Austrian Archaeological Institute

Excavations of the soaring, white-marble Celsus Library began in 1903 (this black-and-white photo was taken in 1904, as the Austrian team reconstructed the facade almost entirely from the original blocks). Completed in about 125 A.D., the library was the vision of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, who served in Ephesus as the Roman governor of Asia from 105 to 106 A.D. Scholars estimate that the library contained about 15,000 scrolls. It may also have served as the library for a larger, university-like complex, called a Museion (Temple of the Muses).