Collection to be dedicated
Angelo K. Tsakopoulos collection of Hellenic, Balkan, and Near Eastern
materials recently moved to the library of California State University,
Sacramento, where it will be officially dedicated as the Tsakopoulos
Hellenic Collection at a ceremony April 30 in the University Union
Ballroom. The event is by invitation and a public opening is planned
later in the year.
Master of ceremonies, California State Treasurer Philip Angelides,
will introduce CSUS President Donald R. Gerth who will speak of
his vision of the future for the collection, and California State
Librarian Kevin Starr, who will speak on the significance of the
collection to California.
The 70,000 volumes including paintings and other archival materials
is now housed in a suite of rooms at the CSUS Library consisting
of a circulating section, a periodicals room, a large high-tech
lecture hall and offices.
Tsakopoulos, a prominent land developer and philanthropist who was
born in Greece, began assembling the collection nearly 20 years
ago. He was assisted in his efforts by Speros Vryonis, at the time
chairman of the Near Eastern Studies Center at the University of
California, Los Angeles. The collection grew quickly and for 12
years was housed in the Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study
of Hellenism in Rancho Cordova.
In seeking a new home for the growing collection, Tsakopoulos received
offers from Northeastern universities, but after negotiations with
CSUS the collection, valued at several million dollars, found a
new home at his alma mater. His daughter, attorney Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis,
also part of the negotiating team, said, "My feeling was that
these institutions were already rich in classical resources. If
would be wrong to remove the collection from Sacramento just because
we have fewer scholars here who would take advantage of it. In fact,
it is only by making the collection broadly accessible in the region
that we can hope to encourage more people to elect this field of
study, or to come to our region to pursue it."
Henry Chambers, CSUS history department, says he is delighted with
the acquisition. He sees it not only as a magnet to attract established
and fledgling scholars to the campus but also as a means of forging
stronger ties to the large Hellenic community in the region.
The University is now conducting a search for a tenure-track Hellenic
scholar, a Near Eastern scholar and a permanent specialist librarian
to support the collection.