How to choose an essay topic

Explore your topic

Introducing Summon - which makes it possible to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.

However,  Summon doesn't search everything that the library owns or subscribes to so you will still need to search other resources to find everything that you need. Summon also doesn't let you do sophisticated searches that you may be used to doing in specific databases or the library catalogue.  

When to use Summon

  • When starting research on a topic
  • If you are not sure which databases to use

For assistance using Summon please contact the Research Help Desk.

Reference Materials: 

Use reference materials to get started on your research. These can be found in the Reference area of the library, main floor behind the Research Help Desk.

Cross searches multiple Greek and Latin dictionaries.

Key Databases for Journal Articles

Additional Databases

By connecting via Carleton Library, you will be able to seamlessly connect to the fulltext of articles that are part of the library's collection.

Provides the tables of contents of a selection of Classics, Near Eastern Studies, and Religion journals, both in text format and through a Web search program. Where possible, links are given with articles of which the full text or an abstract is available online.

For ancient or classical Greek and Roman research, primary sources are often the classical texts such as Themistocles by Plutach, Metamorphoses by Ovid or the Poetry of Sappho.  Most of the original sources are either not available to us, or written in Greek or Latin, so modern translations of critical editions are acceptable as primary sources.  Also acceptable as primary sources are ancient art, architecture, and artefacts, as well as archaeological reports and diaries.

REF DE5.N4813 2002

REF DE5.N4913 2006

Over 400 full-text works, mainly Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation.

Wide variety of resources on the ancient world. Full-text in original Greek or Latin as well as English translations; integrated Atlas; art and archaeology images and descriptions etc.

Provides access to public domain Latin texts. The texts are not intended for research purposes nor as substitutes for critical editions. There are no translations at the site.

Digital library of Late Antique Latin texts.

The 'Digitised Manuscripts' section of The British Library website provides access to fully digitised manuscripts held at the Library and their descriptions, including many Greek manuscripts.

Website contains essentially all Latin literary texts written before A.D. 200, as well as some texts selected from later antiquity.

The Tesserae project aims to provide a flexible and robust web interface for exploring intertextual parallels.

Provides access to a number of works from authors such as Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Aristotle, the Greek tragedians and orators that have traditionally been used in university and college level instruction of Greek.

To find print and electronic editions and translations of primary texts available in the library:

Search by author or title.

For image and artifact sources for Greek and Roman Art, Architecture and Archaeology see the following:

A digital library of art images. Includes approximately 500,000 images covering art, architecture and archeology.  ARTstor's software tools support a wide range of pedagogical and research uses including: viewing and analyzing images through features such as zooming and panning, saving groups of images online for personal or shared uses, and creating and delivering presentations both online and offline.

A massive library of art objects (coins, vases, gems), sites, and buildings. Each entry has a description of the object and its context; most have images. Produced in collaboration with many museums, institutions, and scholars.

Built on the art of ancient Greece and Rome, CLAROS is an international research collaboration, which enables simultaneous searching of major collections in university research institutes and museums.

Includes databases of images and documentation of classical pottery, gems, and sculpture. Databases can be searched separately, or simultaneously.

An illustrated catalogue of more than 100,000 ancient vases.

The ANS collections database contains information on more than 600,000 objects which include, coins, paper money, tokens, ‘primitive’ money, medals and decorations, from all parts of the world, and all periods in which such objects have been produced.


Seamless, whole and in colour with overlaid layers

Films and Videos

For video material at the Carleton Univeristy library, do a KEYWORD search in the library catalogue and limit "Material Type" to FILM/VIDEO.

If you cannot find what you need search the following database:

Free documentaries online.



Wide variety of resources on the ancient world. Full-text in original Greek or Latin as well as English translations; integrated Atlas; art and archaeology images and descriptions etc.

News, projects, and links for digital classicists.

Tables of contents of over 160 journals of interest to classicists. Topics include: Classics, Archaeology, Religion, and Near Eastern Studies.


Requires Adobe Shockwave.

Carleton University professor Shawn Graham's blog

Art and Architecture

Offers information on works of structural engineering, architecture or construction through time, history and from around the world. Documentation begins at the time of the pyramids in Egypt and Roman construction.

A sholarly tool in progress (The Packard Humanities Institute).





Learn ancient Greek & Latin

Literature and Ancient Authors

Digital Library of late antiquity on the web

Maps and Geography

A community-built gazetteer and graph of ancient places. It publishes authoritative information about ancient places and spaces.


Mythology, Religion and Philosophy

Contains an extensive list of Roman gods and goddesses and their Greek counterparts.

Olympics and Sport

Politics and Government


Related Carleton University Sites

Referencing your sources is an important part of academic writing. Why?

  • it lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work
  • it helps you to avoid plagiarism
  • it demonstrates that you are using the scholarly record and that you can provide authority for statements you make in your term paper
  • it enables readers to find the source information