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:: History

The Centre for Asia Minor Studies was created when, following the 1922 disaster, Greece became conscious of the need to preserve the cultural heritage and history of the Asia Minor homelands through the memory of the refugees.

At that point in time, the musicologist Melpo Logotheti-Merlier and her husband, the Hellenist Octave Merlier initiated a truly monumental project for the recording and preservation of Asia Minor history. Systematic research began during the interwar period, with the collection of popular songs all over Greece: music was the original nucleus of the research collections of CAMS. For that reason, it was originally named Musical Folklore Archives (1930-1933). As the institute extends the scope of its research from folklore to history, it changes names and forms; its institutional status, name ("Centre for Asia Minor Studies – Melpo and Octave Merlier Institute") and professional character were finalized after the war.

Until 1962 the fact that Octave Merlier served as the head of the Institut Français d' Athènes was influential for the collaboration between the Centre and the French state: France has been an important supporter of the Centre's publishing and scientific activities.

Since 1962 the Centre functions as a legal entity of private law under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture.



This project is financed 75% by the European Regional Development Fund and 25% from National Resources. The entire Act was included in the Operational Programme "Information Society" of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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