The Honorable David Levine AO RFD QC

In 2015, a most generous endowment by the late Hon. David Levine AO, RFD, QC allowed the AAIA to create the “David Levine Book Acquisition Fund” with the goal of substantially increasing our annual library acquisitions. Our major objective is to strengthen our collection’s strategic holdings in archaeological subjects, including site reports, collection guides, exhibition catalogues, analyses of material culture, and South Italian red-figure vase painting. In 2017, the AAIA made its first purchases through the Fund, bringing our members a number of important and interesting new books. Regular acquisitions have been made since 2017, and AAIA members are regularly updated about recent acquisitions via our Newsletter, which can are available on our “Publications” page.

A Great Benefactor of the AAIA

It is with great sadness that we note the loss of the Hon. David Levine (1944-2020). In his professional life David Levine was a leading figure in the Australian legal community who rose to the position of judge in the Supreme Court in NSW. However, his contribution to public affairs was not limited to his many years as a lawyer, barrister and judge. His very considerable reserves of energy and his broad interests found fruitful expression in his support for the Arts and scholarship, as well as in his fascination with the classical world. Furthermore, David Levine was one of the Institute’s foremost supporters, one who truly believed in its mission and the possibilities it could offer Australia.

David Levine, according to his own testimony (see AAIA Bulletin 12 [2016]), was inspired as a first year Arts/Law student at the University of Sydney by the late Alexander Cambitoglou’s lectures on classical archaeology. He was attracted by the ancient world and the intellectual rigour involved in studying it. This inspiration developed into a well-grounded fascination that he would retain throughout his life, and he would similarly maintain his links with Cambitoglou who founded the Institute in 1980 many years after their initial meeting. David Levine was an avid supporter of Cambitoglou’s educational and research endeavours, and the prospect of the horizons they opened for the country, and actively showed this support by becoming a Governor of the Institute.

However, David Levine’s greatest act of support of, and simultaneously, vote of confidence in, the Institute was made 36 years after its foundation. In 2016 he donated a very significant, six-figure, sum that resulted in the David Levine Book Acquisition Fund which has greatly aided the Institute’s activities. The purchase of bibliographical resources, both printed and digital, that the Fund allows has cemented the Institute’s standing as a leading research body, indeed one which is unique in Australia. In effect, by means of this transformational gift David Levine married two of his great passions: classics, specifically classical archaeology, and books. His own library, which he had compiled over decades, is of mythical proportions. This great benefactor fully understood the importance of old-fashion books as well as more recently devised bibliographical resources and information platforms in forming both individuals and research bodies. The David Levine Book Acquisition Fund is a legacy that is guaranteed to continue; one which will promote and expand the Institute’s teaching and research goals as its creator intended.

David Levine was a true benefactor. A man who had a vision and ensured that practical steps were taken to see it come into being. The Institute, and Australian researchers in classical archaeology and related fields, will be forever truly grateful to him.

– Dr Stavros Paspalas

General Acquisition Policy:

1. High value individual monographs or monograph series relevant to the AAIA and other CCANESA users[1]

Preference will be given to:

  1. Image rich publications for which access to the physical illustrations is critical to research [i.e. maps, inscriptions, Site and Finds reports, CVA series, etc. ][2]
  2. monographs beyond the budget restrictions of the relevant departments / CCANESA stakeholders
  3. rare books and manuscripts
  4. Reference books of high value (ThesCRA, LIMC etc)

2. Monograph and conference series and serials already held by the AAIA

3. Monographs and new Monograph series within the AAIA’s research interests (Aegean and Mediterranean archaeology, and sub disciplines)

Particular emphasis will be given to publications that expand research in these areas which are not available in the University of Sydney’s Fisher Library. 

[1] We are very happy to consider recommendations

[2] Professor Cambitoglou’s buying patterns for the Library’s CVA holdings was primarily focused on volumes dedicated to the South Italian Red Figure collections. As Sydney University Library, Fisher, has standing orders to buy all CVA series, we will continue to purchase the South Italian CVAs only. We feel that having a reference collection of these CVAs will provide the necessary visual reference material essential for users of the Cambitoglou RVAp archive.

Annual Special Acquisitions:

Each year, we will set aside ca. $3000 endeavour to make one or two premium acquisitions, normally outside the budgets for departments or faculties.

If you would like to recommend a volume for acquisitions, please contact the Levine Library Assistant via


Dr Stavros Paspalas – Director
Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Room 480, Madsen Building (F09), University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4759 +61 (0)2 9351 7693