The Archive of Modern Greek Literature was established in 1973. It was annexed to the then Centre for Modern Greek Literature and Folklore Studies, and was supervised by a three-member committee (which was composed of G. P. Savvidis, A. Sachinidis, A. Aggelou, and the secretary A. Kechagia-Lypourli). Efforts had been made to establish an archive in 1967 thanks to the initiative taken by Linos Politis and G. P. Savvidis, but the imposition of dictatorship thwarted these plans.
Today, the Archive is part of the Department of Medieval and Modern Greek Studies of the School of Philology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which is responsible for its funding. It is housed in room 101 in the old building of the Faculty of Philosophy and supervised by a new scientific committee, composed of G. Kechagioglou, M. Mike, Aik. Tiktopoulou, and L. Varelas (secretarial support: Sofia Sachpekidou).
Please find attached the Regulation with regard to the operation of the Archive and information about its access.
The Modern Greek Literature Archive contains a rich collection of personal archives of modern Greek authors, mainly of the 20th century, which consists of manuscripts and typed drafts of or complete works, printed essays with handwritten corrections, letters and correspondence, clippings from newspapers and journals, first editions of works, and, to a smaller extent, collections of texts from various authors.
In particular, the Archive contains the archive material of Alcibiades Giannopoulos and a large part of the archive material of Stratis Doukas. The 14 drafts of Odysseus Elytis’ The Axion Esti (donated by G. P. Savvidis), the handwritten notebooks and sketches of works by Aggelos Sikelianos, the drafts of the work To Platy Potami (the Broad River) by Yannis Berates, and some typed pages of the novel The Hours of “Mrs. Ersi” by N. G. Pentzikis are among the most important items in the Archive. Archive material from Stelios Xefloudas, Giorgos Delios, Melissanthi and their correspondence are also part of the Archive.
Moreover, the Archive contains the archive material of Melpo Axioti, which was bought at the beginning of the 1990s at a nominal price, and contains a rich series of correspondence (about 650 letters sent between 1947 and 1971 to Melpo Axioti by G. Ritsos, Str. Tsirkas, K. Politis, P. Prevelakis, Thr. Kastanakis, T. K. Papatsonis, Elli Alexiou, and others).
Last but not least, the Archive contains documents from Th. Orfanidis, C. P. Cavafy, K. Palamas, Al. Pallis, M. Malakasis, K. Ouranis, Z. Papantoniou, M. Avgeris, as well as less archive material from T. Athanasiadis, G. Themelis, G. Theotokas, Elli Papadimitriou, I. Petropoulou, R. Apostolidis, V. Vassilikos, Chr. Papoutsakis (from the journal Anti), and from younger authors such as N. Valaoritis, K. Lachas and K. Montis.
The Archive today: development and prospects
Part of the archive material has been presented to the wider public through exhibitions held at the Vafopouleio Cultural Centre (i.e. the exhibition dedicated to the Macedonian Days journal and its associates, to Sikelianos, to Berates and to Elytis). Under certain circumstances, on-the-spot examination of the archive material as well as research projects and studies carried out by researchers and students are also possible.
From April 2005 to March 2007, the Modern Greek Literature Archive was part of the project entitled “Digitization of Modern Greek Literature and Art Collections of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki” (K. Manolikas was responsible for the project), funded by the 3rd Community Support Framework of the European Union, which provided for a new classification, systematic recording and digitization of the largest part of the present archive material, ensuring, thus, its maintenance and use to the maximum extent possible.
Within the framework of this project, the largest part of the archive material has been digitized. All of the material in the collection has been indexed and is available in printed form: Dimopoulou, K. (Ed.). (2007). Modern Greek literature archive: detailed catalogue. Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Appendix of the Year-book of the Faculty of Philosophy, School of Philology). See its electronic version in: http://www-old.lit.auth.gr/index.php?page=30000 and
However, despite the new data and the progress made, it is still urgent to find the necessary funds which will allow hiring a permanent secretary. Moreover, sufficient financial resources will not only contribute to covering the operational needs of the Archive or ensuring the preventive and, in some cases, necessary conservation of its valuable items, but it will also boost the morale of the people involved in the project and enhance the efforts made to search for, buy and enrich the Archive with more items, old and new ones.