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Notarial and Judicial Archives

Notarial archives are a veritable treasure trove for social history, as they include records of all landmark transactions in people’s social and financial lives: from the dowry contract--and, therefore, the creation of a family--on one end to the will and testament and the inventory of the estate on the other, as well as the multitude of financial transactions between these, including purchases and sales, rental agreements, loans, and employment contracts.

According to the 1879 census, which was the first time that residents’ occupations and employment information was officially recorded and included in the data, there were 24 notary offices in the Athens. In 1905, according to N. Igglesis’ Guide to Greece[1], there were 32 notaries in the capital[2], and this number had gone up to 129[3] by 1926.

For the period studied, there are three main bodies in Athens that keep notarial records:

  • The General State Archives (Γενικά Αρχεία του Κράτους),61 Dafnis Street, Psyhiko
  • The Notary Association of the Courts of Appeal, Athens–Piraeus (Συμβολαιογραφικός Σύλλογος Εφετείων Αθηνών – Πειραιώς), 4 G.Gennadiou Street, Exarheia

The list of notaries whose archives are kept by the Association is not open to the public. We do, however, know that the Association maintains the archives of 40 notaries who began practicing their profession after 1860.

The Land & Mortgage Registry records every deed that affects the legal status of a property (purchases and sales, bequests, dowries). The Registers were established by Law ‘Περί Μεταγραφών’ (‘On Registrations’) in 1856, and their operations were set out in the Regulatory Decree ‘Περί Οργανισμού των Υποθηκοφυλακείων του Κράτους’ (‘On Organising the State’s Land & Mortgage Registries’) and in article 11 of Law 4201/1961, ‘Περί Τροποποίησης και Συμπλήρωσης του Οργανισμού των Υποθηκοφυλακείων του Κράτους’ (‘On Amending and Completing the Organisation of the State’s Land & Mortgage Registries’). The Athens Land & Mortgage Registry began operating in 1857 and, during the period studied, also kept records for districts that are no longer part of the Municipality of Athens (e.g. Psyhiko, Nea Ionia, Galatsi).

The archives that have been indexed and processed into electronic databases until now are:

  1. Athens Land & Mortgage Registry, Purchases and Sales for the years 1910, 1920, 1930, 1939 and 1957
  2. The archive of Athens notary Dimitrios G. Vouzikis, 1886-1919
  3. The archive of Athens notary Christos D. Magkafas, 1931-1950
  4. The archive of Athens notary Nicholaos G. Kanavaris, 1957
  5. The archive of the Athens Court of First Instance, ‘Κατοχικαί αποφάσεις’ (Court Judgments Regarding Cases of the Occupation period), 1950-1960

 [1] First published in 1905, N. Igglesis' Guide to Greece was published annually during 1910–1957. The guide contained a plethora of information, covering various topics such as the economy, trade, shipping, agriculture and transportation.
[2] The 1907 Census recorded 51 notaries in the province of Attica.
[3] Στατιστική της Δικαιοσύνης (‘Statistics of the Ministry of Justice’),1926.
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