ECB launches About Libraries

A digital encyclopedia and a communication hub for the people of letters and libraries in Greece and around the world

The National Center for Documentation and Electronic Content (ECB) offers a digital encyclopedia for the world of libraries, from antiquity to the present day. The "About Libraries" website ( was created to guide the visitor to places, times and moments of the evolution of the library institution, as well as to famous, forgotten or even unknown collections in Greece and abroad.

The purpose of this digital place is the organized recording and highlighting of the history of libraries and their collections, as well as the creation of a hub for the collection of material, information, research and interconnection of library people in Greece and in the world.

The original idea belongs to K.S. Staiko, architect and historian of the book, and the content at this stage comes from the rich material he has gathered through many years of systematic research on the architecture, history and content of libraries, as well as publishing and printing activities. These are intelligible entries, based on research data, processed and documented, which are accompanied by useful bibliographic references and a rich collection of art (miniatures of manuscripts, woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, paintings, representations and photographic illustrations, etc.). ).

The ESF developed a modern technological infrastructure, edited and upgraded the pre-existing content and structured it into thematic units with the possibility of alphabetical, chronological and geographical presentation, satisfying various research requirements. At the same time, it applied the appropriate practices for the structured and methodologically sound production of new content, according to modern library standards and models of information representation.

The whole architecture of the digital space ensures its sustainability and scalability, but also the integration of new functions and services. It is the intention of the organization to give the opportunity to all the people of the libraries, if they wish, to provide additional information material or to suggest their own short original texts that will give the position of each library and will expand the existing entries or will work in addition to them.

Ecumenical dimension: From Greece to the international scientific and research community

The "About Libraries" website introduces the visitor to the timeless and universal context of the birth and evolution of libraries. The entries refer to libraries and persons associated with them. The course starts from antiquity, passes to the ancient Greek and Roman world, to the Arab world, to the Far East and to the world today. It is therefore aimed at the international scientific community, in the world of knowledge, research and education. Today the content is bilingual (Greek and English), while in the future the functionality will be expanded, supporting Arabic and Chinese.

The ultimate goal is to gather, through international collaborations, material from important libraries around the world, further highlighting their intercultural and ecumenical dimension, with the prospect of covering libraries temporally and geographically worldwide.

Along with the activation of the digital site, the ESF distributed an accompanying publication to libraries, cultural institutions and organizations, the pages of which present indicative types of libraries and emblematic examples that stand out in modern Greek history: National Library of Greece, Library of the Holy Monastery, Koventarios Municipal Library of Kozani, Kostis Palamas Library and Library of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens.

The communication with the Greek libraries (public, municipal, university, private collections, libraries of organizations and institutions) is planned to continue in order to collect material that they will indicate, along with the utilization of various other sources already identified by the implementation team. project.

Drawing data from the way in which "About Libraries" is used by individual user communities, future improved versions will be developed, if required, with new functionalities and capabilities for displaying the material collected.

The National Center for Documentation and Electronic Content (ECB) (, a public interest body supervised by the Ministry of Digital Government, has as its institutional mission, inter alia, the accumulation, documentation, preservation and dissemination of scientific and cultural content. With open portals of single content search and digital services available to the scientific and research community, it promotes the digital transformation of the production of new knowledge. In collaboration with reputable bodies, it highlights, enriches, connects and offers to society scientific and cultural material and data for creative reuse and new use.

Developing technology infrastructure, software and services, it continues to support the digitization of libraries and information providers. By establishing good practices and uniform documentation and interoperability standards, compatible with international standards, it maximizes the visibility and ensures the quality and long-term availability of digital content.

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