Scholars' Association News
Issue 21
January 2012

02/04


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The presentation of the Greek Library catalogue

The Greek Library: the Konstantinos Sp. Staikos Book Collection henceforth the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Library was presented at a special event that took place at the Christina Onassis Hall of the Onassis Cultural Centre on November 15, 2011.

The Greek Library catalogue was presented by the President of the Onassis Foundation Anthony Papadimitriou, collector, book historian and library expert Konstantinos Sp. Staikos, and Professor Georgios Babiniotis. The event also featured a slide presentation of some of the most valuable books in the collection. Georgios Babiniotis stated that “Not having gone through this catalogue constitutes spiritual loss”. He further added that the volume “has quite a few surprises in store for both experts and common readers”.

It is a 546-page publication reflecting the marvellous wealth of the collection. The catalogue has been released in both Greek and English. Its pages feature 1,476 titles of the treasures safeguarded in the Library’s magnificent neoclassical building on Amalias Avenue. The publications included in the collection are classified into five entities: Renaissance – Humanism; Neo-Hellenic Literature; Liturgical books; Theology, and Neo-Hellenic Englightenment.

Konstantinos Sp. Staikos described this collection as “A mirror of the intellectual progress of Greeks from the Fall of Constantinople to the years just before and after the 1821 Greek Revolution”. In light of the book’s presentation, Anthony Papadimitriou made a reference to the bleak years before the Greek Revolution and suggested that “for the benefit of the intellectual renaissance of our nation, we must draw optimism from the struggles of such people as Adamantios Korais and the Anonymous the Greek of the Hellenic Nomarchy, for the spiritual rebirth of the nation, struggles which ultimately led to nation’s political rebirth.

The content of this collection bears testament to the intellectual activities of the Diaspora Greeks, both secularly and ecclesiastically, from the beginning of the Italian Renaissance until the latter years of Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment (early 15th century – late 19th century). This priceless collection outlines the Greeks’ bustling publishing activity in the West and the East, in intellectual and spiritual hubs such as Venice, Rome, Vienna, Iassy, Bucharest, Constantinople, Moscow and Buda. It also highlights the contribution of the Greeks to the political and other burning issues of the time.

You can find more details of the Onassis Foundation Library and the contents of this sophisticated and scientifically comprehensive publication, which grants wider public access to the intellectual treasures stored in the Library, in Issues 49 and 51 of ΑΩ magazine, , and online at http://www.onassis.gr/enim_deltio/49_10/news_3.php and http://www.onassis.gr/enim_deltio/51_11/book_review_1.php.


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