Boston Public Library

Nicholas Catsimpoolas Collection

Detail from: Caryatides
Dr. Nicholas Catsimpoolas (1931-2001), who was born in Athens, Greece, came to the United States in 1960 to pursue his education in biochemistry. In 1973, three years after obtaining U.S. citizenship, Dr. Catsimpoolas came to Boston to begin a distinguished career as a biochemist and biophysicist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Catsimpoolas was an avid and discerning collector of 19th- and early 20th-century photographs of his homeland. The result of his many years of enthusiastic and rigorous collecting was the creation of one of the most complete collections of photographs of Greece assembled in the U.S. by a private individual. The Boston Public Library acquired the collection from the estate of Dr. Catsimpoolas in 2007.

In addition to views of Greece, especially Athens, the collection includes a strong representation in images of Constantinople (now Istanbul) and sites in Anatolia. Other strengths include photographs of artwork from Ancient Greece and images related to Greek life and the royal family. Formats include albumen prints and gelatin silver prints, panoramas, stereographs, lantern slides, and postcards. There are also many important photographers represented in the collection, including James Robertson, Dimitris Konstantinou, Francis Frith, Félix Bonfils, and Petros Mōraitēs.

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

Locations in this Collection: