The David M. Robinson Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, housed in the University Museums, is available to students for study and research. In addition to the extensive collection of Greek vases of all periods, Greek and Roman sculpture, bronzes, terracottas, inscriptions, coins, lamps, and household objects, there are collections of potsherds dating from the Neolithic Age to the Late Roman Empire. In all, there are more than 2,000 objects in the collection and many need further study. Students are encouraged to make use of these collections in their classwork and research. The Robinson Memorial Collection is considered to be the best of its kind in the South.
The Robinson Collection came to the University in part through the bequests and gifts of Professor Robinson and his widow Helen Tudor Robinson, but the bulk of the collection was purchased from the estate of Mrs. Robinson and given to the University by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Peddle of Oxford whose generous gifts continue to make them two of the University’s major benefactors.
Professor Robinson also bequeathed to the University his extensive collection of books and papers most of which are housed in the John Davis Williams Library. Robinson’s excavation notes and records from his famous exploration of Olynthus are maintained in the University Museums. Multiple images of 48 of the Robinson vases can be viewed in the Perseus Digital Library’s Art and Archaeology collection.
In addition to the Robinson Collection, the University Museums possess two other collections of antiquities–Roman medical instruments (a gift of the medical alumni of the university) and the James Rubright Collection which contains coins, lamps, vases and sculpture. Other antiquities have been presented to the Museums by the Department of Classics.