The Department of Classical Studies has been making a significant contribution to academic life at the University of Michigan since the University's founding in 1817. Internationally renowned for its scholarly excellence, its graduate programs, and its collections of antiquities and of papyri, the Department is also deeply committed to the education of undergraduates at the University. The Department expanded its scope when it collaborated with the Comparative Literature Program to apply for a faculty position in Modern Greek. The Department houses the Modern Greek Chair and its staff. The person holding the Modern Greek Chair is a regular member of the Department faculty.
Comparative Literature was established in 1937 as the first interdepartmental graduate program at the University of Michigan. In 1984, the Program in Comparative Literature expanded to include the undergraduate concentration. The concentration grew out of student needs and requests to study together two or more different languages and literatures. The comparative study of literatures adds new perspectives to language study and enhances the appreciation of the study of national literatures. The Modern Greek Chair participates fully in the Program and works closely with its undergraduate and graduate students.
The Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library is the University of Michigan's primary research collection for the humanities and social sciences. The Graduate Library collection numbers approximately 2.5 million volumes including 10,000 journals and periodical subscriptions written in several hundred languages and covering a broad array of subject specialities. In addition, these collections are supported by strong holdings in U.S. and foreign government publications, an outstanding collection of maps and related materials, a comprehensive collection of publications written in the language groups of East Asia, manuscripts and special collections, over 1.5 million items in microformat, and a strong collection of reference and bibliographic sources in print and machine-readable formats
The Special Collections Library is comprised of Papyrology, the Humanities Collection, the Labadie Collection of Social Protest Literature, and other rare books and archives in the arts, sciences, and social sciences.
Before the invention of the printing press, transmission of the word was the work of scribes copying by hand onto a variety of surfaces. One of the earliest and most satisfactory surfaces was papyrus. The Library's collection of over 7,000 inventory numbers and more than 10,000 individual fragments or papyri and other writing surfaces (parchment, wood, etc.), dating from 1000 B.C. to 1000 A.D., is the largest and most distinguished in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. Although the papyri are chiefly documentary, there are important literary and biblical texts, most notably thirty leaves of the oldest (c. 200 A.D.) surviving manuscript of the Epistles of St. Paul. The Papyrology website provides public access not only to its papyrological collections but to many other papyrological resources as well. You can now search approximately 2,500 records(with images) in open-text format, as part of the University of Michigan's contribution to the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS).
Later writings of the Middles Ages and Renaissance are represented by about 250 manuscripts written largely on vellum in Greek, Latin, Coptic, Hebrew, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Syriac. Many are biblical texts which are complemented by important, early printed editions of the Bible tracing the history of the English text until the King James Version was adopted in 1611. There are also some 450 incunabula, or specimens of the earliest examples of printing using moveable-type, dating from 1456 to 1500. In the 1920s the University Library acquired a large number of manuscripts written in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian from the library of Sultan Abdul Hamid. These have become the nucleus of an outstanding Islamic manuscript collection now exceeding 1100 in number and covering topics such as religion, law, history, literature, and mathematics.
The Labadie Collection was established in 1911 when Joseph Labadie, a prominent Detroit anarchist, donated his library to the University of Michigan. Although the Collection was originally concerned mainly with anarchist materials, its scope was later widened considerably to include a great variety of social protest literature together with political views from both the extreme left and the extreme right. Materials are now collected from all parts of the world. In addition to anarchism, the Collection's strengths include: civil liberties (with an emphases on racial minorities), socialism, communism, colonialism and imperialism, American labor history through the 1930s, the IWW, the Spanish Civil War, sexual freedom, women's liberation, gay liberation, the underground press, and student protest, and American reactions to the Greek Junta (see Pyrros Papers). Although the Labadie Collection contains 35,000 books and 8,000 periodicals), it is justly famous for its ephemera: brochures, leaflets, clippings, reprints, posters, photographs, cartoons, sheet music, buttons, bumper stickers, and armbands. In 1999, under the auspices of the University of Michigan Digital Library Initiative, its rich collection of photographs was digitized and mounted on the web. They may be viewed via a link on the Special Collections Library's main page or by clicking on this link . Cataloged monographs, serials, pamphlets, and archival collections may be found in the University Library's on-line catalog, MIRLYN. Uncataloged materials will not be found in the on-line catalog. Local card indexes and databases havebeen compiled as keys, however. Resources within the Labadie Collection are available to any interested users.
