Treasures

The National Library of Greece treasures up a rich and unique material in manuscript, which consists of codices and archives. It owns one of the greatest collections of Greek Manuscript Codices worldwide as well as valuable historical record collections.

The term “codex” implies a handwritten book, namely a manuscript made up of a number of folded and stapled papyrus, parchment or paper sheets. The National Library collection includes about 4.500 manuscript codices dating back from the 9th to 19th centuries A.D., vellum and paper ones, of various contents such as Byzantine music or foreign languages, palimpsests and narrated scrolls. Through these precious records of human thought stand out distinguishing Figures of the Church, classical authors, philosophers, rhetoricians and historians. Various forms of Greek writing and exquisite micrographies are preserved, whereas renowned bibliographical workshops and significant bibliographers are presented. 

The National Library collections comprise miscellaneous categories of historical documents, such as golden bulls, patriarchal sigils and legal documents of the Turkish Occupation period, which highlight important aspects of the past. The Greek Revolution records hold a most prominent position in the National Library’s archives represented, among others, by the National Liberation Fighters Record, John Philimonos’s collection and the Philhellenic Committee of London. Moreover, educational records (University Diplomas, Munich Lyceum), philological (manuscripts by D. Solomos and A. Sikelianos), scholar documents (K. Asopios Th. Pharmakides, P. Hypites), commercial (Thessalian, Stavrou) complement the collection, while the Nani archive is also considered most remarkable, as it comprises documents referring to the second period of Venetian Occupation of the Peloponese.

All the above are unique tokens of Greek Civilization.