The Libraries’ Fall Exhibit, From Papyrus to Digital: UCI’s Thesaurus of Ancient Greek Texts, will open on November 9 in the Langson Library. The exhibit will trace the transmission of the Greek text, from papyrus to the Web, as documented by UCI’s distinguished research center, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG).
Greek inscription on stone
Founded in 1972, the TLG is one of the very first significant humanities projects in the world, and has collected and digitized most literary texts written in Greek from Homer to the fall of Byzantium in AD 1453. Its goal is to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era.
The exhibit will examine the different media – from fragile papyri and stone inscriptions to codex manuscripts and printed books – that have been used to protect important texts from deterioration or devastation, and preserved them over a period of 3000 years. It will also focus on the evolution of digital media and explain how the TLG undertook the monumental task of creating a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature at a time when the technologies needed for the task did not exist. Items in the exhibit will include medieval manuscripts, rare books printed as early as the 16th century, and a collection of artifacts from the early days of the project that offer a glimpse into the history of computing while also telling the story of the TLG.
Egyptian papyrus fragment, ca. 400 BC
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Director and Professor of Classics Maria Pantelia will curate the exhibit and speak at the opening event. "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to curate this exhibit,” said Pantelia. “The archives of the TLG project were recently moved to the University Archives so that they can be made available to researchers and the public. In this sense this exhibit is a timely and fitting joint effort undertaken by the TLG and UCI’s library.”
The TLG was conceived and initially funded by UCI alumna Marianne McDonald, who, in 1972 as a graduate student in Classics, proposed the creation of a computerized databank of Greek Literature.
For further information about the exhibit and opening event please call (949) 824-4651.