Vikelaia Municipal Library of Heraklion is a historical library in Crete. Its main purpose is to provide important collections, useful for its users as well as services and information sources that will serve their information needs and will promote education and information. The Vikelaia Library of Heraklion was founded in 1908 and was initially installed in the ground floor rooms of the Prefectural Store building. The scholar and cosmopolitan Dimitrios Vikelas, who was born in Syros in 1835, donated to the Municipality of Heraklion his rich and valuable library. Until today it has not been clear why he donated his personal library to Heraklion and not to his birthplace Syros or his hometown, Veria. The answers that are usually asked are that Vikelas was thrilled with the treasures discovered during the archeological excavations in Crete as well as his visit to Heraklion shortly before his death.
In 1912, following a decision of the Municipal Council, 1,130 volumes of books of the Educational Association of Heraklion were registered in the Vikelaia Library, which was founded in 1880 and collected several books interesting for Crete. In 1920, the library was moved to the three ground floor north rooms of the City Hall and housed there until 1932, when it was moved to the Municipal Building of Aktarika and remained there until the German occupation. The development of the library began in the early 1980s with the acquisition of material and the preservation of archives.
Many people of spirit and letters who love books, wanted to strengthen the library by donating their personal libraries. The first donor is Ioannis Lympritis, followed by the High School of Crete, Stefanos Xanthoudidis, Andreas Andreadis, Zacharias Oikonomou and others. The collections of Vikelaia consist of books, magazines, newspapers and audiovisual material, which cover the whole range of human knowledge as well as many historical items of the island that are unique. The main collections of public documents of its Archives Department are:
The Cretan Archives of Venice. These are the archives of the "Kingdom of Crete" that are kept in the State Archive of Venice until today.
The Turkish Archive of Heraklion. It consists of handwritten Codes of the Priestly Court of Heraklion that extend over a period of 230 years. These codes are written in Turkish with the old Arabic script and refer to the public operation of the Ottoman Administration.
The Archive of the Elders of Heraklion. The institution of "elders" was valid in Crete during Turkish rule from 1858 to 1900. These are the privileges granted by the Ottomans to the Christians in order to avoid the escalation of the national character of the revolutionary uprisings Click for complete WIKI...