The Institute for Mediterranean Studies has created a specialized library of Islamic and Turkish studies, the only one of its kind and size in our country. The personal library of Victor Menage (retired professor of the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London) constitutes a particularly important section as it contains numerous rare editions of books and journals of turkological interest.
The library was initially financed by the Regional Development Plan, and for two years, 1996-1998, by the program for the Support of Research Centre Libraries EPET II. Subsequently it was expanded by gifts from the Genoa Society of Historical Studies, the Naples University Institute of Oriental Studies, the Turkish Embassy in Athens,the Public Welfare Institution “Alexandros S. Onassis”, the Prefecture of Rethymno, the National Research Foundation “Eleftherios Venizelos”, etc.
The library is constantly being enriched through the purchase of new books and donations.
Within the IMS there is also a specialized library of writings on the work of El Greco, Italian (mainly Venetian and Roman) painting of the 16th C and Spanish painting of the 16th-19th C., which also contains unique journals from Europe which were purchased with the help of funding from the Leventis Foundation, donations from the Ministry of Culture of Spain, the Spanish Embassy in Athens and the Zentralinstitut of Munich.
Finally, the library contains a specialized section, as yet in its infancy, dealing with the history and methodology of archaeology and archaeological legislation, which will soon allow the IMS to enable interested post-graduate students, as well as other researchers (archaeologists, historians and diplomats) to carry out research in such fields.
Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, one of the founding members of the Institute,donated to the IMS Library her personal collection, which includes a large number of publications pertaining to Ottoman, Neo-Hellenic, and Byzantine history. The collection includes over 1300 titles of books, journals,as well as a significant number of reprints.
The Marine History Library was launched in 2013 to enrich the thematic categories of the IMS/FORTH Library. It includes monographs, collective works, and scientific journals which cover a variety of subjects pertaining to Maritime History and beyond.
Naval technology, shipbuilding, shipping, harbor history, seafaring history, naval work, naval mariners, naval communities, gendered relationships in naval families are some of the themes covered by the Library. Furthermore, its collection comprises books of environmental history, history of urban spaces, world and national history (e.g. Russian history), and important collective publications of general interest, such as The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Early Modern European History. The Maritime History Library includes books in various languages, Greek, English, French, Italian, Spanish, etc., and is funded by IMS/FORTH (ELISTOKAINO, SeaLiT) research projects and donations by collaborating academic institutions (e.g. University of Barcelona).
The purpose of the Maritime History Library is to fill the existing gap of a specialized library in this field in Greece and to become an international attraction for researchers dealing with various aspects of maritime history.