Modern Greek Studies Foundation Collection
In 2022 the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection became the new home of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation Collection in Memory of Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, a collection of some 2,500 volumes of books, journals, magazines, and newspapers; archives/manuscripts and ephemera; oral histories and other audiovisual recordings; and several pieces of art and artifacts.
The collection comprises the holdings the former Center for Greek Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The SFSU Center for Greek Studies (originally Center for Modern Greek Studies) was established in 1981 by the late Prof. Thanasis Maskaleris, professor of comparative literature and classics at the university. Over the years, the Center accumulated a significant collection of materials dealing with Modern Greek language, literature, history, and culture, including the Hellenic diaspora in California. Notable acquisitions came from the libraries of historian and folklorist Helen Zeese Papanikolas, poet Nanos Valaoritis, and journalist and author Nikos Rozakos; among these there is a sizeable number of works of poetry, many inscribed to Valaorites and Rozakos. The bulk of this collection was known as the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Modern Greek Studies Collection, after the father of Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, who was an early benefactor of the Center. With the closure of the Center in May 2021, the entirety of the Center’s holdings was transferred to the Modern Greek Studies Foundation (MGSF), which had been a perennial supporter of the Center. MGSF in turn donated the collection to Sacramento State for the enhancement of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection.
“We are thrilled that this valuable collection will now be an important part of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection at Sacramento State where it will be curated by exceptionally knowledgeable and caring professionals with deep respect for the value, beauty, and importance of Modern Greek studies,” said Chris Gus Kanios, President of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation.
The book and periodical materials consist of roughly 2,500 volumes in English and Greek in the areas of art and archaeology, history, folklore, religion, music, literature, theatre, Greek-American studies, and Cyprus. Literature is the greatest strength of the collection and includes extensive holdings of books by and about Kazantzakis in Greek, English and other languages.
The archival material pertains primarily to Greek immigrants and the Greek-American experience in California. Notable among these are the papers of the local Greek-American journalist and author Nikos Rozakos; and photographs, videos, and some music and memorabilia on Bay Area Greek communities, including the files, recordings, and transcripts of about 50 oral histories recorded under the Center’s auspices starting in 2001. Also included are the Center’s administrative files chronicling its activities over 40 years.
We are extremely grateful and honored that MGSF selected the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection as the new home of this rich collection.