Pattichion Municipal Museum – Historical Archive – Limassol Studies Centre
We preserve our city’s past for its future!
New prospects in archival and historical research
With the beginning of works on the Pattichion Municipal Museum, the Historical Archive and Limassol’s Studies Centre, in the renovated house of the ex-provincial governor, the Limassol Municipality in cooperation with the Press and Information Office are creating a research centre where scientists, researchers, journalists, university students (from Cyprus University of Technology and other universities) as well as other students and the general public will have access to digitalised archives of remarkable historical value, courtesy of the Press and Information Office. The Press and Information Office’s four archives, consisting of:
- The Newspaper Archive dating from 1878
- The Press Releases Archive dating from 1962
- The Photography Archive
- The Film Archive in digitalized form
are contributing to the further promotion of Cyprus’ history rendering information, which under different circumstances would have been impossible to find under one roof, accessible to everyone. The Press and Information Office, fully aware that the conservation and the preservation of these archives are very important, went through an innovative digitalisation process, achieving two goals: the facilitation of research and the conservation and preservation of the archives.
A new horizon for the study of history
(Εικόνα: Limassol Municipality’s Records dating from 1878)
The cooperation between the Press and Information Office and the Limassol Municipality, in particular, with the Pattichion Municipal Museum Foundation, Limassol’s Historical Archive and Studies Centre, brings the study of local history to new horizon. The Archive, Museum and Studies Centre have been specialised in this history ever since their founding seven years ago, following the Municipality’s radical initiative. The cooperation between the Press and Information Office and the local authorities is a good example of how sharing information so it becomes accessible to the Cypriot public, can allow our society to become more knowledgeable.
The Historical Archive has been studying and promoting Limassol’s historical development as a city in many different ways for seven years. It managed to develop an archival consciousness to Limassol’s wider public through symposiums, lectures and educational seminars, so it understood the need to gather archival material under a communal roof (the Historical Archive) and support it in every way possible, offering information and material regarding Limassol’s historical growth and progress throughout the years.
The Limassol Municipality’s Archive was developed from verbal and written sources, photographs, newspapers and objects which describe the city’s historical development in the best way possible. At the same time, a large number of volunteers, the Archive’s backbone, are being trained in historical research, archiving etc. Up to this moment, members of the Archive have presented reports on Limassol’s history in both Cyprus and abroad. They are also invited and attend schools and other foundations on a regular basis where they present reports on the city’s history but also help teachers and students to conduct reports related to Limassol’s history.
(Εικόνα: The rich Limassol Municipality’s Photography Archive)
(Εικόνα: From the Limassol Municipality’s old book collection)
The philosophy behind the creation of the city’s Archive is based on the exploitation of both the material and immaterial cultural heritage as well as the multilevel exploitation of the written, visual and verbal material. The Archive’s motto is: “We preserve our city’s past for its future”. Besides the Limassol Municipality’s rich Archive dating in 1878, alongside the Municipality’s records and other documents, more files and private collections are stored in the Archive, items allocated in thematic sessions (architecture, commerce, economy, arts, education, athleticism, health, hygiene etc.) which will form the basis of the Foundation’s museum aspect. The Foundation’s Photography Archive consists of thousands of photographs, used by writers, magazines and newspapers, as well as in different events and exhibitions organised by the Limassol Municipality. By organising the annual Scientific Symposium of Limassol’s Oral History, created by the Limassol Municipality’s Archive for seven years, we gathered important material which enriches the Foundation’s Studies Centre. The Archive’s printings exploit the scholars’ riches as well as the Archive’s material. The building’s inauguration will kick-start a series of educational programs appealing to Cyprus’ school community and will cover many aspects of Limassol’s history.
Press and Information Office’s Archives
Digital Newspaper Archive
Admittedly, the Press is an important source of information for researchers. The Press’ importance is unique, especially if we take into account the minimal publication activity during the last two decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. The Newspaper Archive is registered in a server where many computers have access. The server is equipped with a cutting edge word search engine in Greek: demotic, katharevousa and ancient. In that way, a visitor of the Research Centre can use a computer and conduct their research using the digitalised newspapers.
The digitalised archival material dates from 1878 and covers up to one century, with the total number of pages reaching one million. The potential visitor can conduct their research using a remarkably rich archive. Political newspapers with mostly unknown names (Eleftheria, Eon, Chronos, Patris), or names clearly inspired by the “katharevousa” dialect (Salpingx, Filax), satirical newspapers (Gelio), newspapers run by trade unions (Ergatis) and sports newspapers (Filathlos, Athlitiki Iho) cover many thematic aspects besides politics, the economy and social news. Alongside these…old newspapers, one can find the…new ones, like Phileleftheros, Simerini and Haravgi, as well as the English Cyprus Mail. In the Research Centre, visitors can access a catalogue with all the digitalised newspapers and the exact chronological period that each one covers.
Digital Press Releases Archive
Visitors of the Research Centre can branch their research out to the digitalised Press Releases Archive, courtesy of the Press and Information Office, dating from 1962 and can be found in this website:
In those Press Releases, one can find presidential and ministerial statements, statements from top state officials as well as all governmental activity, reflecting each government’s official policy.
Digital Photography Archive
The Press and Information Office’s Photography Archive has a rich collection of p
otographs dating from 1950 up to today and covers a wide range of the political, economic, cultural and social life in Cyprus.
The Press and Information Office has already started digitalising (scanning) the negatives of the existing Archive in order to edit and file the images, as well as digitalise their captions through the department’s register. As the number of photographs is vast and their digitalisation is costly, this progress will be long run and done gradually. At the current stage, researchers visit the Press and Information Office in person.
(Εικόνες: History, Cultural Heritage, Tradition, Political Issues, People, Economy/Tourism, Environment, Miscellaneous, Electronic Versions)
Web TV / Electronic Versions
The public Web TV, http://www.cyprusonfilm.com/, has a collection of over 40 short films, produced by the Press and Information Office, as well as short films produced by other governmental services.
In the website, there are eight thematic sessions: History, Cultural Heritage, Tradition, Political Issues, People, Economy/Tourism, Environment and Miscellaneous. This website, accessible to visitors of the Research Centre, is part of the first phase of digitalisation of the Press and Information Office’s Film Archive.
These publications are also important sources of information. The Press and Information Office, making full use of the latest technology in the digital sector and interactive multimedia, produced electronic versions of some publications to accompany their printed versions.
The Press and Information Office started digitalising already the Publications Archive, which will be accessible through a unique online website in the future.
(Εικόνα: Film Screenings)
(Εικόνα: Photography Exhibitions)
The Centre’s role is vital to city’s cultural profile
With the exploitation of the Press and Information Office’s four Archives, and especially the Newspaper Archive, the Archive’s efforts to offer high quality services under the best working conditions possible to the researchers are multiplying.
The Cypriot researcher family will access all the material in an extraordinary beautiful building, surrounded by Limassol’s Municipal Gardens. In this way, Pattichion Municipal Museum, Historical Archive and Research Centre, alongside the Press and Information Office’s four Archives, are now considered a huge and important research group. Researchers can study Cyprus’ history and Limassol’s history in particular, under modern and circumstances and specifications, provided by the Archive’s Foundation.
Besides the Research Centre’s main reason of creation which is research promotion, it aspires to play an important part in Limassol’s cultural profile. Lectures, seminars, photograph exhibitions, film screenings and cultural events in particular can be organised at the Centre during afternoon and at night in a modern environment.