Why I “Loeb” the Salzmann Library

Lately I’m a bit obsessed with the Loeb Classical Library. There, I said it. For the “uninitiated,” the LCL is a collection of texts spanning about 1,000 years (from Homer to Bede). Each volume contains a citable Greek or Latin text with an accompanying English translation. For students of ancient history, it is an indispensable resource. As each of the exegetical chapters of my dissertation necessitates some engagement with classical Greek and Roman authors, I have spent quite a bit of time over the past year pouring through the Loebs.

I’m fairly certain that the Raynor Library at Marquette has most if not all of the volumes of the LCL. The only problem is that their collection is that it is spread over 5 floors of other books: the Iliad and Odyssey are with works pertaining to Homer; Herodotus’ Histories is located with other comparable ancient works; and (for reasons I have yet to understand) Strabo’s Geography exists alongside books related to travel in modern Greece. Because they are classified according to the Library of Congress rubric, the distribution of the Loebs in Raynor makes sense. But for those of us who need access to various different volumes of the collection at once, a great number of stairs and hunting through stacks awaits.

Enter the Salzmann Library at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. Located about 10 minutes south of Milwaukee, Salzmann is a quaint place, just far enough off the beaten path that it doesn’t attract droves of patrons (at least not that I’ve seen in my limited time there). It has a friendly and helpful staff, a respectable reference collection, some journals, and a fantastic reading/study space (with large windows, which is a nice change of pace from my dark cell at Marquette).

But the main reason that the Salzmann library is awesome (at least from my current perspective) is summed up in the following picture:


That’s right: the Loeb Classical Library, organized according to author, all in one place. Beautiful, no? Now, instead of trekking throughout the Raynor library in search of the volume(s) that I need, all I have to do is saunter over to this shelf, take a volume, and go back to my workspace. The other day I was able to consult 10-15 different volumes, and I didn’t even have to look them up in the catalogue! As I am nearing the point where I will need to go back through all my citations to make sure I’ve gotten the translations and references right, this resource alone is going to save me days if not weeks worth of time.

Thank you, Salzmann!


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