I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE welcomes researchers, teachers and those people, in general, who are interested in Ioannis Kapodistrias: a personality inextricably connected to the historical transformations in the early nineteenth century, who left his mark on the history of Europe and modern Greece.
The I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE, taking advantage of the possibilities provided by digital technologies, aims at surpassing the difficulties so far inherent in the collection of evidence regarding the work of I. Kapodistrias. Escaping the limitations of a traditional archive, the webnode aspires to offer an integrated picture for the multiplicity and diversity of evidence concerning I. Kapodistrias, its geographical dispersion, as well as its linguistic variety.
One of the aims of the research team was to investigate archives in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Russia, Italy and Greece. In many cases pertinent material concerning Kapodistrias was located. In some cases, research was conducted in situ. In other cases, research was conducted via the Internet. In both cases, the goal was not so much an analytical recording of single documents, but rather to record evidece on the basis of library catalogues (and in the case the in situ control had been possible, a cross-checking of the catalogues was undertaken with part of the material). Thus, the citation of material is based upon the way of compilation and the degree and depth of analysis of every catalogue, since each archival institution records material in variant ways.
A major accomplishment of the project has been the elaboration and presentation of the largely unpublished personal archive of Ioannis Kapodistrias, located in the G.A.K. in Corfu which consists of 1.206 files, which are further subdivided in two sub-archives, Outgoing and Incoming Correspondence.
Due to its incomplete study, we gave priority to the sub-archive Outgoing Correspondence, amounting to 600 files containing 1.900 documents. These documents constitute the body of the letters and instructions sent out by I. Kapodistrias during the period he was the Governor of the newly established Greek state. Most of them are in the form of a draft, as they were being dictated by I. Kapodistrias to his secretary, before being translated and sent to their recipients. The majority of them are in French. The sub-archive contains a sufficient number of letters written in Kapodistrias' own hand-writing, also in French. There are also documents, dating from the period after I. Kapodistrias’ assassination, when his brother Augoustinos undertook the temporary governance. Most of these drafts are in Greek.
These documents cover an impressive breadth of subjects: correspondence with representatives of the Great Powers (ambassadors, admirals, consuls), surrender of forts by the Ottomans, foundation of schools, care for refugees and orphans, agricultural organization, confrontation of epidemics, securing financial resources by Philhellenes, settlement of disputes, appointments of officials. Of importance is also the section of letters addressed to the leaders of the Revolution: Kolokotronis, Makriyannis, the Mavromichalis family, Kountouriotis, Kanaris, Kriezis, as well as those regarding his correspondence with his close associates: Moustoxydis, Eynard, Vallianos.
Our research work opens up to researchers, indeed for the first time, a bulk of archival material that was never accessible in such a manner. The records are extremely detailed and contain, apart from the basic recording of each document’s elements, an analytical presentation of its content. Every document is accompanied by corresponding photographs in high resolution, allowing for a satisfying enlargement. The key-words, which accompany each document, offer multiple search possibilities.
In order to complete the “I. Kapodistrias Digital Archive”, it was deamed necessary to digitize the nine volumes with published Kapodistrian documents, edited by K. Dafnis (Kerkyra, 1976-1985) and published by the “Society of Corfiot Studies”. The documents included here, followed by a commentary, form the main body of material covering the period 1804-1831, and I. Kapodistrias' actions under the Septinsular Republic, his correspondence with his father (1809-1820), his career in the diplomatic service, his contribution to the European affairs and the period of administration of the Greek state. In consultation with the Society of Corfiot Studies, our team got permission for the digitization of the nine volumes and approximately 3.400 pages were digitized, which are presented in the form of the original, with the added possibility of advanced search. This voluminous work, necessary for everyone wanting to study the Kapodistrian period, becomes, for the first time, accessible through an application that permits the browsing, the printing, but, mainly, the searching through key-words. It is worth noting that the publication is now out of print and thanks to its digitization it is accessible to every researcher.
A hand written inventory of the belongings and books of I. Kapodistrias is preserved in the General Archives in Athens. Professor Maro Kardamitsi Adami had located and published this a few years ago. This record, containes among other household items, about 2.000 book titles that constituted the Governor’s library. Unfortunately, very few books of the initial collection are nowadays intact, since most of them, preserved by the family in Corfu, were destroyed during the fire caused by the Nazi bombardments in 1943. Kapodistrias’ library contained books on politics, political history and diplomacy, war history, philosophy, architecture, travel literature, theatre, arts, geography, medicine, law, etc. These were written in many languages, primarily in French, but also in German, Italian, Greek and Russian, most of which were published during Kapodistrias’ lifetime, that it, at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. In the I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE, visitors will find an analytical and documented recording of the library, through which emerge the intellectual origins and special interests of I. Kapodistrias.
