The creation of a library (1837 – 1899)
Books were donated to the Society from the very beginning. Oftentimes they were not relevant to its aims, in which case the Society donated them to other organizations in order to avoid their destruction while in storage. From the Secretariat of Stephanos Koumanoudis (1859-1894) on, especially after the appointment of his son Athanasios as Assistant Secretary and inspector of the Museums, the Society began to purchase books useful for the work of the Department of Museums and the inspectors. Ephoroi and Professors who were members of the Board could borrow books for scholarly purposes.
The Society’s library acquired legal status according to the Statute of 1894. Article 17 states that the Secretary supervises the library, composes its catalogue, etc. Article 30 states that the library is in common use, but the loaning and removal of books is prohibited.
The Society’s book collection was enriched with important books following the donation of part of President Demosthenes Tsivanopoulos’ private library – an act for which he was declared a benefactor. After that date, a useful new project, the publication of the library’s catalogue, was planned and announced. Unfortunately, it was not completed. The first volume, which was published in 1897, contained books obtained by the library in the period 1837 – 1896. According to the introductory note, it was compiled by Char. Pylarinos, who served as Assistant Secretary for some time.
Heads of the library (1899-1992)
Alexandros Philadelpheus, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, was chief inspector of the library in 1899, assigned with specific tasks. In 1902, Stephanos Xenopoulos succeeded him with the specific mandate to compose the library’s catalogue for publication. The second volume of the catalogue was published in 1906 and contained the books obtained by the library in the period 1897 – 1905. Georgios Veltsos (1910-1917) originally served the library as a staff member and later on became President of the Society. He was succeeded by Demetrios Pelekidis (1917-1959) and thereafter by Rea Kotioni (1959 – 1983).
Argyro Pantelidou managed the Society’s library from 1985 to 1992.