The Ioannis Kapodistrias Digital Archive, an ambitious project that was recently completed and presented to the public, is now freely available for anyone interested in learning more about the life and work of Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831). The aim of the project was to collect various kinds of evidence regarding the Modern Greek state’s first Governor, by taking advantage of the possibilities provided by digital technologies. Escaping the limitations of a traditional archive, the webnode aspires to offer a comprehensive account of the wealth and diversity of evidence concerning I. Kapodistrias, its geographical dispersion, as well as of its linguistic variety, operating, at the same time, as a useful research and educational tool for the study of his era, life and work.What the I. Kapodistrias Digital Archive proposes, is in fact a reconceptualization of the term “archive”. Offering an extensive, wide-ranging collection of material regarding the Governor’s life and work, the project team has incorporated diverse evidence, including visual (artworks, everyday objects, relics, buildings), audiovisual (documentaries and school movies), publications and more.

Kapodistrias was a personality of great importance not only to Greek, but also Russian and European history, at the beginning of the 19th century, which is why the research team investigated archives in several countries, including Greece, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Russia and Italy. In some cases, research was conducted in situ, whilst in others research was conducted on-line. Out of the 86 European archival collections researched during the project in all the aforementioned countries, 27 were found to include documents related to Kapodistrias.

In order to complete the “I. Kapodistrias Digital Archive”, it was deemed necessary to digitize the nine volumes with published Kapodistrian documents. Another major accomplishment of the project was the elaboration and presentation of the largely unpublished personal archive of Kapodistrias, located in the General Archives of State in Corfu (G.A.K.), the island of his birth, which consists of 1.206 files. Last but not least, apart from the recording and digitisation of archival items, the project also included the production of four documentaries and three educational scenarios.

The project was funded by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, while the scientific committee and collaborators that contributed to its implementation comprised distinguished historians and digital history specialists from Greece and abroad, including: Christos Loukos (Professor Emeritus, University of Crete), Ada Dialla (Associate Professor, Athens School of Fine Arts), Constantina Zanou (Postdoctoral Researcher, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Val de Marne), Dimitris Zymaris (Historian), Ioulia Pentazou (Historian, specialized in new technologies), Eleni Stambogli (Historian, publisher), Lora Gerd (Chief Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History), Daria Koskorou (Historian of Art, Curator), Thanasis Lagios (Dr. in Philosophy, University of Athens) and Ioannis Kokkonas (Associate Professor, Department of Archives, Library Science and Museum Studies, Ionian University).

Watch documentary (in Greek): “Great Greeks – Ioannis Kapodistrias” (© Skai TV, 2009)