Library of Ancient Slavery (LAS)

The library of the former Mainz Academy project Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei  ('Research on Ancient Slavery') is now available to the students, fellows and faculty members of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) and the Heinz Heinen Kolleg (HHK) as a reference library.

Launch of the BCDSS Library of Ancient Slavery

With the founding of the Mainz Academy Program in 1977, the project established a research center whose tasks included building a special library available to all contributors of the project and to all other interested researchers worldwide. The project aimed to collect all existing and subsequently published literature on slavery in the ancient Mediterranean and the surrounding region. Over the course of these three decades (until 2012), the library accumulated some 16,600 media units. Besides classic books or monographs (3,500) there are also numerous printouts or photocopies from encyclopaedias, journals and anthologies (12,250), as well as some microfilms and a large stock of PDF files (3,100). The entire collection is accessible by means of an alphabetical index card catalogue. A digital catalogue is in the making.

Library of Ancient Slavery (LAS)
© Alina Gläser
Library of Ancient Slavery (LAS)
© Alina Gläser

The project primarily focused on ancient slavery, i.e. in classical Greece and the Roman Empire. However, the library includes further works on slavery in prehistory, in the Ancient Near East (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran/India) and East Asia, as well as Byzantium, the Barbarian successor kingdoms to the Roman Empire, the Early Middle Ages and early Islam. There is also a collection of reception history (including children’s and young adult literature) and didactic material.

In addition to the European scholarly languages, the library holds many texts from the Slavic, Nordic and Finno-Ugric language families, as well as titles in Hebrew, Turkish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

Interview with Johannes Deißler, DEPENDENT 21/2.

In an interview with our cluster magazine DEPENDENT, Dr. Johannes Deißler, a former researcher at the Mainz Academy Project Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei (Research on Ancient Slavery), who was in charge of the library for many years, elucidates the history and development of the Library of Ancient Slavery and provides an insight into its book and media stock as well as its importance for researchers from all over the world.

Download the full interview here

Interview Deißler


Library Coordinator

Avatar Coric

Azemina Coric

Student Assistant

Opening Hours

  • Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Further visiting times on demand


Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies 
Heussallee 18-24
53113 Bonn
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