The Institute of Classical Archaeology is housed in two historic villas in the Dahlem district of Berlin. The building at Otto-von-Simson-Straße 11 is home to most of the offices, the Institute’s administrative office, and the library, which offers a bank of computers available for research along with access to the digital collection of slides. Unless otherwise stated in the course catalog (Vorlesungsverzeichnis), all courses are held in the neighboring building at Otto-von-Simson-Straße 7, on the ground floor. The first floor is home to more offices of faculty members and researchers.
The library is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays during the semester. Hours are shorter when classes are not in session, when the library is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All books and periodicals and the publicly accessible computers are available during this time.
The Institute of Classical Archaeology – a brief history
The Institute has existed ever since Freie Universität Berlin was founded, in the 1948/49 winter semester. Like many students and professors present for the establishment of the new university, the first representative of classical archaeology as a subject, Friedrich-Wilhelm Goethert (1907–1978), also came from the former Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. The chair he first held then went to Adolf Borbein, who developed the core areas of research at the Institute – Greek sculpture and the history of science – and led the Institute to become an important hub of classical archaeology in the German academic landscape.
The main building of the Institute, Otto-von-Simson-Str. 11
In the 1960s, the Institute received a second professorship, and in 1986, a professorship of classical archaeology with a focus on the history of ancient building was added, under Wolfram Hoepfner. Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, the former director of the Berlin Antikenmuseum (Museum of Antiquities), served simultaneously as one of the three regular professors; today, Director Andreas Scholl is an adjunct professor at Freie Universität and is actively involved in teaching. In addition to the Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has also become an important cooperation partner. The relationship dates back to former president Helmut Kyrieleis, who held an adjunct professorship here; today, General Secretary Ortwin Dally regularly teaches at the Institute. But other colleagues from both institutions (including the foreign departments of the DAI) also regularly enrich the range of courses offered by the Institute and supervise students during internships at excavation sites and museums. All of these offerings and opportunities allow students to obtain an outstanding education across all of the disciplines and issues included in the field of classical archaeology. Specific areas of emphasis are, of course, defined by current professorships: Friederike Fless represents the archaeology of marginal zones in particular measure, and most especially the Black Sea area, but also upholds the Institute’s traditional focus on the history of ancient building, for instance, with projects such as surveying the city wall of Messene, Greece. Another member, Johanna Fabricius, has been at Freie Universität since the 2006/2007 winter semester. Like her colleagues, she also continues longstanding traditions at the Institute with the focus of her academic work, Greek archaeology. A completely new area of emphasis has been added beginning as of the 2009 summer semester: Silvia Polla represents the field of computational archaeology in her teaching and research activities.
The major stages in the history of the Institute also include the opening of the Ancient Sculpture Cast Collection (Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik). It has now grown to a considerable size and forms an integral component of teaching activities. Not only does the collection allow students to receive instruction right in front of the object of their study, but it also serves as the basis for regular exhibitions at which students can gain initial experience working in a museum. Student initiative is always welcome here!
Alongside its large number of plaster casts, the Institute also possesses extensive image materials – a collection of photographs was established in 1977 and has grown ever since, and the slide collection has been expanding continuously. About a year ago, the digital slide collection opened for the use of students and faculty members. Images are now accessible via a database and are available for digital reproduction in courses, lectures, and presentations.
Main reading room
The extensive works held in the library’s collection provide a comprehensive overview of all of the disciplines encompassed by Ancient Studies and the history of the subject itself. The Institute library remains the richest freely accessible source of literature on the discipline for researchers, faculty members, and students in the region. In 1999, the Institute began to successively integrate its collections into the electronic catalog of Freie Universität, starting with the newest works. Over the decades, the collection has grown to include about 40,000 monographs and serials, alongside volumes of periodicals. Hours: 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat. (during the semester break: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.)
Collections of photographs and slides
Alongside the Ancient Sculpture Cast Collection, the Institute of Classical Archaeology at Freie Universität also maintains a collection of photographs (about 60,000 photos, kept in boxes), and a collection of slides (about 110,000 large-format and small slides), both also focusing on ancient sculpture. The development of both collections was only possible with support from the Gerd Rodenwaldt Memorial Foundation, which was founded by Gerhard Rodenwaldt (1886–1945), a former ordinary professor of classical archaeology, in the memory of his son, who went missing during World War II. An extensive digital slide collection is currently being developed for both faculty members and students to use in preparing for courses and presentations. It is accessible during library hours via the publicly accessible computers on the first floor. Further information on access and related matters is also posted there. Hours: 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat. (during the semester break: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.)