The Vryonis Center Library, which is expected to house 100,000 volumes by the turn of the century, is at the core of the Center's educational goals. By the end of 1994, the library had acquired 40,000 books and journals.
The central component of the library, which is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is its collection of books and archival material on the study of the Greek world. The historical periods included in this section are ancient Greece; the Roman period; Byzantium; the Crusader era, including the period of Venetian domination; Greece under Ottoman rule; the development of the modern Greek state; and contemporary Greece. Among the topics covered are history, literature, language, art, music, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, economics, political science, folklore, and Greeks in the diaspora.
Individuals and institutions have donated many of the holdings in the library. These include two major collections: the Vlavianos Collection and Archives, donated by Basil Vlavianos, former professor of political science and economics, and newspaper publisher; and the Sotirhos Collection, a gift by Michael Sotirhos, former U.S. ambassador to Greece (1989-1993).
One of the highlights of the library's Greek section is its 177-volume collection of the official Government Gazette of Greece, Ephemeris tes Kyverneseos (Journal Officiel), covering the years 1833-1864 and 1898-1940. Very few libraries outside Greece have copies of this publication which serves as the official means of publishing Greek laws. It is, therefore, a significant feature of the Vryonis Center library.
The library is also building a collection of rare books on Hellenism, including early editions of works by ancient Greek writers, descriptions of Greece during Ottoman rule by European travelers, and nineteenth-century accounts of the Greek Revolution.
The study of contemporary Greece is enhanced by the library's collection of the major newspapers and magazines published in Athens. European newspapers and periodicals are also available as resources for students who wish to become familiar with contemporary Greece within its rapidly changing European context. To promote academic research on the entire spectrum of Greek-Turkish relations, the library makes available a number of sources of Turkish news.
In order to further an understanding of Greece's relations with other cultures and an awareness of the external factors which have influenced the development of Greek civilization throughout history, the library also has significant holdings on the Balkans and the Middle East, including sections on the ancient Near East, Judaic history, Armenian history, Islamic and Ottoman history, modern Turkey, and the Slavic world.
An important collection of the Vryonis Center library is the material on the Greek-American community, including studies of its social, cultural, educational, and religious life. The library maintains a microfilm archive of doctoral dissertations on the Greek world which have been written at American universities. Many of these dissertations focus on topics of interest to Greek Americans. Current issues of major Greek-American newspapers, in both English and Greek, are on the library shelves for those who wish to follow developments in the Greek-American community nationwide, as well as views of Greek Americans on contemporary American and Greek affairs. In the future, the library will have a microfilm file of both Greek-American and Greek newspapers dating back to the nineteenth century.
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