The Onassis Foundation acquired the Cavafy Archive at the end of 2012. In this manner, a potential fragmentation and dispersal of the Cavafy Archive was avoided and the Archive remains in Greece. Our mission is the protection of the physical archive, the creation of the necessary conditions to ensure its openness and accessibility to researchers and to the wider public; furthermore, our mission is to ensure the dissemination of the Cavafy oeuvre and the international appeal of Cavafy’s poetry.
The Cavafy Archive consists of more than 4.600 manuscripts and personal items of the poet. These include the original manuscripts of poems, translations, notes, essays, and correspondence, the archive of Alexandrini Techni, part of the Singopoulos Archive, as well as works of art related to Cavafy. From the moment of the Archive’s acquisition, every effort has been made (even during conservation), to facilitate all researchers who wished to examine it. No researcher has ever been excluded, and no one has privileged access.
The Cavafy Archive is currently in a stage of transition from an open physical archive to an open digital archive. Τhe entirety of the archival documents of the Cavafy Archive has been digitized. The digitisation process has produced 7649 discrete digitized documents pertaining to manuscripts, notes, newspapers, photographs, personal items of the poet and works of art. The discrete digitised documents are the result of 9347 high resolution quality shots. Its policy will be one of complete open access for the digitized material in its entirety, according to specific, internationally accepted, and clearly defined terms. Open access is practiced internationally in a way that may seem to a great extent counterintuitive. However, it constitutes a regular practice in the area of open knowledge, in order to adhere to and reserve intellectual property rights. Open access also means protecting the archive from uses and practices that perpetuate past practices of exclusive access, which indirectly restrict the archive’s open access strategy.
Safeguarding and promoting cultural inheritance, is one of the Onassis Foundation’s primary commitments, being reflected in the Foundation’s more general policy in the fields of culture, the arts and sciences as well as its public benefit mission. The acquisition and management of the Cavafy Archive falls precisely in this context.
Who We Are
Dimitris Papanikolaou: Senior Academic Advisor
Theodoros Chiotis: Project Manager
Marianna Christofi: Assistant Project Manager
In managing the Cavafy Archive, our focus continues to be the preservation of the past, as well as a strong orientation towards questions of the future.