Student Research: Ancient Roman Libraries

June 9, 2016

For her ancient studies capstone project, Sarah Lucas ’16 explored the society and culture surrounding ancient Roman libraries, as well as their development and evolution. She analyzed historical records and examined how ancient Rome mimicked, expanded, and stole Greek and Egyptian concepts of libraries, assimilating and reinterpreting them into something that became inherently Roman.

Lucas says the rapid creation and evolution of libraries within antiquity displays the Roman and inherently human inclination to quickly confront problems, implement solutions, and claim entities and information as their own. She believes this offers a hope for the transformation that modern libraries are currently undergoing, as they also encounter new issues of technology, censorship, and accessibility, much like their Roman predecessors. Lucas emphasizes that the human desire for the collection and storage of knowledge is extremely tenacious and will continue to survive.

Project Title: Ancient Roman Libraries: Culture, Access and Patronage at Play
Student: Sarah Lucas ’16
Mentor: Dr. Ellen Arnold

Read the full symposium abstract.