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Princeton University Library Collection of Spyros Meletzēs Photographs


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

Meletzẽs, Spyros

Spyros Meletzēs (January 20, 1906 to November 14, 2003) was a Greek photographer, born in the village of Saint Theodore in Imvros. He was the eldest son (of six siblings) of Menelaos and Kalliopē Giannakēs. He attended the "Boarding" and his family intended him to be a priest. The death of his father in 1919, when Meletzēs was 13 year old, forced him to breadwinner. In 1923, at age 17 (Treaty of Lausanne - the concession of Imbros to the Turks) he moved to Alexandroupolis, where he worked at a draper shop and later at the photographic studio of Alexandros Panagiōtou, who was a relative of Meletzēs. A landmark in his photographic career was his photograph of the boats on the beach of Alexandroupolis for which he won the first prize in the exhibition of Thessalonikē in 1924. In 1927 he moved to Athens. He studied photography with George Bouka - photographer of the royal family. In 1937 he photographed the Greek countryside in Epirus. During the Resistance in 1940 he follows and takes pictures of the rebels in Peloponnese and Eurytania. Meletzēs is considered the photographer of Greek Resistance. After the World War II he continues to take photographs of archaeological sites and museums and in the 1950s a lot of politicians and perosnalities of art. In 1953 his work presented and took honours in Rochester, Birmingham, and Buenos Aires. In 1955 he signs a contract with the Greek government and takes photographs of public works in Hevros. In 1957 he works as a photographer for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works and tours taking photographs throughout Greece (from Peloponnesus, Rumelē to Thrace) [].

Consists of an open collection of photographs by Meletzēs. Included are 2 black-and-white photographs of the interior of the Parthenon (39.8 x 30 cm.) and of the Monastery of Rossanou in Holy Meteora, Greece (38.7 x 45.7 cm.); 7 black-and-white photographs of Delphi, female portraits, people in traditional costumes of Crete and other areas of Greece, one artifact, and 1 black-and-white photograph of the construction of the bridge of Hevros (Greece). There is also 1 black-and-white image depicting every-day life scene on the island of Skiathos; 1 black-and-white image of mount Olympus depicting a snow slope beneath "Stephani" (29.8 x 22.9 cm.).

Gift of the Program in Hellenic Stuides with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund (AM 2011-53; 2011-108; 2013-120; 2014-42; 2014-62; 2014-65; 2016-118; 2019-24; 2019-33; 2020-18).

This collection was processed by Kalliopi Balatsouka. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka.

No materials were removed from the collection during processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Spyros Meletzēs photographs collection, 1900-1999. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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