Visitors to Athens probably focus on the Agora and Akropolis rather than other equally important remains that can be found in the city. One of the most impressive is the Library of the Emperor Hadrian that lies in the district of Monastaraki, to the east of the Agora and immediately to the north of the Roman forum. The access is from the west, just like the Roman forum.
The Library dates to AD 132, following Hadrian’s visit to the city. The entire complex measures approximately 125 m long.
The marble for the columns on the propylon were imported from Asia Minor, and those along the front of the building from Karystos on the island of Euboia. The rest of the western façade was made from Pentelic marble.
Four semi-circular exedra were placed at each end of the north and south walls of the Library.
The library itself, along with adjacent lecture and reading rooms, was located at the eastern end of the complex. The eastern wall was limestone.
The Library was damaged during the Herulian attack on Athens in 267. Perhaps two decades later a new wall was constructed to enclose the area to the north of the Akropolis. This defensive wall incorporated the south wall of the Library; and the Library itself projected north of this new line.
The Quatrefoil Building (or Tetraconch) was constructed in the centre of the Library in the early 5th century AD. This is possibly one of the earliest churches in Athens. The bases for the Hadrianic peristyle, originally consisting of 100 columns made of Phrygian marble, can be seen in the foreground.
The standing columns come from a 7th century church.
Journal Summary: Published every month by the Museums Association, Museums Journal provides readers with comprehensive news, analysis of key issues, profiles, reviews and details of the latest projects in museums, galleries, historic sites, cultural properties, archives and libraries.
Various people have contacted me since I started my gradual listing of useful journals for heritage-related research about the problems of accessing articles behind paywalls. There is an ongoing debate about this issue more widely in academia, but great progress has been made on making research more accessible via open-access decisions made in the publication process by authors; expectations now made by research funders for results to be open access; and publication materials being made available via institutional repositories.
Allied to this, it is worth flagging the UK’s excellent Access To Research scheme, which it not as well known about as it should be (and not well publicised by local library services either). Usually journals have their article abstracts fully available anyway, but a quick check via the search function on the Access to Research site shows if full availability is possible via a visit to a local UK library branch in person, and using a computer there. As a big advocate of the public library system (with weekly visits to our village branch), I think this is a great scheme – and helps to offer a fair way in to the gated community of academic publications for the general public and independent researchers.
Meanwhile, according to my spreadsheet, I have reached number 52 in my academic journals category on this blog. This is half way through my current ‘curated’ list – so hopefully another few months of ad hoc collating information and posting and I will get to the end of what started as a learning and teaching mission to signpost my students to the variety of places for accessing inter/cross-disciplinary heritage research (and ones which I considered useful). My intention is to upload the full spreadsheet as a resource page on the blog, and continue to add to it as I come across useful places where heritage research is appearing.