, donated by the Department of Classical Studies in 2017.

How to Use the Collection

With a few exceptions, the collections can be accessed and requested through the library catalog. Finding aids for individual collections are linked on this website. Materials are available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours. Materials do not circulate. 

Finding Aids for Classical Antiquity

Albert and Mary Louise Lord Collection.


Biographical Note Albert Bates Lord and Mary Louise Lord’s private libraries were donated by the Lord family to the University of Missouri Libraries…

Cuneiform Tablets.


Special Collections holds eight cuneiform tablets whose exact provenance is unknown. Six of the tablets date from the Ur III period (2100-2000 BCE),…



The Department of Rare Books and Special collections maintains a small collection of incunabula (European books printed before 1501) and early printed…

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.


Special Collections maintains a small collection of European manuscripts intended to demonstrate the physical characteristics of the manuscript books,…

Pages from the Past Collection

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Pages from the Past is a collection of original manuscript and rare book leaves compiled and sold by a New York book dealer Alfred W. Stites from 1964…

Rare Books


The Rare Books Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

Thomas Moore Johnson Collection of Philosophy.

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Biographical Sketch Thomas Moore Johnson (1851-1919) was an attorney, collector, and student of philosophy in Osceola, Missouri. Though his formal…

Walter Miller Library.

Biographical Sketch Walter Miller (1864-1949) was a classicist and archaeologistresponsible for the first American excavation in Greece. He received…

Related Exhibits

Life and Letters in the Ancient Mediterranean


This exhibit brings together the strangeness and familiarity of the ancient past, concentrating in particular on the literary and intellectual...

Science of Love


This exhibit presents the many faces of love as they appear in the literature of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and...

Selected Items

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