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Explore the AFS History


Access our Archives to explore the more than 100-year-old History of the American Farm School.


The American Farm School Archives and Historical Collection came under the administration of the ‘Dimitris and Aliki Perrotis’ Library in 2001. The American Farm School Archives contain precious documents relating to the foundation of the AFS and its history such as correspondence, reports, photographs and artifacts, as well as information about the history of Thessaloniki. Before the Archives came under the library's administration significant organizational efforts were made by Brenda Marder, Niki Meyer, Randy Warner and Charlotte Draper. In 2007 Nancy Birk, Professor Emerita and former Curator and University Archivist at Kent State University (US) started a volunteer assignment of processing the existing archival collection, with the following activities:

  • Appraisal and selection of existing unsorted records; 
  • Arrangement into logical record groups within archival boxes and folders;
  • Actual preservation of documents, photos and artifacts (includes physical preservation; for example, encapsulation and digital preservation through scanning and imaging);
  • Coding of each record into a web document, and
  • Creation of an online inventory in html.

In 2007 the American Farm School was invited to participate in the European Digital Library (EUROPEANA), a project that is being led in Greece by a project team from the Central Public Library of Veria. The inclusion of the AFS’s Archive collections into the European Digital Library provided further incentive and led to the digitization of core photography collections.

In order for this to be accomplished and along with the processing of existing unsorted records, simultaneous selection for preservation and digitization of 1.000 core photographs from three major AFS collections for the European Digital Library Project was carried out. Those collections are Miscellaneous AFS photosCarte Postale collection and various documents and scanned artifacts from the Quaker Girl’s School.

DSpace was selected to be the platform for participating institutions to enter archival material into EUROPEANA. Configuration, parametrization and installation were outsourced. However, a staff training seminar took place in July 2009, which permitted us to add metadata ourselves for each digital object using the Dublin Core schema.

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