Ohio State Latin MS 5

The Ohio State University Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies is the only comprehensive research facility for the study of Greek and Latin inscriptions and manuscripts in the United States. Its purpose is to foster the study of inscriptions and manuscripts and promote research opportunities for scholars studying the ancient Greek, Roman and Medieval world. 

The center is unique in the U.S., and quite possibly the world, as a comprehensive collection of Greek and Latin inscriptions, some dating to the 6th Century B.C. 

{Wendy Watkins, Curator} 

At a Glance

  • A collection of nearly 6,000 “squeezes” (accurate paper impressions of inscriptions)
  • 40,000-50,000 offprints of journal articles
  • 10,000 inscription photographs
  • 700 microfilmed manuscripts


The center hosts an annual conference, Texts and Contexts, each autumn at Ohio State, attracting scholars from across the U.S. and Europe. 

Summer Epigraphy Course

International Summer Course in Greek and Latin Epigraphy: With support from the American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, the center holds summer epigraphy courses every few years. The program acquaints senior graduate students and junior faculty from the U.S. and Europe with the tools, methods and problems of epigraphy, and enables them to use the resource of inscriptions in their teaching and research. 

Virginia Brown

Virginia Brown, senior fellow emeritus of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, died in 2009. She had been a supporter of the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies since its beginning. The center received the following bequests from her estate:

  • The Virginia Brown Papers and Library Collection: Virginia’s working papers, notes and scholarly library, which are particularly strong in material relating to Beneventan manuscripts, are housed in the center and are available to Ohio State students and visiting scholars.
  • The Virginia Brown Chair in Latin Palaeography: With the support of the Brown estate and James Hankins, the center has established a fund to endow a chair in Latin palaeography in honor of Virginia, who was a scholar of remarkable intellect and generosity. Donations to the fund (640849), as we build the required principal, are warmly welcomed.
  • The Virginia Brown Fellowship in Palaeographical Studies: Short-term visiting fellowships for scholars to conduct research among the center’s collections.
  • The Virginia Brown Memorial Lecture: Presented at the center’s annual Texts and Contexts manuscript conference. 

Database Project

The center houses the project to create a comprehensive database of Greek epigraphical texts, with funding and technical support from the Packard Humanities Institute in Los Angeles. A first version of the database is easily accessible on the web (epigraphy.packhum.org/inscriptions/) and has become a major research tool.

This comprehensive resource includes Greek inscriptions originating from the entire Greek world, from Greece to the Black Sea to North Africa and the Middle East, and is a rich resource for scholars in history, art history, archaeology and other areas focusing on the ancient world.