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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2023

Zoitsa Gkinni and Nikolas Sarris

The National Library of Greece (NLG) was founded in 1832 and since 1903 it had been housed at the Vallianeio building, a landmark in the center of Athens. With a history of nearly…

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Abstract

Purpose

The National Library of Greece (NLG) was founded in 1832 and since 1903 it had been housed at the Vallianeio building, a landmark in the center of Athens. With a history of nearly two centuries and significant collections, the library moved its headquarters to its new building at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in 2018. This transfer marks its transition to a new era, a restart for the library and an opportunity for upgrades, improvements and expansion of its services, redefinition of its role and connection to society. In this context, the conservation department contributed greatly to this program, to the successful transfer of collections and paved the way for its upgraded role at its new facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reflects on the transition program and part of the projects executed, in terms of expectations and the new reality, under the scope of conservation of collections'. With a critical view, the authors present the Conservation Department's contribution during relocation and the transition's aftermath on the reality of their everyday professional routine.

Findings

Conservators' role emerged during this transition. Lessons learned, new challenges, opportunities and growth in conservation actions, improved communication with departmental liaisons; and targeted communication with the public and end users.

Practical implications

The NLG designed and undertook a broad and complicated transition program under a collaborative scheme between the public and private sectors. Time, budget and human resource limitations did not allow for in-depth documentation and research on the collection status prior to transfer.

Originality/value

The transition of the NLG was a multidimensional program with short and long-term outcomes. The project design and on time and budget execution provided a new set of standards and services for the library and re-established its connections with the public. As such, this case study can contribute to a better understanding and management of actions and expectations in related large-scale projects.

Details

Library Management, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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