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History of the Society

One of the oldest active non-governmental associations in the wider Hellenic world, it was founded during British rule in Cyprus by a small group of Cypriot scientists. Its formation may be considered the Cypriots’ scientific riposte to the callous period of Palmer’s rule as Governor (1933-1939) that followed the uprising of 1931; as a reaction to the policy of de-hellenisation that the British instituted at that time. The 24 founding members gathered at a General Meeting on 17 April 1936 in the Nicosia Pancyprian Gymnasium. They approved its constitution and elected the first board of management, consisting of Constantinos Spyridakis as president, Savva Christi vice-president, Achilleas Emilianides secretary, Antonis Indianos treasurer and as members Nearchos Clerides, George Papacharalambous and Costas Prousis. Presidents of the Society have been: Constantinos Spyridakis (1936-1976); George Papacharalambous (1976-1986); Kypros Chrysanthis (1986-1998); George Ioannides (1998-1999) and Andreas Mitsides (1999-2006).

The emblem of the Society is an eagle with outspread wings taken from depictions on ancient Cypriot coins. Around it is inscribed: “Society of Cypriot Studies”.

The Society is housed in the palace of the old Archbishopric that was offered to them for this purpose by Archbishop Makarios II (1947-1950) and Makarios III (1950-1977), of blessed memory.

The basic objectives of the Society are the collection, preservation, study and publication a) of the historical material related to all periods of Cyprus History; b) of the linguistic material referring to the history and evolution of the Cypriot dialect; c) of the folklore material from all periods of Cyprus history and d) the collection of works of Cypriot folk art and their preservation, study and promotion.

The main activities of the Society are:

  1. The annual publication of a scientific newsletter entitled “Cypriot Studies”. To date 68 volumes have been put in circulation. In this newsletter are published studies referring to the history, archaeology, folklore, language, art, education of Cyprus, and other related subjects. In 1946 it was awarded a prize by the Athens Academy.
  2. A series of independent publications referring to aspects of Cyprus culture. Twelve of these have been published so far. By way of indication we may refer to: Angeliki Pieridou, Cypriot Folk Art, 1980; Andreas and Judith Stylianou, 1971; Eleni Papademetriou, Ethnographics of the Karpass, 1992; Margarita Demetriou, Shadow Theatre, 2004.
  3. The founding of the Museum of Folk Art (1937). Here are displayed weaving, lace work, wood carvings, and silverwork, basket-weaving and other artefacts from the island’s folk art. The Museum is housed on the ground floor of the old residence of the Archbishopric which was offered to the Society for this purpose by Archbishop Makarios II (1947-1950), of blessed memory. Most actively involved in the formation and enrichment of the Folk Art Museum were Adiamantios Diamantis of blessed memory and the folklorist Eleni Papademetriou.
  4. The stocking of the library with books, mainly of Cyprological subject matter, as well as with a number of manuscripts.
  5. The organisation of an International Cyprological Conference, of which three have been held to date (1969, 1982 and 1996) and whose minutes have been published. In 2008 it is expected that the fourth Cyprological Conference will be take place on the 29 April.
  6. The organisation of scientific lectures and announcements concerning subjects related to Cyprus and her culture.

For its activities and contribution the Society of Cypriot Studies was honoured with a prize by the Athens Academy on 24 March 1946. The main financial supporters of the Society are the Archbishopric of Cyprus, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. There has been periodically some significant financial support from Kykkos Monastery, the Leventis Foundation, the Paraskevaides Foundation and others.


To become a member download the form and send it to our address or email.



Contact:  Society of Cypriot Studies /Cyprus Folk Art Museum. P.O. Box 21436, 1508 Nicosia, Cyprus. Tel.: 00357 22 432578 Fax: 00357 22 343439    E-mail: cypriotstudies@gmail.com, cypriotstudies@logosnet.cy.net