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Greek archives on line

Scholars who want an idea of what is housed in the Greek archives (formerly the Dardalis Archives) will be able to take a look at an online list of the catalogued items, through efforts mof LaTrobe University in Australia

So far, about half of the archives contained in more than 5,500 boxes have been catalogued, but for the first time ever, these items have been listed online to help researchers and members of the public find first source material.

While the archive is still closed to the public, everyone is able to view the list by searching key words or by groupings.

Project manager and La Trobe librarian Eva Fisch says while they aren't at liberty to show photos of the items, the list provides a great starting point for researchers.

As she noted the copyright act is preventing the archivists from scanning that material and putting it online. What is being done is giving people access to the groups of material like the newspapers, the art objects, the letters, the photographs and so forth, so then if they are interested in anything they can do a search and come up with the information that has been listed.

Then, the interested party can ask to see the item and it will be brought to the La Trobe library for perusal.

The list will be updated as the team continues to find new and exciting items.

Some of the impressive finds over the last six months include a book on zoology dating back to 1849, around 1,150 original Greek music vinyls from 2EA radio, and lots of theatrical plays including E Golfo, written in 1929.

What La Trobe University hopes to do is display some of the best and most interesting items in the university library in 2015.

While still in the early stages of planning, there's a lot of hope that these items will become part of a display that will be able to tour the state and the rest of Australia.

Formerly known as the Dardalis Archives of the Hellenic Diaspora, the archives were started in the '90s by Greek benefactor Zissis (Jack) Dardalis as a call to collect everything old and important in the Greek community.

After the body in charge of archives (the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research or EKEME in Greek) ceased operating in 2007, the archives have been left collecting dust ever since.

La Trobe University has taken hold of the archives and has been working for the past 18 months in properly listing the items which are housed in the boxes while working on properly preserving them.

More than 5,500 boxes, 80 metres of bound newspapers, costumes, newsreels, films, artworks, material stored on 60 computers make up the archives, with many cultural gems still waiting to be uncovered.

See the archive work here: http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/greek-archives/hdms.htm