C.P. Cavafy (circa 1928)

C.P. Cavafy (1903)

Voices, manuscrpit

C.P. Cavafy (circa 1896)

C.P. Cavafy (1932)

Walls, manuscrpit


Cavafy Archive
Cavafy Archive

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 is constituted by a large number of manuscripts, photographs and personal objects of the poet. Amongst the items making up the Cavafy Archive, one may find more than 4.600 pages of manuscripts, makeshift collections of the poems as well as prose works, articles and drafts and notes of the poet as well as the personal archive of the poet comprising his correspondence and collection of photographs. The Singopoulos Archive is a distinct archival unit amassing material pertaining to the poet as well as the archive of Alexandrini Techni. 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.

Today, the archive has been digitized in its entirety. The digital reproduction of the original archival material which was completed in 2017 has produced 11.086 high-definition shots. An additional 4.741 shots were procured from the digitization of the 158 microfilms (145 from the original photoshoot plus an additional 13 microfilms containing repeat takes) of the historical photoshoot that was carried out in 1963 by G. P. Savvidis. 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.

Always keeping in line with the management pillars of the Cavafy Archive, that is to say, openness, accessibility, education, the Onassis Foundation entrusts the curation of the Archive’s initiatives to an academic committee consisting of nine members. The main role of the Academic Committee is the design of academic and research initiatives related to the Archive, the effective management of the academic resources and potential of the Archive, the study of the Archive’s appeal to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, the submission of proposals for cultural and educational initiatives relevant to the Archive, the promotion of cavafian research and the creation of a model example of archival management, networking with other educational and cultural institutions (universities, research programs, archives, etc), the assessment of eligible candidates for doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships related to the study of Cavafy’s work.

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.

Academic Committee:

Chryssanthopoulos Michalis, Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Emmerich Karen,
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
Gourgouris Stathis,
Professor of Comparative Literature and Society, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Güthenke Constanze,
Associate Professor of Greek Literature, Faculty of Classics
E.P. Warren Praelector, Corpus Christi College
Kayalis Takis,
Professor of Modern Greek Literature at the University of Ioannina
Pappa Amalia,
Deputy Director of the General State Archives (G.S.A.), Head of the Library & Reading Room Department
Spinellis Diomidis,
Professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business
Stavropoulou Erasmia,
Professor Emerita of Modern Greek Literature and former Head (2014-2016) of the Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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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.

Click here to see the Cavafy Archive goals in more detail

Access Regulation for the Cavafy Archive

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