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The villages of Zagori belonged to Greek communities granted special privileges under the Ottoman Empire. Given this advantage the inhabitants developed a high cultural and intellectual level, recognized even in the West. The quality of education is testified by the establishment of school libraries, funded by expatriate Epirote merchants or recognized intellectuals originating from Zagori.
These libraries, hosted inside school buildings, constituted a special space for learning and educational activity. There one encounters textbooks in all fields of learning - philosophy, mathematics, modern sciences, geography, history, theology and Greek language – as well as rare editions published by Greek printers, mainly in Venice and Vienna. This rich depository remains unknown and inaccessible to researchers or the general public.
With our research project we aim at conservation and promotion of this rare archive through cataloguing material, creating a digital library, and publicizing the special character of these collections as a whole. This will contribute to a study of the history and circulation of educational books, during an important period for formation of the Modern Greek world.