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:: Mission Statement

Centre for Asia Minor Studies


Mission Statement

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 extended the scope of its research from folklore to history, it changed names and forms; its institutional status, name (“Centre for Asia Minor Studies – Melpo and Octave Merlier Foundation”) and professional character were finalized after the war. 

The fact that Octave Merlier served as the head of the Institut Français d’ Athènes until 1961 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 private non-profit legal entity, dedicated to research and publication under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of Culture. 

The Centre for Asia Minor Studies engages in the following activities:  
  • conservation, documentation and dissemination of archival material relevant to the everyday life of Greeks in Asia Minor, their expatriation and resettlement in Greece; 
  • professional research on the social and intellectual history of the Greek Orthodox communities in Asia Minor especially in the modern period up to 1922; 
  • publication of the Bulletin of the Centre for Asia Minor Studies, an authoritative academic journal, publishing specialized professional research on Asia Minor, as well as making public materials from the rich archival collections of the Centre;  
  • collection and preservation of books and journals relevant to the academic interests of the Centre, which are freely accessible to visitors of the Centre’s library; 
  • dissemination of information to scholars and researchers as a means to promoting research, as well as to second and third generation refugees interested in their place of origin; 
  • organization of academic and cultural events promoting the Centre’s objectives and resources.



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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