Non-Local Library Visit 4: Public Historical Library of Andritsaina

Type of library: public

Postal address: Andritsaina, 270 61 Ilia, Greece

Distance from Congress venue: 250 km

Meeting point: Titania Hotel / Panepistimio Metro Station

Optimal route: by bus

A volunteer will be waiting for you at the proposed meeting point.

Constantin Agathophron Nicolopoulos is the founder of the “Nicolopoulos Library”. His father, HatziGeorgakis Nicolopoulos, fled his birthplace Andritzaina, migrating to Smyrna, where his son Constantin was born, in 1786. The latter, having completed his studies in Pedagogics, established himself in Paris, by 1807. A passionate lover of books, he created one of the most prized and the most renowned private collections of his time. In 1838, he sent a letter to the Community of Andritzaina, his father’s birthplace, offering his entire collection.

This unique offer being gladly accepted by his compatriots, he sent 47 wooden crates from Paris, accompanied by a special committee sent for that purpose. They arrived at the port of Catacolon by ship and were transferred thence to Andritsaina, on mules. In 1841, Nicolopoulos was suddenly taken ill with tetanus; he died leaving his initial plan of returning to his homeland unfulfilled. The” Nicolopoulos Library” displays books of every known field, as well as the Integral Works of the Classics. These books, being in great part original printed editions reaching back to 1500 A.D., are of great value and scarcity.

In 1930, the Library was declared public, and is affiliated at present to the Ministry of National Education. It is enriched with new editions, acquired by donation or purchase. At present, the library holds more than 45.000 volumes, and functions as a lending library, for the greatest number of these books.