Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Onassis Business History

Onassis Business History

The purpose of the research project is to create a digitized private Onassis Business Maritime Archive as well as publishing a two-part volume on Onassis Business History, based on the Onassis Archive material.

Project Leader
Professor Gelina Harlaftis

Funded by: Onassis Foundation
Duration: 2017-2020

Research team ΙΜS/FORTH

  • Amalia Pappa, Deputy Director, General State Archives, Greece
  • Dr Alexandra Papadopoulou, IMS-FORTH
  • Professor Emeritus Lars Scholl, University of Hamburg
  • Assist. Professor Maria Damilakou
  • Dr Christos Tsakas, Princeton University

Ph.D. and graduate students

  • Semina Protopsalti
  • Kostis Hatzopoulos
  • Kostas Halimourdas
  • Nikolas Anastasiou
  • Stefanos Regkas

The shipowning group that Aristotle Onassis created during the interwar period, determined the path of Greek and global shipping in the 20th century which today forms the largest shipping fleet of the world. It is rather impressive that despite the global reach of Aristotle Onassis, there is not one extensive study of his business edifice based on archival materials and not one to analyze the scope and impact of his entrepreneurial activity in Greece or abroad, either of his shipping business, or of Olympic Airways. In this way, the aim of this research project is twofold:

a) the creation of the Onassis Archive. The creation of a private business archive is a pioneering action within the Greek shipping milieu. The Onassis Foundation has gathered the business archives of Aristoteles Onassis from Montevideo, New York, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Piraeus. The research group has undertaken to classify, register and digitize the archives.

b) the writing of a two-volume study titled Onassis Business History, which will provide an overall economic history of Onassis' business documented by the Onassis Archive.

Project Team

Gelina Harlaftis

Director of IMS-FORTH, Professor of Maritime History
Curriculum vitae

Alexandra Papadopoulou

Postdoctoral researcher

Christos Tsakas

Postdoctoral researcher

Amalia Pappa

Deputy Director of the General State Archives

Maria Damilakou

Assistant Professor
Ionian University