Inventing the Wheel

The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae® (“Treasury of the Greek Language”), or TLG®, was established at UCI in 1972 when Dr. Marianne McDonald, then a UCI graduate student in Classics motivated by her dissertation research, offered a gift of $1,000,000 toward the creation of a computerized collection of Greek literary texts. This was an extraordinary proposal, since no one previously had seriously considered the marriage of classical scholarship with modern technology.

The project became reality through the international collaboration of a group of prominent classicists under the direction of Professor Theodore F. Brunner. A planning conference was convened in 1972 to determine the feasibility of the undertaking. It was attended by UCI founding Chancellor Daniel Aldrich, an avid supporter of the project.

Early promotional brochures and newsletters articulated the project’s ambitious goal of capturing the estimated 90 million words contained in ancient Greek texts dating from the time of Homer through late antiquity.

Professor Brunner served as project director from 1972 until his retirement in January 1998.