The “I. Kapodistrias Digital Archive” has included the scientific bibliography about the Governor (monographs and articles), produced from the nineteenth century up until 2015. As a rule, the earliest works are an edition of evidence and memoirs about Kapodistrias. The main body of the bibliography is comprised by books and articles by Greek and foreign scientists, mainly historians, written in Greek, French and English, and more rarely in other languages. The intended purpose was to index all the publications and articles in journals or collected volumes about Kapodistrias (articles in newspapers were not indexed). It could be maintained that the 959 titles that eventually came out, accomplished, to a great extent, this purpose. The bibliography was constituted and published in printed format by Christos Loukos and Christina Koulouri, who kindly bestowed it to our research project.
The “I. Kapodistrias Digital Archive” has incorporated in his collections iconographic and audiovisual material about I. Kapodistrias and his era. Exhibits from the Kapodistrias Museum, the Governor’s personal belongings from other collections, portraits and sculptures of the Governor, photographs of Kapodistrian buildings, monuments, etc., artworks that illustrate the era, as well as relevant documentaries, television series, newsreel were studied and incorporated to the digital archive.
Within the frame of the program, there took place the production of short films on the perception of the figure and work of I. Kapodistrias. The purpose of these documentaries was to ask people who were professionally involved in studying the historical personality of Kapodistrias or who, in one way or another, were related to, or influenced by his heritage, to speak on camera, without any special preparation, so as to communicate their personal experience.
What the I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE proposes, is in fact a reconceptualization of the term “archive”. Aiming at offering a, as far as possible, comprehensive collection of material about the Governor’s life and work, we have extended the traditional perception of the archive as a collection of documents, by incorporating diverse evidence, such as visual material (artworks, everyday objects, relics, buildings), audiovisual material (documentaries and school movies), books: all of the above constitute the material that visitors of the digital archive can browse through.
From this perspective, the I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE has succeded in organizing material from European archives, bibliographical references, iconographic evidence and audiovisual material from different sources, under one single archival web-site. Through this dynamic database, visitors have the opportunity of searching data in multiple ways, through a rich textual and visual interface. Furthermore, the database has been structured in such a way so as to be “open” to the continuous flow of new evidence and to be constantly enriched according to the findings of on going research.
Within the context of the rich bulk of the archival material, the webnode offers sections that present the man’s multifarious activity and present an outline of his era.
The section “I. Kapodistrias”, offers a number of short, introductory paragraphs, which aim to highlight the multiple facets of I. Kapodistrias through recent findings and contemporary scholarship, in regard to the subject and his era.
The section “His era” attempts to relate the life of I. Kapodistrias to the general framework of European and world history, a period characterized by revolutions, most importantly the French Revolution (1789), wars, counter-revolutions, the creation of new states, the realignment of borders, population movements, scientific discoveries, as well important landmarks in the history of art and ideas.
The section “The Digital Archive” presents all the documents – published and unpublished – that have been uploaded to the database and which constitute the “hard core” of the webnode. In essence, it is this section which aims at rendering all this material accessible to the public.
It has been desisgned in such a way as to offer each visitor multiple ways of accessing the digital archive, by rendering it friendly to use and by familiarizing even those unfamiliar with archival material with the richness and the diversity of the material available.
In order to accomplish this purpose, the section has been developed in scales until it reaches the final level; that is, the “search” in the digital archive. So, in the first level, one is offered the possibility of browsing, through the sub-sections that correspond to different kinds of the documented material. In the second level, with the aid of the “search” tool, visitors can qualify theis search through the database per item of evidence, per date, person or subject, as well as through free search.
The section “Educational Proposals” offers educational scenarios based upon the material of the Digital Archival and is addressed to teachers who would like to take advantage of the I. KAPODISTRIAS DIGITAL ARCHIVE in their teaching practice. We hope this section will be constantly enriched by new educational scenarios, produced mainly by members of the educational community.
Christos Loukos, Professor Emeritus, University of Crete
Ada Dialla, Associate Professor, Athens School of Fine Arts
Constantina Zanou, Postdoctoral Researcher, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Val de Marne
Dimitris Zymaris, Historian
Ioulia Pentazou, Historian, specialized in new technologies (theory and use of new technologies in History)
Eleni Stambogli, Historian, publisher
Lora Gerd, Chief Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History
Stefanos Vamiedakis, PhD candidate, University of Crete
Spiros Gaoutsis, Historical researcher
Daria Koskorou, Historian of Art, Curator
Thanasis Lagios, Dr. in Philosophy, University of Athens
Vasia Lekka, Historian, teaching assistant, department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens
Xenia Marinou, Dr. in French Language & Literature, University of Athens
George Pavlis, Archivist
Pavlos Triantafyllou, PhD candidate, department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens
Alexander Papathanasopoulos, Filmmaker
Design of database and website
Development of database and website
George Kalaouzis, computer engineer, University of Thessaly
Elisavet Miltou, graphic designer
Digitization of the Ioannis Kapodistrias Archive edited by K. Dafnis
Ioannis Kokkonas, Professor, Department of Archives, Library Science and Museum Studies, Ionian University
Socratis Poulis, historian
Development of the website:
Lefteris Kokkonas, programmer
Management body/ Operator:
Kapodistrias Museum – Centre for Kapodistrian Studies
The project was funded by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The sole responsibility for the content lies with the project group.