UBC Library users now have access to the digital Loeb Classical Library to browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content across more than 520 volumes of Latin, Greek, and English texts.

Founded in 1911 by American philanthropist James Loeb, the famous library and its mission was a revolution when it was first published, making Classical Greek and Latin Literature accessible to the broadest range of readers by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page.

“This Library was really the first to make the classics accessible to everybody,” says Keith Bunnell, Reference and Collections Librarian, Humanities & Social Sciences Division, “Loeb was deeply interested in making the classical world accessible to more than the specialist.”  

In print, the Loeb Classical Library was known for its distinctive trim red (Latin) and green (Greek) volumes.

The digital Loeb Library extends this mission into the twenty-first century by enabling readers to search across the full Loeb corpus in English, Latin and Greek, browse by subject, period form, genre, toggle between single and dual language reading modes, bookmark, organize and annotate content in personal digital workspaces and share notes, reading lists with classmates and colleagues. 

Perhaps most exciting is the digital library’s implications for teaching and learning.  “The interface enables instructors to bookmark a range of passages from a variety of texts for students for specific lectures,” says Dr. Leanne Bablitz, Head of UBC’s Department of classical, near eastern and religious studies, “Through such links the students are drawn into the ancient texts more easily and deeply which greatly enhances their learning experience.” 

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