Classics > Research > Research Centres/Archives > Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD)

Screenshot of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documnets website
Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

The Faculty of Classics established the Centre in 1995 to provide a focus for the study of ancient documents in Oxford. It has since developed into a research centre of national and international importance. It houses the Faculty's epigraphical archive, which comprises one of the three largest collections of squeezes or paper impressions of Greek inscriptions in the world. It also contains invaluable transcriptions and drawings of Roman inscriptions from Britain, a large amount of important unpublished material from Asia Minor and an extensive photographic collection.

The CSAD has initiated a number of important projects, several of which have pioneered new applications of Information Technology. For example, the Centre has been putting images from its collections online to facilitate consultation, including those of: Latin writing tablets excavated at the Roman fort of Vindolanda; the notebooks, photographs and squeezes from Sir Christopher Cox's Phrygian expeditions of 1925 and 1926; sources for early Greek writing from the Lilian Jeffery Archive; and inscriptions from the Ashmolean Museum.

CSAD has also collaborated with medical imaging specialists in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford to develop a new computer-based image-enhancement technique for incised Roman writing-tablets of wood or lead, which helps palaeographers and historians to read and to interpret texts which were previously considered illegible.

Further details

Director: Professor Alan Bowman

Assistant Director: Dr. Charles Crowther