25 September 2020: Acquisition of G.H. Blanken’s Cavafy archive

Celebratory event on the occasion of the acquisition of G.H. Blanken’s Cavafy archive by the University of Amsterdam

The event is livestreamed. Via this link you can watch it live.

On September 25, 2020, the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam in collaboration with the Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies are organizing an event to celebrate the acquisition of the Cavafy archive of Prof. Gerard Henrik Blanken (1902-1986), the first professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek at the University of Amsterdam from 1954 to 1972.

G.H. Blanken introduced C.P. Cavafy to the Dutch letters and was the first to translate Cavafy in Dutch. His translation of selected poems by Cavafy in 1934 was the very first edition of Cavafy’s poems internationally. Blanken kept working on his translations of Cavafy throughout his life. His rich Cavafy archive includes, among many other valuable items, a collection of Cavafy’s so-called feuilles volantes: the hand-made editions of his poems that Cavafy circulated to a select group of people.

This is an important acquisition for the university, as well as for the Modern Greek studies community in the Netherlands and beyond. Blanken’s archive is donated to the University of Amsterdam by his daughter, Marijke Schuurink-Blanken, who will sign the act of the archive’s transfer to the university during this event. Prof. Maria Boletsi (Marilena Laskaridis Chair) and prof. Arnold van Gemert (professor Emeritus of Byzantine and Modern Greek studies) will give short talks and a few special items from the archive will be shown.  The event will be partly in Dutch and partly in English, to make information about this acquisition available to non-Dutch-speaking audiences too.

The event will take place at the Allard Pierson / Special Collections building of the university from 15:30 to 16:15. Due to strict covid-19 regulations, only a very small group of people is allowed to be present, but the event will be filmed and become publicly available online.

15.30 – welkomstwoord door dr. Astrid Balsem, Special Collections Curator
15.35 – toespraak door prof. dr. Maria Boletsi, Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies
15.50 – toespraak door prof. dr. Arnold van Gemert, emeritus hoogleraar Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
16.05 – ondertekening van de schenkingsovereenkomst door mw Marijke Schuurink-Blanken
16.10 – dankwoord namens Allard Pierson/UvA en afsluiting door dr. Astrid Balsem

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