The Ancient Library of Alexandria: A Pathfinder

Abstracts and Indexes

Much helpful literature on the Alexandrian Library exists in various journals. Abstracts and indexes are powerful tools which are useful in locating these articles. The following indexes are particularly useful for the Library. They can be accessed electronically through the UNC-CH library homepage. They are found by going through the link marked "e-indexes and databases." Here is the site address: The indexes are then organized both alphabetically and by subject.

LISA: Library and Information Science Abstracts

LISA indexes articles from the many journals dealing with library and information sciences. Using the search term "Alexandrian library", many articles on the topic may be found. Other terms, such as "library history", prove fruitful as well.

Library Literature (LibraryLit)

This index is similar to LISA in that it indexes articles in the disciplines of the library and information sciences. Searches using the keywords "Alexandrian library" or "library history" retrieve many of the same articles as do these same searches in LISA. However, there are enough different articles to make a search in this database worthwhile.

ISI Web of Knowledge

This source deals with a broader range of material, including science, social science, and arts and humanities. For the topic of the Alexandrian Library, the Social Sciences Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index are the most helpful. These indexes cover journals in a wide range of areas and from a broad spectrum of countries. Therefore, very specific search terms, such as "library and ancient" prove the most helpful.

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Hellenic Alexandria.1997. Hellenic Electronic Center and Hellenic Community in Alexandria. 9 Nov. 2002

This site is part of a project produced by the Hellenic Community in Alexandria (EKA). It presents aspects of Alexandria's Hellenic splendor, including Alexander's tomb and the famous lighthouse. The site gives a brief but thorough overview of the ancient library. An interesting feature is "Appendix 1 - The Contents of the Alexandria Library." Here a tentative partial list of the contents of the library is given, based on tradition and fragments of texts. The ancient library is compared with the current Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern day counterpart to the legendary institution. The pieces on the library are written by Moustafa El Abbadi, author of The Life and Fate of the Ancient Library of Alexandria (see under monographs). The site also gives an historical outline of the city.

Library of Congress Subject Headings Libraries Browsing Areas
Monographs Historical Context Biography Geography
Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Guides Abstracts and Indexes Website Legends of the Library

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