The Institute for the Humanities is a center for innovative, collaborative study in the humanities and arts. Each year it provides fellowships for Michigan faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars who work on interdisciplinary projects. The Institute organizes public, scholarly events, including weekly brown bag talks, lectures, conferences, art exhibits, and performances, bringing together those who create with those who analyze art forms.
The International Institute, founded in 1993 to advance the University of Michigan's leadership in research, education, and service in international and area studies, provides resources to to enable the University community of faculty, students, and staff to understand and engage a diverse and increasingly interconnected world. To this end, the Institute promotes linkages with partner institutions in the United States and abroad, and cooperates with schools, departments, and programs at the University of Michigan to enhance collaboration across units.
Since 1996, the Center for European Studies has brought together University of Michigan faculty and students, and Michigan residents interested in European matters. Funded by the International Institute, the Center organizes conferences, workshops and lectures on campus, in addition to exchange programs with European universities. In collaboration with other universities and European centers in the United States, the Center also brings European scholars, artists and professionals to Ann Arbor. CES enjoys the support of over one hundred fifty faculty from twenty departments and schools, ranging from Architecture and Classics to Law School and the History of Art. Its activities illustrate the ongoing importance of European life, culture and scholarship to American culture and public life. The Center focuses on Western Europe. However, dramatic changes on its eastern borders and globalization invite us to look beyond the traditional borders of "Western Europe" to central and eastern European countries, and to the countries along the southern shores of the Mediterranean.
With an oustanding faculty of over 60 area specialists and visiting scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and professions, CREES is one of the nation's leading institutes for interdisciplinary research and training in Russian and East European studies. It is renowned for its programs in Central European, Russian, and Southeast European studies. It is one of just 19 U.S. Department of Education-supported National Resource Centers for the vast area of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia.
The Museum of Art seeks to transform individual and civic life by promoting the discovery, contemplation, and enjoyment of the art of our world. The Museum houses one of the finest university art collections in the country and the second largest art collection in the state of Michigan. A community museum in a university setting, the Museum of Art offers visitors a rich and diverse permanent collection, supplemented by a lively, provocative series of special exhibitions and a full complement of interpretive programs. In 2002, the Museum of Art displayed David Hockney drawings inspired by Cavafy poems in an exhibit entitled "Hidden Things."
The Kelsey Museum of Archeology, named after archeologist Francis W. Kelsey, has two permanent exhibit galleries-one for Greek and Roman material, the other for Near Eastern-and an area for temporary exhibitions. The Kelsey has a long tradition of exhibiting both its own collections and traveling shows. The Kelsey had an exhibit entitled "Cavafy's World" in February 2002, as part of campus-wide celebrations for the establishment of the C. P. Cavafy Modern Greek Chair, featuring archival material on loan from Greece and objects from the Kelsey collection.
The Labadie Collection of Social and Political Protest Literature, University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Special Collections
The Pyrros Papers, a collection on the anti-junta struggle dealing with the colonels' coup and the dictatorship in Greece from 1967-1974 and efforts to affect U.S. policy, were donated by James G. "Jim" Pyrros to the Labadie Collection of Social and Political Protest Literature, University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library Special Collections on December 19, 2000. The collection consists of four 2 x 4 foot boxes of files in chronological order dating from the early 1960s to the end of 1975.
James G. Pyrros was born in Detroit on 3/10/28. He has been active in politics since 1949. He is a U.S. army veteran with service in Korea-including time with the American liaison detachment to the Greek Expeditionary Force; formerly an assistant attorney general in Michigan; administrative assistant in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Lucien N. Nedzi (D.-Michigan) for 19 years (1961-1980). He worked in the legal department, Detroit Edison (1981-1992). He is also a book collector. Mr. Pyrros involved himself in the anti-junta effort for the entire 1967-1974 period, with extensive contact-and participation-with most of the American and Greek players.
