Modern Greek Studies Association

Maughan Library & ISC

King's College London

History and Description

King's holdings in Modern Greek are founded on a collection amassed by the Philhellene and Principal of King's College London, Ronald Burrows, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ronald Burrows, together with Eleftherios Venizelos, was instrumental in establishing Modern Greek & Byzantine Studies at King's. This was the first significant university collection of its type in the United Kingdom.


The collections are internationally recognised and contain rare and unique works. They are the premier collections in the UK of books and periodicals in the fields of Modern Greek language, literature and history, and also contain rich Byzantine holdings. The collections contain a considerable number of rare first editions of nineteenth and twentieth century works.

The development of the collections closely reflects the teaching and research of King?s department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies encompassing the full chronological remit that stretches from late Antiquity to the present and has, increasingly, an interdisciplinary focus: modern Greek poetry; modern Greek literature; the emergence and development of modern Greece; Greek history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Cretan renaissance drama; modern Greek society and politics; the rise of Christendom; iconoclasm; the cultural history of Byzantium; discourse analysis and sociolinguistics of modern Greek; modern Greek sociolinguistics; Cypriot studies.

The College Archives hold the records, 1935-1992, of the League for Democracy in Greece and associated bodies. Pre-1945 material includes a set of the Balkan Herald, 1935-1940, and surviving papers, 1943-1945, of the League's predecessor, the Greek United Committee, and one of its supporters, E Athanassoglou. Notably there are proofs of Sir Compton Mackenzie's The Wind of Freedom (published in London, 1944) and a photocopy of a telegram from Winston Churchill prohibiting favourable mention of EAM-ELAS by the BBC, 1944. The papers of the League itself date from 1945 to 1975 and include a large collection of press cuttings covering all British and some foreign press references to Greece during the period of the League's activity, with some later cuttings concerning Greece to 1992.

The College Archives also include the records, 1947-1984, of the League for Democracy in Greece Relief Committee and its successor the Greek Relief Fund, including minutes; administrative, legal and financial material; correspondence with donors and with organisations including branches of the Red Cross, relief funds, and pro-Greek democracy organisations in various overseas countries; material relating to appeals for funds for relief work; press cuttings on the visit of Queen Frederika of Greece to Britain, 1963; papers relating to visits to Greece and to conferences on Greece, including a draft paper, 1979, by Diana Pym on 'The British Philhellenic Movement, 1944-1974'; correspondence concerning the archives of the League for Democracy in Greece; and winding up of the Greek Relief Fund, 1984. The bulk of the material pertains to recipients of aid, including correspondence, and the papers are relevant to the resistance activities and prison records of individual Greeks opposed to the regime in Greece.

Martin Hodgson
Information Specialist (Humanities)
Information Services and Systems
King's College London
Room G35
Maughan Library and ISC
Chancery Lane
London, WC2A 1LR UK

☎ 020 7848 2186
Fax: 020 7848 2277


King's College London Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies

King's College London Centre for Hellenic Studies:

King's College London Information Services & Systems

Access restrictions/conditions

With the exception of rare and archival materials, Byzantine & Modern Greek material can be found in the Maughan Library and Information Services Centre. Some closed runs of periodicals are held in storage. Rare materials are housed separately in the Foyle Special Collections Library. The College's Archives are located in the King's College London Strand building.

See the KCL Archives regarding conditions of access.