The Queens College Greek Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies have joined efforts with the Queens College Library in an exciting cataloguing project that will make their collection of Byzantine and Modern Greek literature explorable throughout the CUNY library system. Since the Center’s founding in 1974, their Harry J. Psomiades Greek Studies Library has been building an extensive collection of books, journals, and scholarly publications that supports their academic initiatives as well as the country’s largest Greek community right here in Queens. After receiving a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the project was able to begin this spring semester.
It seems almost serendipitous that the cataloguing of these valuable items began just in time for March’s Greek-American History month. Director Gerasimus Katsan and Assistant Director Maria Athanasopoulou, who are overseeing the project, also manage the operations of the Greek Center and are committed to preserving and promoting the history of Greek language and culture. And as the liaison and subject specialist for the Greek Center, Librarian Carlo Minchillo understands the intrinsic value of the collection as a vital educational resource for academic research.
With approximately 6,000 items to catalog, there are many moving parts and details for such a unique project that require special attention. Cataloguer Ronnie Gomez and his assistant Miguel Nunez will head the book processing part of the project. With half the collection in Greek and half in English, Ronnie and his team must be precise when creating the cataloguing records for these various items. After proposing the initiative in 2022, Carlo now oversees the coordination, logistics, and communication of the project. And finally, the assistant to the Greek Center, Neophytos Ioannou, was hired to help support the Greek Center and transport materials back and forth from the Center and the Library.
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There are also files, special documents, and items that require assessment for permanent retention. This special skillset is best left to the expertise of the Head of Special Collections, Annie Tummino, and Archives Specialist, Caitlin Colban-Waldron, at Queens College Library. So when the Center identified materials in their collection that might meet the criteria for retention, Caitlin visited to determine if they hold historic value of interest to future researchers.
The book processing is underway and there are items from the Greek Center Library that are now searchable through the library catalog! The location is listed as Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies (Jefferson Hall 302) and requests can be submitted by using your CUNY credentials. For research assistance, reach out to subject specialist, Carlo Minchillo, or visit the Reference Search office in room 344 on the main floor of the Queens College Library.