Welcome to the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents


Based in the Faculty of Classics CSAD is one of the world’s foremost centres for the study of the documentary evidence for the ancient world. It hosts projects of national and international significance in the fields of Greek and Roman epigraphy. CSAD maintains close links with the related disciplines of papyrology, numismatics and prosopography. 

At the core of the Centre’s holdings lies a rich archive of notebooks, drawings and photographs, and one of the world’s largest collections of squeezes - a unique resource for palaeographic enquiry - donated by some of the great figures in the field. It includes the squeeze collections of George Forrest, Peter Fraser and Susan Sherwin-White, as well as the archives of Sir Christopher Cox, Michael Ballance, Anne Jeffery and David Lewis. 

Since its foundation in 1995, the Centre has been home to research projects devoted to such disparate areas as Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Phrygia and Ptolemaic Egypt. The detailed scrutiny of the material aspects of writing - essential for deciphering documents that are difficult to read - is currently being developed through 3D digital imaging.