Originally housed in the Director’s Residence when the BSA was founded in 1886, a section of the growing collection was housed in the new Hostel building in 1897 and finally moved into the Penrose Library extension of the Hostel in 1903. Since then the library space has expanded many times and now extends over two main rooms with additional space on an upper floor and in the basement. Support for expansion has come from the Friends of the BSA and from benefactors, such as Lou Kollakis, who enabled its most recent extension. The collections likewise have benefited from generous donations, starting with the estate of George Finlay and extending to the most recent donation of over 3,700 volumes in modern Balkan history by Prof. Richard Clogg.
The collection supports research on the Hellenic world from the Palaeolithic through to the present day. The library’s holdings comprise more than 70,000 titles, plus over 1,300 journal titles. Access to an increasing number of electronic resources is also provided. Subjects covered include:
- Material Sciences
Within this subject range the library includes in-depth collections in:
- Archaeological Theory and Sciences
- Byzantine Art and Architecture
- Balkan and Black Sea journals