Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Alan Cameron papers, 1959-2020

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#2023
Bib ID 15003111 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Cameron, Alan, 1938-2017
Title Alan Cameron papers, 1959-2020
Physical Description 6 Linear Feet (13 document boxes)
Language(s) English , French , German , Italian .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.



Content Description

Papers of Classics professor, Alan Cameron who taught at Columbia University between 1977 and his retirement in 2008. At the time of his death (July 31, 2017) he was the Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of Latin and Literature at Columbia University. Materials in this collection include extensive correspondence files (including many with distinguished classicists), scholarly lectures, lectures given on cruise ships, course lectures, research files, unfinished and unpublished work, manuscripts for a book about Constantinople, CVs, memoirs and memorial materials.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Alan Cameron Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

The addition of his papers to our collections complements RBML's existing holdings of other Columbia classicists: Charles Anthon manuscripts, 1830-1864; Harry Thurston Peck papers, 1878-1933; Nelson Glenn McCrea papers, 1893-1944; Gilbert Highet papers, 1929-1978; Moses Hadas papers, 1930-1966.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed by Carla Asher and Patrick Lawlor, 2021

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Classical philology Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Classics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Department of Classics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Greek literature -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Latin literature -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rome (Italy) -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron (13 March 1938 – 31 July 2017), Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia, was a British classicist and academic. He was one of the leading scholars of the literature and history of the later Roman world and at the same time a wide-ranging classical philologist whose work encompassed above all the Greek and Latin poetic tradition from Hellenistic to Byzantine times but also aspects of late antique art.

Cameron was educated at St. Paul's School in London, and at New College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first class degree in Literae Humaniores in 1961. Without ever needing to complete a Phd, a point of considerable amusement and pride, Alan took up teaching positions in Glasgow and London before joining the Columbia faculty in 1977; he remained in the department until his retirement in 2008.

He had an unrivaled expertise in the history and literature of Hellenistic Greece and Late Antiquity and an infallible command of Greek and Latin philology that included both the canonical and more recondite areas of the corpus. Combining his impeccable knowledge with innovative approaches, an engaging style, and a zest for challenging and upending long-established views, Alan produced scholarship that ranged as broadly as its learning was deep. His publication record runs to many pages (over 200 articles plus more than a dozen books), and his discussions remain 'must read' items for those in any number of different areas, religion, social and political history, mythology, and the history of classical scholarship among them. Among his most ground-breaking books are Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976), Callimachus and his Critics (winner of the APA Goodwin Prize in 1997), Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) and The Last Pagans of Rome (2011).

In addition to his tireless scholarly activity, his participation in conferences and willingness to deliver lectures in many parts of the world, and the recognition he received in the form of many honors (among them he was made a fellow of the British Academy in 1975, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978, and the American Philosophical Society in 1992). He was awarded the Kenyon Medal for Classical Studies and Archaeology of the British Academy in 2013. Alan was an immensely popular and much revered teacher at all levels. Generations of Columbia graduate students, as well as some of Alan's colleagues, remember with particular fondness and gratitude the classes in Greek and Latin Verse Composition that he used to hold at his New York home.