The National Library of Greece
The new building for the National Library of Greece (NLG) ( http://transition.nlg.gr/ ) will modernize an institution founded in 1832, allowing it to strengthen its research role while expanding, at the same time, its focus from an exclusive research facility to an all-inclusive public resource. In its new and enlarged role, the Library will support patrons of all ages and education—from academic researchers to children and young adults destined to become the next generation of users.
Within its new premises, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the entrance to the Library leads into a large open lobby that provides an immediate visual orientation to all the organization’s functions. The NLG Public Library Section, bolstered by a significant book collection and other media, will include separate areas for adults, teenagers, and children and will offer a wide range of educational and cultural programs. The natural light available throughout the National Library will help create an open hospitable environment for individual and collaborative learning. Events and seminars will be hosted for both children and adults, and classes will incorporate natural learning opportunities originating from collaborative programs at the Stavros Niarchos Park as well.
The nearly 24,000 m2 (235,000 sq. ft.) state-of-the-art building combines traditional with technological innovation, conservation with information and communication. The flexibility of its design, informed by consultations with the prominent British Library (www.bl.uk), ensures that the National Library can respond effectively to ever-changing needs and the challenges of the digital age. A nationwide digitization project will help make heritage materials available to the public and will offer access to the Library’s various collections. Connectivity with other libraries both nationally and globally will allow the Library’s users access to material abroad that is relevant to Greece or Hellenism. In addition, a Business Center will provide the public with an active hub for enterprise, knowledge, and innovation, offering computer workstations, laptops, and wireless connectivity.
A modern academic research facility found within the National Library will be an exemplar for other institutions. The new building will enable all existing research collections, currently located in three separate buildings, to be housed in a centralized location, with optimized access to collections for researchers and scholars.
Holdings include over 4,500 manuscript codices from the 9th to the 19th century and a rich variety of important historical documents and archives. Modernized climate control and preservation and digitization facilities will ensure that the Library’s significant rare manuscript collection is available for future generations of scholars. The National Library of Greece will also have the capacity to function as a venue for exhibitions of its holdings. Selections of the National Library’s manuscripts could be exhibited on a rotational basis, affording the public the opportunity to view Greece’s treasures and cultural heritage.