Local Library Visit by Bus 2: National Library of Greece (at SNFCC), The Onassis Library, and Eugenides Foundation Library (EFL)
National Library of Greece (an SNFCC)
Type of library: national
Postal address: 364, Syngrou Ave., Kallithea, 176 74 Athens, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 9.5 km
Meeting point: Sygrou Fix Metro Station
Optimal route: by bus
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.
Eugenides Foundation Library (EFL)
Type of library: special
Postal address: 387, Syngrou Ave., 175 64 P. Faliro, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 7.0 km
The Eugenides Foundation Library (EFL) has been operating since 1966 as an open-access and lending library, specializing in the areas of technology and science. The Library’s collection of printed material comprises approximately 50,000 books and 300 titles of current periodicals. Collections of digital material, such as databases, electronic periodicals and books, are gradually being developed. EFL also organizes a variety of educational programs for schools and a series of activities for young, adults and lifelong learners. Daily more than 150 people (schoolchildren, students, teachers, scientists, professional business people, etc.) visit the Library and make use of its comfortable reading rooms, collections, computers, and its modern services.
The Onassis Library
Type of library: special
Postal address: 56, Amalias Ave., 105 58 Athens, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 4.1 km
The Onassis Library is housed in a neoclassical building in Plaka (Amalias Avenue 56) and accumulates the Cavafy Archive and two large collections of books: the Hellenic Library (K. Staikos’ book collection) and the Travel Accounts book collection.
The Hellenic Library book collection consists of books representing the intellectual activity of the Greeks, whether of the secular world or of the Church, from the period of the Italian Renaissance until the late years of Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment, that is to say the period from the outset of the fifteenth to the first decades of the nineteenth centuries. These publications are not confined to purely spiritual quests and the composition of manuals for educational purposes, nor only to issue the books necessary for the conduct of the liturgy in Orthodox churches and matters of dogma, they also comprise texts, bulls, patents and every sort of document legitimizing the privileges of Greeks active in the West and the Orient.
Greeks exercised the art of typography and were occupied in book publishing whether as authors, in literary editing, correctors as well as sponsors at a time when the capital of the empire, Constantinople, had fallen (1453). They were thus initially staffing the Italian publishing and printing centres mainly, in this way contributing to Westerners learning of the Greek language as well as the dissemination of the editiones principes of Ancient Greek writings, in the framework of the spirit of Humanism. Subsequently, already in 1499, they set up printing works under Greek ownership that continued in operation until the early decades of the nineteenth century in Venice. The orientation of their publications altered radically from the beginning of the sixteenth century when Greek printers, publishers and intellectuals set to work to support the scattered Hellenism of the diaspora, printing the books indispensable for maintaining its unity: language, the Orthodox faith and spiritual tradition.
The Library contains more than 2,500 titles, copies of which extend to about 3,000 volumes, classed in six basic entities.
RENAISSANCE – HUMANISM: Ancient Greek authors, Humanist works, grammars, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, philosophical treatises and literary essays.
NEO-HELLENIC LITERATURE: Literary works, poetry and folklore, historical treatises, grammars for educational purposes, literary essays, grammar-dictionaries and every sort of school text book.
LITURGICAL BOOKS: Gospels, Books of Months (Menaia), Psalters, Books of Hours, Pentekostaria, Prayer books et al.
TREATISES OF THEOLOGY: Patristic works by Greek Church Fathers, treatises concerning the Schism between the two Churches, texts on the history of the Orthodox Church, lengthy studies regarding the Orthodox dogma and the Popes Infallibility et al.
NEO-HELLENIC ENLIGHTENMENT: Original works written for the intellectual elevation of the Greek people, Greek translations of works of prose of the world and poetry and examples of the literary and linguistic dispute in the framework of European Enlightenment and the ideas arising from the French Revolution.
ARCHIVE MATERIAL: Letters and decrees of the heroes of the Greek War of Independence, commercial ledgers and revolutionary proclamations of the newly established Greek State.
The Travel Accounts book collection consists of 2.500 editions written by various European travelers describing the Mediterranean area and Southeast Europe from the 16th to the 20th century.
These books, although possessing many elements of fantasy, are a valuable source of information for society, culture, geography, economy, religion and all aspects of daily life of the people that travelers met during their voyages. Moreover, since these books are accompanied by rich graphic material (photographs, engravings, drawings, etc.), they provide significant records of archaeological sites and monuments while composing the local history through the unique view of European travelers.
The Onassis Library has already digitized 100,000 records of its material and has developed two digital applications for web / tablet / smartphone which are freely available at www.onassislibrary.gr.