Key acquisitions: Hellenic Heritage Foundation Greek Canadian Archives

A collaboration between the Libraries and the Greek Canadian History Project began in 2012 to support the research of graduate students in York University’s Department of History.

The Project identified unique documents and significant book collections held by members of Toronto’s Greek community and coordinated the donation of this material to York so that it could be preserved, described, and shared with scholars and the public. The Project ensures that the Greek community plays an active role in shaping its cultural heritage. Thanks to a significant donation to York in 2021, the project has been renamed the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Greek Canadian Archives with funding to hire a director and archivist to continue building the collection, select material for digitization, and encourage an awareness of the community’s cultural heritage.

This year, the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections processed archival material donated by George Papadatos, a political activist, community organizer, and music promoter who lived in Toronto in exile from the military junta of 1967-1974 before returning to Greece. His donation consists of 5.4 metres of textual records, almost 1,100 photographs, and more than 40 sound and moving image recordings that document the coffee house scene on Danforth Avenue, Greek musical acts who toured Canada and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, and student protests related to local opposition to the military dictatorship in Greece. The Libraries also catalogued more than 330 Greek books donated by George Papadatos and the late Professor Michail Vitopoulos.

Originally published in the York University Libraries Impact Report (2021-2023).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *