Widener Library

Modern Greek Collection

The Modern Greek Collection of the Harvard College Library holds materials in all languages and all subjects in the humanities and social sciences published in Greece and Cyprus. It dates back to the early 19th century, and is one of the largest and richest collections of its kind outside of Greece. In addition to current Greek and Cypriot imprints, the collection includes rare books and manuscripts, first editions of folklore collections, modern authors, poets, and Western travelers, as well as an unusually complete set of 19th century periodicals and historical documents. Houghton Library maintains stewardship of the rare books and manuscripts portion of the collection.

The Modern Greek Section supports the teaching programs offered by Harvard's Department of the Classics Graduate Programs, which include: Classical Philology, Classical Archaeology, Classical Philosophy, Ancient History, Byzantine Greek and Modern Greek Studies. The Modern Greek Section selects, acquires, and catalogs all appropriate materials, in a variety of formats, published in Greece and Cyprus. Although historians have placed the year 1453, the Fall of Constantinople, as the date that Ancient Greece ends and that Modern Greece begins, this date does not limit the span of the Modern Greek collection. Current acquisitions cover the following broad subject areas: ancient and modern history, classics, economics, folklore, Greek Orthodoxy, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, philology, philosophy, political science and sociology. Suggestions for collections purchases are always welcome.

The Modern Greek Section serves as Harvard College Library’s contact point for Modern Greek Studies scholars, offering specialized reference services and area-related bibliographic instruction.  Faculty members, scholars, and students are invited to contact Rhea Karabelas Lesage, Librarian for Hellenic Studies and Coordinator for the Classics, via e-mail or at 617-495-2426, to discuss their research interests.

Useful Information

Selected Web Sites

  • Consortium of Hellenic Studies Librarians (CoHSL)
    The CoHSL seeks to foster and facilitate the sharing of information and cooperation among academic research institutions by supporting and coordinating efforts to collect, preserve, and disseminate their combined collections, in an effort to enhance the depth and scope of the collections and to facilitate access to them. Information on the Modern Greek Resources Project, a nascent Global Resources Project, and links to several Greek digital projects can be found at the CoHSL site, which is maintained by Rebecka Lindau of the American Academy of Rome.
  • Greece: Selected Internet Resources
    Created and maintained by the Library of Congress, this site is part of the “Portals to the World” project and includes internet resources that provide authoritative, in-depth information about Greece.
  • Cyprus: Selected Internet Resources
    Created and maintained by the Library of Congress, this site is part of the “Portals to the World” project and includes internet resources that provide authoritative, in-depth information about Cyprus.
  • MGSA: Modern Greek Studies Association
    The website of the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA), founded in 1968, an American-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Modern Greek studies in the United States and Canada.