Books, records and manuscripts of the Community and the school of Vamvakou!

Books, records and manuscripts of the Community and the school of Vamvakou!

The Municipal Office and the school of Vamvakou were renovated (2019) and many of you have might have wondered: “What happened to the records and books that were in there?” With the greatest respect to the history and legacy of the village, Vamvakou Revival took care of this “treasure”.

Phaidon Koukoules, who served as headmaster of the school, mentioned in his writings, back in 1907, that the library was almost destroyed and expressed his wish that the people in charge would show more concern for the few remaining books.

Today, 113 years later, his wish is fulfilled through the book and record restoration program realized by Vamvakou Revival, as part of the initiative to revive the village of Vamvakou with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

More specifically, the preservation of the records – especially those of the Community – was deemed urgent once it was demonstrated that, to a great extent, they had absorbed moisture, had their metallic elements oxidized and suffered minor damages. The conservation work included the replacement of the damaged paper folders and the drying of the records. Then, they were filed in about 150 special boxes – made by taking into consideration the records’ material and place of storage – according to the classification and archiving realized in the past by the employees of the Local Community of Vamvakou. Boxes of the same specifications were used as well for the filing and preservation of the records of the school of Vamvakou.

Regarding the library of the primary school, it includes education books by the Organization for the Publication of School Books, some titles of diverse content and more than 500 children’s books. The children’s library, established mostly thanks to donations, holds publications of children’s books in Greece from the 1960s to the 1980s, with many of them displaying the work of remarkable authors and visual artists. Of in-terest is the fact that the library contains some popular books, such as Aesop’s Fables, by different publishing houses over the same period.

The damages of the books were mainly their split or broken spines, the loose-leaf issues due to their exten-sive use and the broken corners. Their preservation and restoration included their binding from scratch and, in some cases, the reattachment of the original cover, the addition of fabric on the spine in a colour that matches the illustration on the cover, the printing of the title or the reattachment of the original spine and the repair of the corners.

The restored books are by now placed in the new bookcases of the school of Vamvakou and are at the disposal of the public, as an open lending library is operating there.

Hope you enjoy the read!