2016-11-02 / Features

Hellenic American Project Opens At Queens College

Last month the Hellenic American Project (HAP) opened its doors at Queens College, CUNY. Located in the Rosenthal Library, HAP is an archive of digitized material available to individuals interested in researching the Greek- American experience.

Queens College is a fitting site for the project, as it has 1,500 students of Greek ancestry, more than any other American university. In addition, Queens County is home to the largest number of Greek-Americans living in the US.

The Hellenic American Project includes oral histories and community archives, photos, books, journals, and magazines. The oral histories are the cornerstone of the Project, consisting of interviews with a cross-section of members of the community, including business owners, civic leaders, students, and residents of Astoria. Nicholas Alexiou, a professor of Sociology at Queens College, is the Director.

To provide perspective on the Greeks in the US, the first major wave of immigrants arrived around 1880 to 1920. Their experiences have been well-documented by historians, among them Theodore Saloutos, Alice Scourby and Charles Moskos.

Alexiou noted, “My goal has been to carry the work forward and capture the lives and experiences of the second major wave of immigrants who came in about 1960 to 1980.”

This is an important undertaking, because with the passage of time Greeks have assimilated and intermarried, much like any other ethnic group in the US. The Hellenic American Project at Queens College tells an important part of the American story.

Researchers can contact Prof. Nicholas Alexiou at 718-997-2826 and nicholas.alexiou@qc.cuny.edu.—Efi Antypas

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