Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: HUM 332

Evro Layton personal archive


Evro Layton (1924-2005) was a bibliographer at the Harvard College Library from 1958 to 1968, where she was instrumental in improving the university's Modern Greek collection. Layton published various articles and books related to the history of Greek printing, particularly during the 16th century. The bulk of the collection includes photocopied reference materials, some with handwritten annotations, many of which are Greek language; these document Layton's research activities, particularly in preparation for writing her influential 1994 work, The sixteenth century Greek book in Italy : printers and publishers for the Greek world. Layton's personal archive also contains correspondence with various colleagues, scholars, and Harvard departments, including the Harvard Library.


  • 1963-2005 and [undated]

Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English and Greek, as well as French, German, Italian, and Latin.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


11.91 cubic feet (14 legal document boxes, 12 letter document boxes, 1 half-legal document boxes, 2 extra-wide document boxes, 1 flat box)
The Evro Layton personal archive documents Layton's research and publishing activities. The bulk of the collection consists of Layton's photocopied reference materials, some with her handwritten annotations; these give insight into Layton's research interests and methods, particularly in preparation for writing her influential 1994 work, The sixteenth century Greek book in Italy : printers and publishers for the Greek world. The collection contains Layton's drafts and published articles, as well as correspondence related to several topics, including her research, the sharing of Greek printing history and resources with other scholars and libraries both domestically and abroad, and with publishers, related to Layton's writings. The correspondence series also includes letters to various departments and individuals at Harvard University, written when Layton was a Harvard Library employee and later as an independent researcher; correspondents include Houghton Library, Radcliffe College, the Harvard College Fund, and president Neil L. Rudenstine. Many of the letters also relate to Layton's various research trips to Western Europe. The bulk of the materials are written in Greek, particularly in the research files series, but also including some correspondence and notes.

Biographical note on Evro Layton

Evro Layton (née Evrydike Zeniou) (1924-2005), bibliographer, was born in Larnaca, Cyprus on June 28, 1924. At age nineteen, she emigrated to the United States to study piano at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she met her husband, composer and academic Billy Jim Layton; the two were marred in 1949, and the couple had two children. Layton received her MB in the History and literature of music from Yale University School of Music in 1951, and her MLS from the Simmons School of Library Science in 1958. From 1952 to 1954, she was a translator and secretary for the American Meteorological Society. Layton worked as a special bibliographer in the Harvard College Library from 1958 to 1968, leaving for one year in 1963-1964 to work as the Acting Assistant Librarian of the Gennadius Library in Athens. While at Harvard, she worked as a cataloger and then as a Greek bibliographer; she oversaw the collection of medieval and modern Greece in the United States. Layton curated an exhibition at Houghton Library from December 1987 to February 1988 on five centuries of books and manuscripts in modern Greek. Layton was also a Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellow from 1968 to 1970, which allowed her to conduct research on the history of Greek printing, and she was an active member of the Modern Greek Studies Association. Layton published several books and articles, including her groundbreaking work, The Sixteenth Century Greek Book in Italy: Printers and Publishers for the Modern World. From the 1960s through the early 1990s, Layton and her husband lived in New York, while Mr. Layton was a professor at Stony Brook; in 1992, the couple returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts to be with their children, Alexis and Daphne. Upon its founding in 1968, the Modern Greek Studies Association enlisted Layton as its first bibliographer. Two years later, in 1970, Layton formed and directed the Modern Greek Studies Association Cooperative Library Project in New York, where she reviewed the collections of several institutional libraries, advising them on book selections from Greece and Cyprus. Layton died at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 8, 2005.


Series in the collection:
  1. Correspondence, 1963-2005
  2. Research files, notes, and writings, 1963-2005 and [undated]
  3. Writings and drafts, 1965-2004 and [undated]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Daphne N. Layton and Alexis Layton, October 2006; Accession 17509.

Related Materials

The Harvard University Archives also holds: A tentative history of general encyclopedias (17th-18th centuries) with a chronological index to topics on music by Evro Layton (HUM 143). Houghton Library owns the Mechanicals and related records for Five centuries of books and manuscripts in modern Greek, 1990-1992 (MS Am 3149).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Olivia Mandica-Hart in February-April 2019, with additional assistance from Dia Philippides. Titles were transcribed from the documents; titles enclosed in brackets were devised by the archivist.
Link to catalog
Layton, Evro. Evro Layton personal archive, 1963-2005 and [undated] : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
April 30, 2019
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461