The multifaceted personality of I. Kapodistrias as revealed by a unique digital archive

The multifaceted personality of I. Kapodistrias as revealed by a unique digital archive
22 Mar '16

On Monday, March 21, a one-day conference entitled “Beyond the nation: Looking at I. Kapodistrias in a transnational and imperial context. Conference in light of the launching of the Ioannis Kapodistrias Digital Archive” was held at the University of Athens Historical Archive. The aim of the conference was to present the multifarious actions of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Μodern Greece, in a broader geographical, cultural and conceptual context, beyond such traditional bipolarities as Greek-Western European, Greek-Ottoman, Nation-Empire, Globalism-Nationalism, Religion-Secularism, etc. Moreover, this approach examined the European dimension of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

The event was meant to contribute to the dissemination of the results of a research project conducted in 2013 and 2014, entitled “Ioannis Kapodistrias Digital Archive”, which was entirely funded by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The project’s objective was the creation of a digital archive and webnode regarding the life, work and personality of Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831) by cataloguing, collecting, documenting and digitally presenting archival collections, documents, records and other pertinent material scattered in the different cities and countries where he lived and worked. For this reason the project’s scholarly team, comprised of eminent historians and experts in the digital presentation of history besides on-line research visited libraries and archives in Corfu, Athens, Geneva, Zurich, Florence, Bologna, Pavia, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The digital archive, taking advantage of the possibilities offered by advanced technologies in the emerging field of Digital Humanities, aims to overcome past difficulties in the collection of material regarding the work of Ioannis Kapodistrias. Surpassing the limitations of a conventional archive, this webnode provides a comprehensive overview of the multiplicity and diversity of the material on I. Kapodistrias, as well as its geographical dispersion and linguistic variety, becoming both a research and an educational tool for the study of the times, life and work of this important historical figure. As part of the project, 13000 documents from the personal archive of I. Kapodistrias held at the General State Archives in Corfu were digitized, while 276 images of relevant portraits, paintings, photographs and personal items along with links to documentaries and TV programs were posted online. Moreover, a well documented and detailed presentation of Kapodistrias’s personal library was included, and 714 academic research and scholarship titles on Kapodistrias from 1831 to 1996 were catalogued. Along the same lines, a one-day event was organized on the island of Aegina for education professionals, which focused on how to best use the Archive for educational purposes.

The Ioannis Kapodistrias Digital Archive can be accessed here.