Main content

Archive of the Commission for Refugee Women and Children from Crete


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Commission for Refugee Women and Children from Crete.

In 1669 Crete came under Ottoman Turkish occupation. However, for many years Greece and the Ottoman Turkish Empire fought bitter wars for the control of Crete, with massacres committed by both sides. An insurrection in Crete in 1896-1897 led to large-scale violence between Muslims and Christians, a proclamation by the rebels of union with Greece, and the invasion of the island by a Greek force (Feb. 1897). Greece went to war against the Ottomans (April 1897) but was defeated and had to ask for the Great Powers (Britain, France, Italy, and Russia) for intervention to rescue it from Ottoman advances into its territory. The crisis set in motion the flight of thousands of Muslim refugees from Crete and Greece to western Anatolia. The Greeks were obliged to recall their troops from Crete and to accept in advance the decisions of the powers. An armistice was arranged (May 19) and a peace settlement reached (Sept. 18).The settlement established autonomy for Crete under European control, and an independent Cretan Republic, headed by Prince George of Greece, was founded with only symbolic Ottoman presence. Greece finally annexed Crete during the First Balkan War in 1912-1913. The Commission for Refugee Women and Children from Crete was established to aid refugees of the Cretan War of Independence.

The collection consists of material relating to the relief of refugees of the Cretan War of Independence. Included are letters of donations, invoices, telegrams, bills, bank drafts and statements, and receipts. Many of the letters and documents, addressed to Mrs. Sofia Mavro who seems to have been involved in the relief efforts for the refugees in Crete, are about sending money to help with the victims of the Cretan War of Independence, especially women and children. Most of the documents are in Greek; however, there are some in French, Italian, and one in English addressed to the King of Greece. Correspondents include Bishop (?) Eumenios of Crete, Queen Olga of Greece, and several Greek consulates around the world.

Acquired from Petros Vergos in 2007 with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund (AM2007-88).

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence and Documents, 1897. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence and Documents, 1898-1899. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest