The American School of Classical Studies at Athens
ASCSA
Heinrich Schliemann, excavator of Troy and Mycenae

About the Archives
in the Gennadius Library

The Archives in the Gennadius Library are the repository of many important archival collections relating to the history and culture of modern Greece and the rest of the Balkan peninsula. With the establishment of the Library in 1926, the first collection acquired was that of the founder, Joannes Gennadius, and his father, George Gennadius. Ten years later the family of Heinrich Schliemann, the excavator of Troy and Mycenae, deposited his personal papers in the Gennadius Library. The real growth of the archival collections began during Francis Walton’s directorship (1961–1976), when the library added to its archival collections the papers of Greece’s two Nobel laureates in literature, poets George Seferis and Odysseas Elytis, as well as the papers of the renowned conductor, Dimitris Mitropoulos. Since then, the Gennadius Library has continued to increase its archival holdings with a focus on the literature and political history of Greece. The School is especially privileged to include in its holdings the papers of the Dragoumis family, including those of Ion Dragoumis, and the papers of Stephanos Skouloudis and Konstantinos Mousouros—just to mention a few of the collections important for the history of Greece.

The collection of personal papers pertaining to the study of modern Greek literature is also exceptional. The most important acquisitions have at their core the papers of the so-called “30’s Generation,” including both its main and more peripheral members. In addition to the papers of Seferis and Elytis, the Gennadius Library has recently acquired the papers of novelists Stratis Myrivilis and Angelos Terzakis, and poet Kostas Varnalis. The scope of the collection is currently being expanded to incorporate literary papers of the first post-War generation, including those of poets Takis Sinopoulos and George Pavlopoulos.

The archival collections of the Gennadius Library are housed in the first basement of the East Wing, in a well-designed space with mobile shelving and a separate reading room for users.

With funding from the Information Society Program of the 3rd European Community Support Framework, the Archives have digitized part of Ion Dragoumis’s correspondence and a collection of rare photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that document important historical events like the Greek-Turkish war of 1897 and the Balkan Wars. These are available at: http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/digital-library/resources-listing-all-departments/, under Modern Greece Historical Documents.

For further information about the Gennadius Library, click here.