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The Sylvia Ioannou Foundation

In the late 1970s Sylvia Ioannou embarked on a grand project to collect manuscripts and rare books relating to Cyprus, aiming at the salvation, preservation and dissemination of the vast historical and cultural heritage of the Island.

In the course of this ambitious mission, Sylvia acquired more than 2000 books on or about Cyprus' archaeology, history, politics, and so on, as well as a fine collection of travellers' accounts, dating from the end of the 15th century to the present day.

This remarkable collection also holds more than 600 maps of Cyprus and the broader geographical region, as charted by European cartographers from the 15th to the 20th century, including many great rarities, which, alongside the collection of books and manuscripts, provide valuable insights into the history of the Island.

As the collection reached a level of maturity, unquestionably ranking among the finest collections dedicated to Cyprus, whether in private hands or in institutions, the decision was taken to make this priceless resource available to academics, historians, researchers and collectors all over the world.

Accordingly, in 2009, Sylvia established the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, with the sole desire that this invaluable archive could become accessible to everyone interested.

The first step in this direction was the launching of this website, initially displaying a limited selection of books and maps and aiming to eventually host the collection in its totality.

The research and educational activities of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation include:

   •  lectures and workshops on history and cartography

   •  international conferences on the Greek world in travel accounts and maps

   •  publications related to the goals and interests of the Foundation

   •  scholarships for postgraduate studies focused on the island of Cyprus


We take this opportunity to extend a warm invitation to everyone interested in Cyprus and its history, to contact us and join us in the celebration of the rich cultural history of Cyprus, as featured by the treasures comprising the collection of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation.

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