In 1936, Heinrich Schliemann’s children, Andromache Melas and Agamemnon Schliemann, deposited the bulk of their father’s personal papers at the American School “on loan,” on the condition that anyone desiring access must obtain the family’s permission. The Schliemann Archive contained thousands of documents including correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, and account books. Until the 1960s, the only researcher approved to study the Papers was Ernst Meyer (1888-1968), a German high school teacher, “Schliemann researcher,” and Nazi Party member. He exploited his SS connections in Athens during WW II, taking several volumes containing Schliemann’s correspondence back with him to Germany. Some of them were lost.

In 1960, Lenos and Alex Melas, Andromache’s sons, informed the School that their mother wished to regain possession of the collection; instead, the School decided to buy the Schliemann Papers from them in 1962. The purchase was financed by Eli Lilly Jr., president of the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company of the same name, whose grandfather had helped Schliemann get his divorce in 1869. In 1965, the School acquired additional material found by Alex Melas, including correspondence between Heinrich and Sophia which the Pooles used in their book, and 29 honorary diplomas. Over the years the Schliemann Archive has been further enriched by documents formerly held by descendants of individuals with connections to Schliemann.

For over a decade, the Schliemann Papers have been fully catalogued and available for examination on-site by the scholarly community. The ASCSA has furthermore been involved since 2008-2009 in a large-scale digitization project, initially supported by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, that is making considerable portions of the Schliemann Papers accessible online to researchers worldwide.

The Heinrich Schliemann Papers at the ASCSA Eleftheria Daleziou