Ottilia Buerger Collection of Ancient and Byzantine Coins
Beginning in the 1950s, Ottilia M. Buerger ’38 assembled a collection of rare coins that is widely regarded as one of the finest in the United States. Guided by the conviction that ancient coins were small and beautiful eyewitnesses to history, Miss Buerger believed that her “baubles,” as she called them, could bring a vivid reality to the past. In 1991 she bequeathed her collection to Lawrence so that it could be studied by students and faculty. Since then, the collection has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Wriston Art Center and has been studied by hundreds of art history, classics, and history students. An online version of its catalog has been viewed by over 4.2 million visitors. When Miss Buerger died in 2001, she left instructions for her collection to come to Lawrence, along with a bequest establishing the Ottilia Buerger Professorship in Classical or Medieval Studies.