About us


The Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD) was established in 1995 under the auspices of Oxford University's Faculty of Literae Humaniores to provide a focus for the study of ancient documents within Oxford. Over the years it has developed into a research centre of national and international importance. The Centre is located in the Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies in St Giles.

At the core of the Centre lies one the world’s most important archives of epigraphical material. This includes one of the largest collections of squeezes (paper impressions) of Greek inscriptions, together with the Haverfield archive of Roman inscriptions from Britain, and a substantial photographic collection. The Centre also contains the notebooks and files of a number of major figures in the study of Greek and Roman epigraphy. The strengths of the epigraphical archive lie in its broad coverage of early Greek inscriptions, Attic epigraphy, the exploration of Asia Minor, and the Hellenistic world more broadly. Individual sites well represented in the archive include Chios, Samos, Priene, Rhodes, and Samothrace. Further information on these archives can be found here.

The Centre also serves as the home for a number of research projects and their staff. Major areas of focus currently range from the writing tablets from the Roman fort at Vindolanda, the Latin epigraphy of the northwestern Roman provinces, the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt and its Empire, and Hellenistic Cyprus. Further information on research projects can be found here. 

The Centre supports education in the field of ancient documentary studies through its annual David Lewis lecture, the Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, as well as offering practical and financial support to Summer Schools in Greek and Latin Epigraphy. 


Applications to consult the Centre’s archives should be addressed in the first instance to the CSAD administrator.