The archives of the Reading Society are noteworthy for their historical, economic, literary and artistic contents. Uniquely, they contain exceptional material relating to the history of the Mediterranean as a whole as much as to Corfu itself, which was the administrative centre of the Ionian region.
The largest section of the Society’s archives was created primarily from purchases made during the last thirty years. Their acquisition was based on the personal qualities of those who created them and on their social status and activities. Using these criteria, a collection of individual archives was built up, each differing in size and contents, yet all sharing a common purpose in increasing the available information in the areas of economics, demographics, sociology and culture. There also exists a number of interesting archives relating to the aristocratic and middle-class families of the island.
One can encounter in this collection interesting fragments of records as well as full and extensive files. Of special interest, however, is the management archive concerning the Reading Society itself. In the correspondence files preserved since 1836 one finds letters from outstanding Greek and foreign personalities who for a variety of reasons corresponded with the administrators of the Society.
Finally, information of exceptional interest for the study of the history of social distinctions in Corfu can be gathered from the members’ subscription records as well as from the Society’s visitors’ book.