Mr Pyrros responded to a series of questions:
Q: How and why did you collect the anti-junta materials?
A. I was an observer and participant, blessed in the sense that I was at the crossroads of information, action, and intrigue. A steadily increasing interest and knowledge about the subject, combined with "a collector's instinct," served to create the collection. I added to it almost daily for more than seven years. (And, in 2000, am still adding to my files).
Q. Which period do the papers cover?
A. The early 1960s to the end of 1975. The heart of the collection, however, is the period of the junta in Greece from 1967-1974, beginning on April 21, 1967, the date of the colonels' coup, and culminating with the collapse of the junta on July 22-23, 1974, and the return of Constantine Karamanlis as prime minister. The coup against Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus on July 15, 1974 is detailed, as is the Turkish invasion and its aftermath. Virtually all of the material is in English the first several years. Near the end there are quite a few "tear sheets" from Greek language newspapers in Athens and one in New York. American labor, particularly from the UAW, played a role. Jack Conway, Victor Reuther, and others with UAW ties, were involved. The AFL-CIO nationally was passiveâ€¦.Materials streamed in to Capitol Hill, where I saw it and kept it.
Q. How would you define the contents? How much of the material is from the press or is official, how much is correspondence, etc. Are there one-of-a-kind pieces?
A. This is surely the most comprehensive collection of anti-junta material, especially from an American perspective, to be found anywhere in America. (And probably the world). There are thousands of newspaper clippings, plus magazine articles, transcripts of TV programs, State Department briefings, excerpts from the Congressional Record, copies of the major anti-junta, pro-democracy periodicals published in London, Washington, Boston, and Chicago. It includes all of the proceedings of the U.S. Committee for Democracy in Greece. There are internal documents and personal letters, including some from political prisoners in Greek prisons. There is an abundance of pro-junta articles and statements from the Greek junta embassy, AHEPA, the Hellenic Chronicle, and conservative columnists William F. Buckley, Henry J. Taylor, and James J. Kilpatrick. There are copies of personal letters from Margaret Papandreou to me in the 1965-68 period. And congressional testimony. All sides are represented, with the pro-democracy material pre-eminent.
Q. Finally, could you highlight a few items-3 or 4 items-that you consider to be unique, important, or unusual?
A. The totality of the material is what is unique. Of course, there is a rare collection of the periodical published in London by Eleni Vlachou and Panagioti Lambrias, but that doesn't reflect the real action, which was in Washington. The day of the coup and the reaction is significant, then the formation of the U.S. Committee for Democracy in Greece, then the Washington appearances of political exiles Andreas Papandreou, Constantine Mitsotakis, George Rallis, Dimitri papaspyrou, Mikis Theodorakis, Eleni Vlachou, Amalia Fleming, etc. For background, see, in Box one, my 30-page memo to General Orestes Vidalis (written at his request in 1991) on the origins of the anti-junta movement in Washington. I called it Memories of Anti-Junta Days. For rarity, see Box 4, the secret, unpublished testimony of former U. S. Ambassador Henry J. Tasca in the Fall of 1975, to a Pike Committee investigator. Mr. Pyrros promises subsequent donations to the collection. He says he will group such things as the Pike Committee Report on Cyprus, House and Senate hearings held during the junta years, the Turkish Aid Embargo fight, a rare copy of the ASPIDA indictment, and his files from 1976 to perhaps 1990 or even 2000.
The Special Collections Library is the home of a manuscript by Constantine P. Cavafy that bears his hand and signature. The poem, "Apistia," (Unfaithfulness), was composed by Cavafy in May 1903 and published in 1904. Its inspiration was the story of Achilles's death and mourning by his immortal mother, the nymph Thetis. The Special Collections Library purchased this manuscript in 2002 in conjunction with celebrations for the inauguration of the C. P. Cavafy Professorship in Modern Greek and featured it in the Exhibit, "Cavafy's World: Ancient Passions" at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.