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Istorima: A unique oral history archive goes to the National Library of Greece

Jun 06, 2024
As it rounds out its fifth year, Istorima is donating a one-of-a-kind archive of oral history and heritage to the National Library of Greece (NLG) so that it can be preserved in perpetuity.

The archive comprises more than 18,000 oral histories from every town, island, and village in the country. This donation fulfills the vision of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), which supported Istorima with a founding grant and through its first five years of operation.

The nonprofit organization was created in 2019 by journalist Sofia Papaioannou and historian Katherine Fleming with a grant made as part of SNF’s wider Recharging the Youth initiative. Through this support, which wraps up in June 2024, more than 700 young researchers worked in the places they’re from and where they’re living to discover storytellers and stories that highlight what makes every place, every community, every individual special. More than 18,000 stories have been collected from 7,000 localities in Greece and, thanks to the efforts of a large team of curators, sound engineers, and legal experts, are available at and

SNF Programs Co-Director Alexandros Kambouroglou said, “We are very happy that the important work that has been carried out over the last five years by hundreds of young people—who found employment in places they are from and highlighted the stories of their communities—is now preserved in perpetuity through the donation of the Istorima Archive to the NLG, the custodian of our country’s collective knowledge and history.”