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The University Library has got over 13,000 items in Modern Greek in the electronic catalogue, stretching from the 16th century to the current day. The 16th to 18th centuries are represented by over 400 books in total, and then the 19th century sees a leap up to over 1,000 items. A greater leap still follows for the 20th century, with over 8,500. The 21st century is so far represented by nearly 3,000 books.

 

Cover of Thalassina eidyllia (1887-1891) by Alexandros Papadiamantes (S706.d.94.14)

The status of Modern Greek in the University has changed in recent years. Having previously been a full Tripos (undergraduate degree) subject, it is now offered in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages as a paper on language and culture which students can take as part of their main degree. The language's standing has also changed in the University Library. The last dedicated (albeit part-time) Modern Greek specialist retired in 2010, and the budget for the language is lower now than in the past since precedence is given to languages still offered at the Tripos level. Responsibility for Modern Greek now rests with the Slavonic specialist.

The Modern Greek budget, such as it is, is spent primarily on subjects close to the paper still offered in the Faculty, which offers students “a sound and systematic introduction to the Modern Greek language, and the opportunity to acquaint themselves with key aspects of Greek culture from the late nineteenth century to the present” (quotation from the paper’s webpage). Books on literature and history are the most commonly bought.

Book recommendations can be sent to Mel Bach, the Slavonic specialist, at slavonic@lib.cam.ac.uk

Contact us

Mel Bach
slavonic@lib.cam.ac.uk
Phone (external line): 01223 333081
Phone (internal network): 33081