In its long history, “Vikelaia” Municipal Library has long since crossed the narrow boundaries of a provincial library. Hosting speeches, workshops, exhibitions and other activities, is a cultural centre which has been the city’s beacon of culture since 1908. It features a collection of almost 200,000 books which was initially acquired when Dimitrios Vikelas left his book collection to the city of Heraklion and was subsequently enriched by donations of the book collections of eminent intellectuals and artists such as Stefanos Xanthoudidis, Markos Avgeris and Elli Alexiou, Giorgos Anemogiannis and others. Moreover, the Heraklion Municipality has also purchased many books. The library’s most significant moment came with the donation of the library of Georgios and Maro Seferis, a donation which was mediated by the library’s curator Nikolaos Giannadakis.
One of its principal activities is the publication of excellent books and of the magazine "Palimpsiston". Its publishing work includes, among others, books on history and literature, texts and studies on ancient Greek literature and exhibition catalogues. It has made good use of a large part of the archives in its possession (Venetian, Turkish, Archive of the Demogerontia of Heraklion, German etc.) and there is more to come. Thanks to the tireless efforts of its staff and administrative committees, the “Vikelaia” Municipal Library, despite the difficulties, has always focused on culture. It persists with the same determination and resolution, compelled by its long tradition. The Library will soon be housed in the Ahtarika building, opposite Morosini Fountain (Lions). On the ground floor a bookstore will be operating where you could find books published by the “Vikelaia” Municipal Library, the Crete University Press (CUP) and the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation.