A woman sits in front of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in modern-day Athens, Greece. Photo: Kristoffer Trolle | Copenhagen, Denmark, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A semester that concluded with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ speech at Commencement also saw the launch of a major online resource for Greek literature that was largely developed at Boston College.

The CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature, which provides references to all English-language translations of modern Greek literature and all modern Greek-related studies in English as far back as the 12th century, was formally unveiled last month at an event featuring remarks from the Consul General of Greece in Boston Stratos Efthymiou. Through CENSUS, researchers will be able to search for free for information and to access texts and original sources directly, where copyright allows.

CENSUS was conceived in 1981 and originally housed at Harvard University but underwent most of its development at BC from 1986-2018. From 2016 to 2018, CENSUS collaborated with Boston College Libraries on the initial development of the website, and a workshop of BC undergraduates engaged in data entry and correction. Since 2020, CENSUS has worked in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam.

Dia Philippides, professor emerita in the Classical Studies Department, has directed the project since its inception.

First posted on the CENSUS website is the “Greek Authors 19th-21st centuries” section —available via Open Access. It includes references to 800 Greek literary authors (approximately 7,000 entries). This most recent phase of the project was completed with the support of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.

"CENSUS is truly a big bridge between BC and Greece," said Philippides, who taught in BC's Classical Studies Department from 1985 to 2013 and later held a research professorship from 2013 to 2018. She noted that the project has attracted the notice of many interested parties in Greece, including the National Library of Greece.

Philippides's collaborator is Wim Bakker, professor emeritus in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology at the University of Amsterdam. Benjamin Florin, senior applications developer at BC Libraries, is the developer of the CENSUS website.

The project’s core team also includes BC Philosophy graduate student Peter Klapes (project manager) and three University of Amsterdam-based researchers appointed by Professor Maria Boletsi, Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies, University of Amsterdam: Ph.D. candidates Anthi Argyriou and Yiorgos-Evgenios Douliakas and Haralampos Passalis, a guest lecturer in the Department of Modern Greek Studies.

Significant collaboration in recent years has been provided by the Boston College Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Group and researchers Michaela Karambini-Iatrou in Athens and Dr. Alfred Vincent in Sydney.

University Trustee Drake Behrakis ’86, Daphne Hatsopoulos M.T.S. '73 and her late husband George, and the Greek Ministry of Culture were among those who provided significant support to the project during its years at BC, according to Philippides.

A video of the initial presentation and launch of the CENSUS website is available here.

University Communications | May 2022