Corgialenios Library

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Corgialenios Library

Corgialenios Library is situated in the centre of Argostoli. The Corgialenios Library was established in 1924 in execution of last will and testament of the great benefactor of Kefalonia, Marinos Corgialenios, which stipulated the establishment of a Public Library in Argostoli.

The Library began its operation in 1925 and in 1926, by decree of the Ministry of Education. It was merged with the existing Public Library of Kefallinia which had been in operation since 1887.

The original material of the Corgialenios Library was comprised of the books of the older library plus the books donated by Marinos Corgialenios. The first and only Library director for the duration of the 20th century was Gerassimos H. Moshopoulos, a man with a well rounded education and exceptional ardour for the institution. He provided his services to the Library for about four decades, through adverse times and circumstances.

With Moshopoulos at the helm, under the administration of the Corgialenios Endowment Fund, and housed in its luxurious building, the Library had emerged as early as the 1930’s as Argostoli’s intellectual beacon.

However, the Second World War, the Occupation and the devaluation of the Endowment’s capital led the Library into a serious crisis. The destruction of the building by the 1953 earthquakes was the last blow. Fortunately, the books were saved by the altruistic efforts of the Endowment’s employees.

The tireless efforts of the Corgialenios Executive Council, the generous funding by the great benefactors, Georgios Vergotis and Evangelos Bassias-Typaldos, as well as the donation of the architectural plans by architect Takis Pavlatos, enabled the reconstruction of the building.

The person who is foremost associated with the development and operation of the Library in the post earthquake period is the Vice President of the Corgialenios Executive Council and later Mayor of Argostoli, Marinos Kosmetatos.

In collaboration with the rest of the Council, the ranks of which included some of the most prominent members of local society, Kosmetatos created a Library – model among regional institutions of its kind.

The Library instituted pioneering initiatives for that time, including children’s section, significant events, showings, lectures, and conferences of national and international range.
In the decades that followed, the Library was staffed with specialized personnel and equipped through funding from other benefactors and government subsidies. It contributed significantly to the cultural life and intellectual development of the town of Argostoli and to the promotion and encouragement of scientific research on the Ionian Islands region.

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