Greek-Americans Join Forces to Support Greek Archives

A group of Greek-American archivists and genealogical experts have decided to provide support to Greece’s archival infrastructure by raising funds in order to equip local archives around the country.

Greece’s financial crisis has left much of the country’s vital infrastructure without adequate funding. Greek archival repositories are among the areas of the Greek public sector that have been significantly underfunded during the last decade.

In many cases, archivists have to cover necessary expenses with their own personal funds, due to a lack of funding from the Greek state.

It is these difficulties that have led some Greek-American experts in genealogy and archival repositories to start a fundraising campaign to help local archival services throughout Greece.

The first delivery of envelopes, paper and other items for Laconia’s office of the General State Archives in Sparta

Gregory Kontos has launched several fundraising campaigns to purchase supplies, such as archival boxes, folders, paper, masks and gloves, for the local archival offices in the Greek regions of Messinia, Arcadia, and Argolida, as well as for the island of Leros.

As Carol Kostakos Petranek, the manager of the Hellenic Genealogy Conferences, told Greek Reporter, a campaign begins only if a Greek archival office expresses interest in participating in the program and informs the fundraising team of the supplies needed. After raising the funds, the team orders the supplies and has them shipped to the local office in Greece.

Ioannis Georgoulis, in the General Archives of Arcadia with the new computer that the Greek American Team bought for the office in Tripolis

A recent example is the local archival office in Peloponnese city of Tripolis, which was the recipient of a new computer and scanner, worth €559 ($638).

In response to the donation, archivist Ioannis Georgoulis of the Tripolis office sent the following message to campaign organizer Gregory Kontos:

“Today we received the new equipment! Its characteristics are the most appropriate for our work as an Archival Service. It will definitely be of crucial help in our work (archives description, indexing and digitization). We thank the Greek communities abroad and all those who contributed through ‘Support Greek Archives’ initiative! It was such an important act of support to the General State Archives (GAK) of Arcadia. We personally thank Gregory Kontos for the undertaking and co-ordination of this initiative.”

More information about the team’s current fundraising efforts is available on its social media accounts, here and here.