The Historical Archive is an organic part of the War Museum and has been composed of original documents or various items which came into the possession of the museum through donations from individuals or organizations, but also after selected purchases. The subject of the archive mainly focuses on the organization and the war history of the Greek Armed Forces and the periods it covers are the following:
Among other things, the basic items included in the Historical Archive are about:
Currently, the Historical Archive of the War Museum is in a phase of reorganization and its site can be accessed only after contacting the responsible administrator of the archive collection.
The War Museum has a rich photographic archive, with over 35,000 photographs, most of them original. All the material is classified into sections and thematic categories according to the events of Greek history from 1897 until today.
The War Museum photographic archive is accessible to researchers twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday from 09:00 to 13:00 and digital copies of photographs are available for a fee.
The War Museum has one of the largest archives in the Balkans used exclusively for film production, has been operating since 1979 (containing material from 1897 until today) and was created from films owned by the Greek Army from the old Armed Forces television (TED, YENED). The footage is product of a risky effort by the cinematographers of the time to capture the authentic war events, the political news and everyday life events.
After much research in Europe and America, everything related to Greece from 1897 to 1935 was included to the archive and in combination with the acquisition of the archive of G. Filis (who had done the same research in much more detail), we were given the opportunity to have material for almost every historical event that happened in Greece and was filmed during this period.
The most important and rare elements of the archive are the ones obtained from private donors who either owned it from third parties or filmed it as amateurs. In 1980 the Germans bought all the material of the 1941-1942 events concerning Greece, as well as a large part of the Italian and English then-current affairs. The collection was supplemented with the archival material obtained for the productions of Kostas Sismanis for the Museum and YENED.
The audiovisual archive of the War Museum holds in its possession relevant materials concerning Cyprus from 1950 onwards, a radio archive of 1960 with fighter narratives from the period of the Macedonian Struggle until the Second World War. The archive includes 16 and 35 m.m. film and a systematic effort is being made to digitize it.
Recently, the Museum acquired the film archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the archive of YENED and the show “On the Walls”, a brief history of which is mentioned below:
It was created with the aim of contributing to the preservation, promotion, and exploitation of the country’s audiovisual heritage, recognizing the enormous importance of audiovisual evidence for the political, diplomatic, social, and cultural history of the country. The film archive includes countless hours of news-reels from Greece and all over the world, propaganda films, as well as excerpts from old and rare documentaries. Examples include the films of the Lumieres and Manakia brothers, reporting from the Balkan Wars, the Russian Revolution, and the First World War. Rich material of news-reels on the Asia Minor Campaign and the interwar period in Greece and Europe, World War II and the Civil War, the Dictatorship, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus until the restoration of democracy and to the first years of the metapolitefsi (regime change) in Greece. In the above context, the film archive created the “Archive – Documentary” organization, collaborating with private producers and organizations, where both the modern and older production of Greek documentaries and documentaries of international production, of special interest for Greek history, are collected and classified.
It is an archive of about 150 hours on historical and military subjects, as well as current events of that time, from 1950 to 1980.
With the help of the archive of the War Museum, about 70 documentaries (20 to 60 minutes) have been created, for the whole of Greek History from 1900 until today, about 650 TV shows (entitled “Moments of History” that are added to “Virtue and Courage” which are broadcast every Sunday on ERT) and about 50 thematic units for the GEETHA (Hellenic National Defence General Staff) related to history, Military Units, TV spots, etc.