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“SKOUFAS” Association was founded under the name of “EPIROTE ASSOCIATION OF ARTA THE SKOUFAS” in April 1896. Its first concern was the organization of a Library. So during July 1896 letters were sent to the University of Athens, the Association of “Parnassos” and all the citizens, who wanted to give away books. The first donations had begun and the foundations for the establishment of the Library were laid.

The most important donations to the Library come from the following: the members of the Association’s first Board; Theodoros Thomopoulos; the Association of “Parnassos” and the Association “Mikros Omilos”, which offered its library to “SKOUFAS” after its dissolution in 1927; the lawyer K. Anagnostopoulos, who offered a series of legal books in Greek and foreign languages in 1962; the “Association of Epirote Studies”, the Evgenidio Institution and the Commercial Bank.Books are also offered by Evmorfia Kotzioula, Haril. Bletsos, Michalis Peranthis and Kostas Krystallis, the poet.A very important donor of the Library has been Petros Garoufalias, who offered a big number of books, foreign and Greek. Moreover Ioannis Papavasiliou offered a series of valuable books.In the following years, the Library made efforts to enrich its material with old and new publications. Lots of fellow-citizens offered books. Various writers sent their poems, short stories or publications. Finally the Ministry of Education sent a big number of precious publications.Simultaneously, efforts were made for the technical organization of the Library. Certain cards were bought and the recording and the classification of books began. A small reading room was also created, but the problem of space was still there.

The books are found in a small room placed in shelves and boxes. The Board’s office has also a series of rare books. Books registration has been difficult as well as the opening of the Library, as there was neither a suitable room nor an expert for the right management of the Library. In 1991 Association of “SKOUFAS” decided to find a place to host the Library and most importantly, an expert.After extensive discussions, he made the decision to hire a librarian in order to organize the Library properly. Simultaneously he made an effort to rent a proper place.In August 1992 the transport of the Library in the ground floor of Garoufalias’ residence began; this place belongs to the metropolis of Arta. In October 1992 the organization of the Library has begun.The difficulties were many, especially finding resources, because the Library needed material equipment and new publications.Facing these difficulties the Library finally ensured a reading room for the public and mainly a PC for registering the books. The librarian helps people for their quests. The organization of the Library followed the international library models.The system DEWEY is simple and functional and is separated in categories, general and specific. The categorization becomes in three fields, that is to say three bulletins: 1) bulletin at writer, 2) bulletin at title and 3) bulletin at subject.

The books in the Library of “SKOUFAS” Association are approximately 25.000 volumes. There are also rare and unique publications. The Library is the only library in the city of Arta and one of the most important national libraries, because of its rare publications. It collaborates with Greek academic and technological institutions. Many students and professors of universities visit it for their postgraduate and scientific work. It also collaborates with schools in Arta, which materialize European programs with the attendance of young pupils.

List of several rare publications found in the Library of Association of “SKOUFAS”

- History of Macedonian Hellenism, Droysen-1899 

- Solomos’ collected works, Sakellariou-1901 

- Loukianos’ collected works, Fexi-1911 

- Lectures of Greek Poets, Hearth-1925 

- Nomika Filosofimata, Anastasiadou-1927 

- Glossary of Epirus (Aravantinos), Petrakos-1909 

- Eastern Thrace, Netr Vei-1927 

- Marriage en Crete (of Pavlos Vlastos)-1893 

- The Saint City Jerusalem (Veniamin Ioannidis)-1877 

- Autobiographical Notes (Klaudios Bantaloukas)-1876 

- General Introduction to Christian Archaeology (G. Labakis)-1897 

- On Doubt, Sherwood Eddy-1920

- Reflections on Folk Song (Alkis Thrilos),Κalergis-1928 

- Criminal Right (E.  Dernburg), Fexi-1909 

       - Psychology (Dim. Moraitou)-1926 

     - Handbook of Empirical Psychology (Goust. Ad. Linder), Korinnis-1884

- Renaissance Era (W.  Pater),Vasileiou- 1923 

- The drama of Lefktra (Th. Tsoutsinos), Hatziioannou- 1924 

- Protomastoras (Kalomoiri), Panathinea- 1910

- Biographies of heroes: M Botsaris-G Karaiskakis-1828

- Maximos Grekos, Papamichail -1920

- Ignatios, Metropolitan of Hungary-Vlachia (1766-1828), Protopsaltis-1919

- TheAgrarianQuestionofEpirus(of G. Pachys)-1882

- The Turkish occupied Greece, Sathas-1869

- Historical Essays, Sathas-1870

- Filiki Hetaireia (I.Filimon), Koultoura-1834

- Historical essay on the Revolution (I. Filimon)-1859

- Historical essays on Greek national rebirth, M. Ekonomou -1873

- Greek history, P. Karolidis-1924

Τhe history of Attilas and his ancestors, Elefteroudakis-1903

- Letters of Kapodistrias (David Freming) -1841

- Charilaos Trikoupis, G. Tsokopoulos-Fexi - 1896

Rare manuscripts:

- Swearing protocols of Greek citizens in 1881

- Arta in the Archives of Venice (K. D. Mertzios)

- Prototype manuscripts with documents during the Turkish conquest

- Karapanos’ Αrchives

- Ecclesiastical manuscripts

- Manuscript with ancient and church writings, 250 years old.

     - Documents of the Russian Sub-Consulate in Arta and Preveza, 1858-1881

Indicative publications of “SKOUFAS”:

- On the Despotate of Epirus, Io. Romanos

- The death of Ali– Pasha, Ar. Stavropoulos

- Pyrrus, P. Garoufalias

- Olympias, P. Garoufalias

- Historical Essay on Arta and Preveza, S. Xenopoulos