The Gennadius Library’s collection reflects the many interests of its founder, Joannes Gennadius (1844-1932). Some of the highlights of the holdings, which include artifacts of many different kinds as well as printed matter, are described below. The organization still follows Gennadius’ own cataloging arrangement. New acquisitions are guided by a carefully-formulated Collection Policy, inspired by the founding collection and complementing the collections of the Blegen Library across the street which are focused on earlier periods of Greek history and prehistory.
Gennadius began his collection of books and other Greek memorabilia after 1870 and by 1895 his Library had reached its full growth. He conceived it as being a comprehensive collection on Greece emphasizing continuity from antiquity to the present day. His aim was “to form a library that represents the creative genius of Greece at all periods, the influence of her arts and sciences upon the western world, and the impression created by her natural beauty upon the traveller.”
Since its foundation in 1926 the Gennadius Library has collected books based on Johannes Gennadius’s interests as detailed in the Acquisitions Policy of the Gennadius Library.
Byzantine Art and Archaeology
Geography and Travel
Science of Language
Modern Greek Literature