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Collection Overview

Pappas, Nikos, 1906-
Nikos Pappas and Rita Boumē Papa Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
6 boxes and 2.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-6


Consists of personal papers of the Greek poets and writers, Nikos Pappas and his wife, Rita Boumē Papa, including correspondence, autograph manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished poetry, articles, talks, clippings, and other printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of correspondence mainly in Greek; autograph manuscript and typescript drafts of published and unpublished poetry; articles; talks; notebooks; and printed material that relate to the publications and interests of the Greek poets and writers Nikos Pappas and his wife, Rita Boumē Papa. Correspondents included are: Kimon Friar, Menelaos Lountemēs, Andreas Rados, Rae Dalven, Antōnēs Dekavalles, Giannēs Skarimpas, Nikos Spanias, Nikos Chatzēnikolaou, Nikēphoros Vrettakos, Angelos Sikelianos, Kōstēs Papakonkos, Valentina Traikova, Manōlēs Anagnōstakēs, Giolanta Penklē, Vasia Tsōnē, Jannis Ambatsis, and many other writers, friends, and acquaintances, mainly from Eastern Europe. There is also correspondence with close family members. In addition, there are a few manuscripts of other poets and material relating to copyrights and the Hetaireia Hellēnōn Logotechnōn [Hellenic Literary Society].


Organized into the following series and subseries:

Collection Creator Biography:

Pappas, Nikos, 1906-

Nikos Pappas was a Greek poet, critic, and lawyer. He was born in Trikala, Thessaly in 1906. In 1927 he graduated from the Law School of the University of Athens and the same year he left to pursue his studies in Germany, where he remained until 1928. From 1939 and for thirty years he practiced as lawyer and served in the Legal Council of State of Greece. His first appeareance in literature was in 1928 with the publication of his poems in the journal Nea Hestia. In 1930 he published his first poetry collection Mataia Logia [Vain Words]. He collaborated with the journals Nea hestia, Hellēnika grammata [Greek Letters], To xekinēma [The Beginning], To neon kratos [The New State], Neohellēnika grammata [Modern Greek Letters], Makedonikes hēmeres, and many others where he published poems, translations, and essays. He also collaborated with the newspaper Kathēmerinē (1935-1940). He was editor and manager of the journal of Trikala Eparchia (1931-1932), member of the committee of the journal of Chalkis Neohellēnika Sēmeiōmata (1936), as well as Neōn rhythmōn (1949-1950) and the Journal of the Poets (1956-1958). In 1936 he married the poet Rita Boumē. He received the First and Second National Prize for Poetry (1959 and 1964 respectively). He was also a member of the Hetairia Hellēnōn Logotechnōn [Hellenic Literary Society]. He translated works of Brecht, Rilke, Apollinaire, and others, and his own works were translated into English, French, German, Polish and Italian. He died in 1997.

Rita Boumē Papa was born in 1906 in the island of Syros and died in 1986 in Athens. She was educated in Greek public schools and spent one year in a French boarding school. At the age of fifteen she went to live with a wealthy older brother and his Italian wife in Syracuse, Sicily (Italy). She left Sicily in 1929 and returned to Syros. In 1936 she married the critic and poet Nikos Pappas and lived with him in Trikala, Thessaly, until 1939, at which time they moved to Athens. She wrote and spoke on many social and political issues and participated in international conferences on children and women. With her husband she produced a two-volume Anthology of World Poetry (1952, 1963). She became a prolific literary figure, running journals, writing for children, publishing her own verse collections (seventeen, between 1930 and 1977), contributing a number of entries to the Greek Encyclopedia of Women (1969) and translating: Carducci, Poems, Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli, Sholokhov's And Quiet Flows the Don, Pasternak, Anna Akmatova, Brecht, Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, and Samuel Beckett. She adapted Victor Hugo's Les Misérables for the theatre (1952). Her verse collection A Thousand Murdered Girls (1963) represents the last words of women sent to court-martial and executed after participating in the resistance, some of them defended by her husband Nikos. She received the First Prize for Poetry from the Academy of Athens for her 1935 collection entitled Hoi sphygmoi tēs sigēs mou [The Pulses of My Silence]. She also received the First Prize of the National Resistance for her 1945 publication, Athēna-Dekemvrēs 1944 [Athens-December 1944], as well as others awards. One of her last poetic works, Phōs ilaron [Light Serene], a highly personal meditative poem published in 1966, seems to be both an appreciation of her past and a justification or apology for the way she had led her life. In her later years she turned to prose.

Collection History


The papers are a gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund.


Nothing was removed from the collection.

Processing Information

This collection was originally processed in 2000. The collection was revised, reprocessed and completed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in the spring of 2011. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka in March 2011.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Nikos Pappas and Rita Boumē Papa Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-6