Local Library Visit 18: National Library of Greece
National Library of Greece (Vallianeio building)
Type of library: national
Postal address: 32, Panepistimiou Ave., 106 79 Athens, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 2.4 km
Meeting point: Panepistimio Metro station
Optimal route: Red metro line, get off at Panepistimio station, take the exit Ethniki Vivliothiki tis Ellados (National Library of Greece)
A volunteer will be waiting for you at the proposed meeting point.
The National Library of Greece (NLG) has been amassing the cultural heritage of Greece since 1829, spanning a course parallel to the history of the country’s modern state. It has developed a collection of unique cultural value, estimated at close to 2,000,000 items. The collection of about 5,400 manuscripts, dating from the 9th to the 20th century, include parchment and paper which preserve different kinds of script and decorative elements. In the Library’s books stacks and vaults are safeguarded hundreds of thousands of books, spanning from the 15th century to current day. The collection of rare printed material includes books, pamphlets and leaflets that stand out for their exceptional historical and artistic value. In addition, NLG has thousands of newspapers and magazines, special collections such as posters, musical notations, works of art and maps, and valuable collections of archival material, including the Archives of the Revolutionary War of 1821 and the London Philhellenic Committee. 2018 is the year of the historical relocation of NLG from the classical Vallianeio building to its new home at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), which bears the signature of the renowned architect, Renzo Piano. The relocation marks NLG’s transition into a new digital era of openness and innovation, supported by exclusive services, such as digitization, conservation and access to e-resources. The National Library of Greece, as the leading library of the country, aspires to evolve over time not only into an international center of excellence for the study and promotion of Hellenism, but also into a space of creative experimentation and innovation for Information Science. NLG will offer its services at both the Vallianeio and the SNFCC buildings, providing open knowledge, reliable information, and constant inspiration to every citizen who wants to read, study, discover, create and co-create.