A Database of Classical Texts - Database Design, Access

Tools used in this project
A Database of Classical Texts - Database Design, Access

About this project

While reading Michael J. Hernandez’s Database Design for Mere Mortals for the first time in 2019, I decided to apply the knowledge about fields, tables, keys and constraints to real data by building a database of my own.

At the time I had been keeping up my daily habit of reading Greek and Latin. To read a Greek or Latin text you use a special kind of textbook called a commentary. I had been reading a series of commentaries from Cambridge University Press called the Greek and Latin Classics, nicknamed “Green and Yellows” from their distinctive cover design. There are 130 commentaries published to date. Like other academic books, they are reviewed in academic journals around the world.

The specific objectives of my database were to:

  • Maintain complete publication info for every book in this series
  • Keep track of the ancient texts commented on
  • House data on the series contributors
  • Collect and maintain info on journal reviews of series volumes

MODELLING THE DATA (data tables are in capitals)

A COMMENTARY can contain one or many ancient TEXTS. A commentary is written usually by a single scholar called the EDITOR (occasionally a pair share writing duties). A journal REVIEW usually covers 1 volume (but sometimes 2 or 3). A JOURNAL review, in one of several modern LANGUAGES, is usually written by 1 REVIEWER (occasionally 2).


After drawing up the documentation and sketching the ER diagram on paper, I launched the database in MS Access. The completed database contains 12 related tables, 4 forms for adding new data, and 5 views. It is populated with data I collected myself from the series inception in 1970 through 2020. The database consolidated information that had been scattered over several Word docs and Excel sheets.

I present here the ER diagram and screenshots from MS Access.

Additional project images

Purchase List (view)
Ancient Texts (data entry form)
Journals (table)
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