About the CENSUS

Vision

The 'CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature' aims to facilitate access to Greek literature for speakers of English by providing references to all English-language translations of modern Greek literature and to all studies in English that relate to modern Greek literature from the twelfth century AD to the present.

The first section now posted online is "Greek Authors 19th-21st centuries". This initial section includes references to 800 Greek literary authors (approximately 7,000 entries). The covered timespan coincides roughly with the 200 years since the Greek Revolution of 1821 that led to the foundation of the modern Greek state – a bicentennial richly celebrated worldwide in 2021. The CENSUS aims to record the literary production of these years and to move forward from there, into the future.

The CENSUS should be of interest to those seeking to establish the extent of the diaspora of modern Greek literature in the major language of the Western world and also to those seeking to familiarize themselves with modern Greek literature but lacking the necessary skills to read it in its original language.

In its prospective audience, the CENSUS aims to function as a standard work of reference for students and faculty in Modern Greek Studies, as a guide to translators, and an innovative resource for libraries building collections in Hellenic Studies. It also hopes to attract greater numbers of scholars (in other disciplines), editors, publishers, and general readers everywhere in the English-speaking world to the contemporary literature of Greece.

More information on the CENSUS can be found at censusofmoderngreekliterature.org

At this stage, the CENSUS is a work-in-progress that will become as useful as we all can make it together.

History

The CENSUS project began at Harvard University (1981-1985) and continued its development at Boston College (1986-2018). An early presentation of its results (to date) was given at the Modern Greek Studies Association's conference (cf. pp. 31-32) held at Princeton University in April 1984. Strong links with the Modern Greek Studies Association, and especially the actions of its Executive Director John O. Iatrides, led to the publication of Dia Philippides' 1990 CENSUS monograph and to related agreements with the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies and the National Book Centre of Greece (ΕΚΕΒΙ). A collaborative project also linked the CENSUS's principal investigators with the Centre for the Greek Language (ΚΕΓ).

As a crucial phase towards the creation of an online database (starting in 2016), the CENSUS benefitted from its collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Group of the Boston College Libraries. A workshop of Boston College undergraduates was engaged in data-entry and correction (Winter and Spring 2018).

In 2020 the CENSUS initiated a new collaboration with the Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Amsterdam, supported by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation. This collaboration has been critical towards the completion of the "Greek Authors 19th-21st centuries" section and its launch online.

Main characteristics of the CENSUS

A special, unique feature of the CENSUS is that it fully indexes the contents of large collective volumes such as anthologies or journal issues (in greater detail than in any other available source). Personal names are also indexed by their function (e.g., literary author, translator, editor, etc.). Both features thus facilitate detailed searches (both simple and complex) and precise retrieval.

The online presence of the CENSUS makes the entire collection of references fully searchable. Furthermore, besides connecting the variant spellings of the literary authors' names in English with their Greek name, linked data connect the CENSUS's collection with other standard databases and lead the reader directly to online sources for immediate reading (where copyright permits).

As an online database, the CENSUS becomes fully extensible.

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