The Zissis Dardalis Archives of the Hellenic Diaspora, incorporating three buildings of storage for more than 7,000,000 original documents depicting the activities of Hellenes in the southern hemisphere from 1810 to 2006 will be re-opened with the documents and classified, with most available to the public.
That commitment was made by La Trobe University Media and Communications Manager Mark Pearce to the newspaper Neos Kosmos, underlining the importance the archives hold for the Greek community of Victoria and Australia.
He also noted that the classification of the archives will make more documents available. The project will be supervised by a committee consisting of members of the Greek community and La Trobe. The archives incorporate more than 40,000 photographs of the Greek Diaspora (Southern Hemisphere) and will be permanently displayed either on campus or in a museum.
The Dardalis Archives were covered by the free-standing academic entity the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research (NCHSR, or EKEME in Greek) of La Trobe but shut down some years ago and has not re-emerged again despite the pledges of the university to the Greek community.
The NCHSR was established in 1997 by the University Council of La Trobe through the generosity of benefactor Dr. Zissis Dardalis and the commitment and support of the university’s then-President, Professor M. J. Osborne, a renowned Hellenist and expert on Greek Epigraphy, who is also a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens.
Socio-linguist and historian of the Hellenic Diaspora, Prof. Anastasios M. Tamis was elected founding Director of the NCHSR. The Patron of the Centre is the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias. At its establishment, the NCHSR became arguably the largest research and cultural center of Hellenism outside Greece, with an international reputation, employing 18 full-time academics, researchers, computer programmers and administrative staff, in addition to 11 appointed collaborators around the globe.