Academy of Athens Library Presents Its Treasures



academy660A book stabbed by Emmanuel Rhoides in a fit of anger, letters of Eleftherios Venizelos and Dionysios Solomos, the first edition of the “Hymn to Liberty” and a notice of the Greek Revolution handwritten by Alexander Ypsilantis: these are just some of the rare treasures that will be exhibited by the Library of the Academy of Athens for the first time in its 88-year history.

The rich archive of the Library of the Academy of Athens holds approximately 200,000 books and 3,500 magazines. Now, the Library has taken special measures to present several of its treasures for the first time since its establishment in 1926.

“The Library is not well known, so we decided to reach out to the general public. We now know what we have in our possession and we are ready to show the public. We want people to know that the Library of the Academy of Athens is open to everyone,” says Irene Tsouri, the the head of the Library.

The oldest manuscript to be displayed is the work of Praxapostolos, a document detailing the Apostles’ acts and letters. Dating to the 12th century, it is inscribed on parchment.

Two of the most important documents of the exhibition are “Thourios” by Rigas Feraios Riga, a printed document from 1798, and the first edition of the “Hymn to Liberty” by Dionysios Solomos, published in 1825 by Claude Fauriel in Paris and printed by Firmin Didot. The exhibition will also host a notice of the Greek Revolution handwritten by Alexander Ypsilantis, bearing the date of February 23, 1821.

The Library will also present samples from its map collection. The oldest of the exhibits is entitled “Rogerianos,” a map dating to 1154 in which the Mediterranean Sea is depicted upside down.

The exhibition will take place at the Academy of Athens from October 16 to 24 and October 29 to 31 (excluding weekends), from 9am to 3pm. Tours will be held in the Library during these dates from 10am until noon.