Epigraphic Squeezes

The McGregor Squeeze Collection consists of over 1000 epigraphic squeezes of Greek inscriptions currently held by the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies (CNERS).  An epigraphic squeeze is a filter paper impression of an inscription, which provides a precise copy of the incised letters on the original; this makes them a valuable tool for research when students and scholars cannot access the original materials stored in museums.  

The McGregor Squeeze Collection was donated by Dr. Malcolm McGregor, a former professor and department chair in the CNERS Department.  These squeezes mainly represent inscriptions from Athens and the surrounding area of Attica from the 5th century BCE, as well as some inscriptions from Nemea in the same time period.  The most notable squeezes held by the department represent the Athenian Tribute Lists, which were the main focus of Dr. McGregor’s work for many years.  The originals of most of the squeezes in the McGregor Squeeze Collection are held in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens, Greece.  The collection also includes epigraphic charts, research tools which are drawings of reconstructions of the Athenian Tribute Lists based on the stone fragments.

The digitization of the McGregor Squeeze Collection is currently being carried out by Digital Initiatives together with From Stone to Screen, a CNERS graduate student-led initiative to digitize the department’s material collections, and funded by a grant from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund.  The process of digitizing these hundreds of squeezes is on-going, so new images and information are added regularly.  You can read more about the ongoing status of the project on its blog: www.fromstonetoscreen.wordpress.com.

A note on references and using the collection:

There are several reference numbers used for the different squeezes in the McGregor Squeeze Collection.  IG refers to Inscriptiones Graecae (“Greek Inscriptions”), the accepted scholarly reference work on Greek inscriptions; the project is ongoing and the editorial text is written in Latin.  The Roman numerals after IG refer to the volume number, while the superscript, arabic numbers refer to the edition number.  (IG volumes are further divided into fascicles, but those numbers are not referenced here.)  The squeezes in our collection which are represented in the IG all come from volumes I and II.  Although volume I is currently in its third edition (IG I3), this collection also includes the references numbers for the second edition (IG I2).  Volume II is in its second edition (IG II2).

Most squeezes also include an EM number, which stands for Epigraphic Museum number.  The EM number refers to the physical artifact, the fragment of stone which holds the inscription; this number will never change for a given stone.  The IG numbers, however, refer to the scholarly attribution of the stone fragments to a particular inscription, often reassembled from many fragments; this means they are subject to change in new editions, as fresh evidence emerges and researchers reassign stone fragments or entire inscriptions.   The squeezes representing the Athenian Tribute Lists also have a list number, in addition to or instead of an IG number.  The majority of squeezes in our collection have both an IG number and an EM number.