Bibliotheca Academica Translationum; Translations of Classical Scholarship 1701-1917

Project Description:

The Bibliotheca Academica Translationum is an international project, directed from Oxford by Dr Oswyn Murray and Dr Chryssanthi Avlami since 1997; its aim is to study the transmission of knowledge between European scholarly communities and its diffusion in national cultures through the medium of translations of works of scholarship made during the period 1701-1917. The project is initially confined to classical scholarship (literature, history, archaeology, art, ancient philosophy); arrangements are in place for work in Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Spain and Switzerland: we hope to extend to other countries as leaders of research teams are identified. The general aims are: firstly to produce an Index based on a computerised union catalogue of all known translations of classical scholarship into the major European languages during the period 1701-1917; secondly to use this database to produce an account of changes in the transmission of knowledge in this period. The database has been awarded a research grant from Googlebooks for the year 2010-1 in order to update and relate it to the Googlebooks library; it is available at Two collections of studies resulting from conferences in Madrid (2005) and Rome (2007) have been published.

Oxford was chosen as the centre for the project, because of its library facilities in the Bodleian Library, the Sackler Library, the Voltaire Foundation and the Taylorian Library. The initial basis of the project involves the interrelations between three countries, Britain, France and Germany; relations between Britain and France are especially important in the 18th century, while in the 19th century Germany became the dominant intellectual force in European scholarship.