About Us

The "new" consolidated Archives and Personal Papers, located at the East Wing of the Gennadius Library, comprise administrative records (AdmRec) concerning the function and mission of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), excavation records (ExcRec) from American archaeological projects in Greece (e.g., Lerna, Kea, Pylos), personal papers of American archaeologists working in Greece, such as Carl W. Blegen, Gorham P. Stevens, William B. Dinsmoor, Virginia R. Grace, and Homer A. Thompson, as well as a rich and important collection of personal papers about the history and culture of Modern Greece and the rest of the Balkan peninsula.

With the establishment of the Gennadius Library in 1926, the first collection acquired was that of its founder, Joannes Gennadius, and his father, George Gennadius. Ten years later, in 1936, the family of Heinrich Schliemann, the excavator of Troy and Mycenae, deposited his personal papers in the Gennadius Library. The real growth of the archival collections began during Francis Walton’s directorship (1961–1976), when the library added to its archival collections the papers of the renowned conductor, Dimitris Mitropoulos (1963), and a few years later the papers of Greece’s two Nobel laureates in literature, poets George Seferisand Odysseus Elytis. Since then, the Gennadius Library has continued to increase its archival holdings with a focus on the literature and political history of Greece. The School is especially privileged to include in its holdings the papers of the Dragoumis family, including those of Ion Dragoumis, and the papers of Stephanos Skouloudis and Konstantinos Mousouros—just to mention a few of the collections important for the history of Greece. More recently, we also received the papers of Constantine Tsatsos, former President of the Hellenic Republic (1975-1980), and his wife Ioanna.

The collection of personal papers pertaining to the study of Modern Greek literature is also exceptional. The most important acquisitions have at their core the papers of the so-called “30’s Generation,” including both its main and more peripheral members. In addition to the papers of Seferis and Elytis, the Gennadius Library has recently acquired the papers of novelists Stratis Myrivilis, Angelos Terzakis, Elias Venezis, and poet Kostas Varnalis. The scope of the collection is currently being expanded to incorporate literary papers of the first post-War generation, including those of poets Takis Sinopoulosand George Pavlopoulos, as well as more recent authors, such asElias Petropoulos, Vassilis Vassilikos, and Vangelis Raptopoulos.

There are also extensive holdings of photographs of Greece and excavations in Greece from the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, as well as the personal photographic collections of Alison Frantz, Dorothy Burr Thompson, and others. The Antiquities Collectionof the American School is another one of its valuable resources with a large body of artifacts from a large number of sites in Greece, as well as Anatolia, Cyprus, and Egypt.