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A Greek Journal

From the collection, the journal Panathenaia

Greek journal Hestia

From the collection, the journal Hestia

The Byzantine and Modern Greek Collections at the University of Cincinnati include some 1,000 journal titles covering all aspects of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Greece, with special strengths in 19th c. and early 20th c. journals, such as Έρμῆς ὁ λόγιος (1811-21), the journal of Greek intellectuals dispersed throughout Europe during the pre-Revolutionary period and an important source for the theoretical background to the Revolution as well as the first journal published in modern Greek. Other historical periodicals include: 

  • Βυζαντίς (1909-12) 
  • Έλληνικά (1928)  
  • Ἐπετηρὶς Ἑταιρείας Βυζαντινῶν Σπουδῶν (1924) 
  • Δελτίων τῆς Ίστορικῆς καὶ Ἐθνολογικῆς Έταιρίας Ἑλλάδος (1883) 
  • Ἠπειρωτικὰ χρονικά (1926) 
  • Θρακικά (1928) 
  • Χιακὰ χρονικά (1911) 
  • Μικρασιατικὰ χρονικά (1938-) 
  • Ἀθηνᾶ (1889-), the journal of the Έπιστημονικὴ Έταιρεία in Athens. 

Further holdings include review publications such as: 

  • Ἑλληνισμός (1898-) 
  • Ἑστία (1876-94) 
  • Νέα ἑστία (1927) 
  • Νουμᾶς (1903) 
  • Παναθήναια (1901-), the most important organ of the Demoticists.

The collecting of Greek materials at the University of Cincinnati began in earnest with archaeologist Carl W. Blegen, Professor of Classical Archaeology from 1927 to his death in 1971. Blegen excavated extensively in Greece and served as Assistant Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and was able to acquire many publications for the UC Classics Library on his frequent stays in Greece, but also on visits to Istanbul, Paris, London, and New York.

The collection focused initially on standard editions of ancient texts published by modern Greek scholars as well as on Greek works in ancient history and archaeology. It subsequently expanded to include also Modern Greek linguistics and “the language question,” Byzantine and modern Greek history, geography and topography, as well as Anglo-American literary philhellenism.

At that time there were even plans to make the University of Cincinnati the center of medieval and modern Greek studies in the United States and to enable the acquisition of rare books such as first editions and special elegant publications through its Friends program to illustrate the history of modern Greek typography and book-making.

In 1952 the University, under the Farmington Plan of the Association of Research Libraries, took responsibility for the preservation in the United States of all scholarly publications originating in Greece. Under this plan, Professor Blegen began the acquisition of contemporary materials in nearly every field of knowledge except for law, medicine, and agriculture. Peter Topping in a survey of “Modern Greek Studies and Materials in the United States” in the early 1940s (Byzantion 15 (1940-41): 414-442) referred to the UC Modern Greek collection at that time as “the finest and largest” in the United States.

The acquisition of Modern Greek journals and monographs at the University of Cincinnati is still comprehensive for titles dealing with the Byzantine period, Frankokratia, Venetokratia, Tourkokratia, Enlightenment Era, the War of Independence, WWII (as it relates to Greece's involvement), the Junta (the Greek military dictatorship 1967-1974), 18th-20th century western travelers in Greece and the Levant, Anglo-American literary philhellenism, the language question (Katharevousa vs. Demotiki), the Eastern question (diplomatic history during the Ottoman period), and historiography. The coverage is more selective in the areas of general history, politics, language and literature, religion, folklore, music, theater, and the Greek diaspora.

The Modern Greek collection also contains hundreds of Greek, U.S., and British Army maps from WWI and WWII detailing the geography of Greece and the entire Mediterranean and Aegean areas, Asia Minor, the Black Sea region as well as thematic maps covering socio-economic, industrial, commercial, and demographic factors, as well as natural resources.

The rare 19th century modern Greek journal collection comprises some 120 titles and those from the first half of the 20th century more than 280 titles.  In most cases, the UC Classics Library possesses all volumes published of each journal. 

The Classics Library’s modern Greek holdings also greatly benefit from the many Greek scholars in the Classics Department, including faculty, Tytus fellows, and graduate students and from the support of philhellene Jack L. Davis, the Chair of the Department and Carl W. Blegen Professor of Greek Archaeology since 1993 and Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007-2012.

Modern Greek journals
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The Greek Digital Journal Archive is a project of academic research and national libraries in the United States and Europe committed to open online access to their collections of pre-1974 Greek journals in the humanities and the social sciences. This is a new initiative, still in its infancy, by the UC Classics Library. Funds need to be secured to digitize rare journal titles in the Classics Library. The project has enthusiastic partners in the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection at Cal State, Sacramento, Harvard, Michigan, Library of Congress, Princeton, Minnesota, the Center for Asia Minor Studies and the Gennadius Library in Athens that are all committed to digitizing their historic Greek journal and newspaper collections.