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Biblioteka Kombëtare e Shqipërisë | National Library of Albania (Tirana, Albania)

    Sample collection on women migrants at National Library of Albania below

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    Collection: Jetëshkrimi i Sevasti Qiriazit | Autobiography of Sevasti Qiriazi (Albania: 1938)

    Description: Typewritten manuscript of the autobiography of Sevasti Qiriazi (c. 1870/1871–1949), also known as Sevasti Kyrias-Dako. Qiriazi was an Albanian educator and champion of women’s education, who in 1891 became the first Albanian woman to complete a college education. She co-founded an Albanian-language school for girls in 1891, acting as its first director. She was also active as a Christian missionary, and she travelled to the United States in 1904 to visit friends and acquaintances and to hold lectures on Albania for women’s societies. The girls’ school closed due to the First World War, and she and her family were forced to flee the country in 1914, living in Romania and Bulgaria before settling in the United States. They returned to Albania in 1921, where she, her husband and her sister jointly founded a new school for women’s education, named the Kyrias Institute. It was forced to close in 1933, after which time Qiriazi began writing her autobiography in English. Qiriazi revised her autobiography in August 1938 with the help of Mary C. Rogers, a former teacher at the Kyrias Institute, who came from Istanbul to Tirana to assist Qiriazi in editing her English draft. The autobiography describes Qiriazi’s education in Albania and Istanbul, her travels, and her years of exile; it ends with a description of Kyrias Institute and its accomplishments.

    Archive address: Sheshi Skënderbej 9, 1001 Tirana, Albania

    Reference number: dr.1.b.13

    Links: Visit the archive’s official website HERE. Access the catalogue entry and digitalisation of manuscript HERE.

    Publication: Sevasti Kyrias-Dako, My Life: The Autobiography of the Pioneer of Female Education in Albania, 2nd ed. (Tirana: IAPS, 2022).

    Contributor: Katelin Parsons