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Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG): A Digital Library of Greek Literature

Learn how to access and perform searches with the TLG

Welcome!

This guide will explain how to access and conduct searches with the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)

The TLG is a searchable database of all Greek texts from Homer to A.D. 600, and many texts dating to the period between A.D. 600 and the fall of Byzantium in 1453. The database contains more than 105 million words from over 10,000 works associated with 4,000 authors and is constantly updated and improved with new features and texts.

How to Access the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)

First, U-M affiliated users should use this link to access the TLG. This will ensure you are properly authenticated whether you are on or off campus. 

Next, in order to access the institutionally-subscribed full version database, you will also need to register an individual account with the TLG. A handout with screenshots is available here.

Contact Zachary Quint or Ask A Librarian if you have trouble accessing the database. 

Text Search

The Text Search is a powerful tool. There are two main searches: simple or proximity searches. Each search can be customized to retrieve precise results using Word Index, Lemma, or Textual Search features. Users can conduct broad searches to gain a bird's eye view or develop precision searches. 

You can view a recorded tutorial to best utilize the Text Search here. There is also a handout with screenshots available for Simple searches here and Proximity searches here.

You find more examples of Text Search at the bottom of this guide.

Contact Zachary Quint if you have questions. 

Lexica

The Lexica search allows users to simultaneously search a variety of digitized lexica. The search is based on the lemma and the autocomplete function helps to speed up the process. In addition to providing links to entries in different lexica, it also provides statistical and geographical information associated with the lemma. 

There is a handout with screenshots available here.

Contact Zachary Quint if you have questions. 

How to Cite

Users will need to follow the guidelines in their style guides (such as MLA, Chicago, etc.), but the citation will look similar to this:

T.W. Allen, W.R. Halliday, and E.E. Sikes, The Homeric Hymns, 2nd ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936: 2-20. Retrieved from: http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu.proxy.lib.umich.edu/Iris/Cite?0013:002:0

Using and Sharing Text

The TLG license explicitly prohibits copying, downloading and redistribution of texts. Users may copy short passages for research purposes or for use in instructional materials (handouts), but they may not download and/or redistribute large portions or complete texts.

Text Search: More Examples

This section will describe the basic steps when a user wants to search within one specific author (1), within one specific text (2), within one specific corpus (3), and in multiple authors (4). 

 

Searching within one specific author (1)

Once you have logged in, go to Text Search. Next, on the right side of the screen, you will click the Author option and begin typing Sophocles. The name should automatically populate the field. Click the name to confirm the selection. Now you can perform the Simple searches (tips here) and Proximity searches (tips here) for words found in Sophocles’ writings.

Image of the application with the Author option on the right side

 

Searching within one specific text (2)

If you want to search within a specific play by Sophocles, on the right side of the screen you will see the My Search Selection filter. You should see all of Sophocles’ plays listed. Click on the x next to all of the options except for the x by Ajax. Now you can perform the Simple searches (tips here) and Proximity searches (tips here) for words only found in Sophocles’ Ajax.

Image of the application with the My Search Selection option on the right side

 

Searching within one specific corpus (3)

If you want to search within a specific corpus, such as the scholia to Euripides, you will click the Author option on the right side of the screen, and begin typing Scholia. The name Scholia in Euripidem should automatically populate the field. Click the name to confirm the selection. Follow the basic steps in Sections 1 and 2 above to set the parameters for your search. Now you can perform the Simple searches (tips here) and Proximity searches (tips here).

Image of the application with the Author option on the right side

 

Searching within multiple authors (4)

Once you have logged in, go to Text Search. Next, on the right side of the screen, you will click the Author option and begin typing Aeschylus. The name should automatically populate the field. Click the name to confirm the selection. Repeat these steps with Sophocles and Euripides. Now you can perform the Simple searches (tips here) and Proximity searches (tips here) for words only in the works by these three tragedians.

Image of the application with the Author option on the right side

Contact Zachary Quint if you have questions.