Archive guide


The Digital Archive of the Observatory of the Refugee and Migration Crisis in the Aegean collects, processes, sorts and makes available publicly, in electronic format, material of different origins and types. The material that is kept in the Archive focuses on the Aegean region and, in particular, the five islands that are the main gateways for refugees and migrants coming to Europe (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, and Leros). Most of the material covers the period starting in 2015 (when the number of people moving into the Aegean region peaked) till the present, in an attempt to compile a multi-faceted record of an ongoing phenomenon. For more recent material the user may also go to the webpage of the Observatory.

The Digital Archive offers a variety of ways to search for material, thus enabling each user to choose the approach that best meets his or her research interests.

On the Homepage the user can view the Archive Collections. The Collections and the Item Groups comprise the main way of organizing the material. We have organized the material in a way that highlights key issues regarding the refugee- and migration- related phenomena in the Aegean. The collections are divided into sub-collections and groups. Each document may belong to one or more groups depending on its content.


The collections of the Archive are:

1. Refugees and Migrants in the Aegean

2. Humanitarian Actors

3. Local Societies

4. Institutions of Humanitarian Governance

5. Greek and International Authorities                                                                                  

6. Research

7. Art


The Homepage also offers easy access to the keywords of the Digital Archive through a cloud. The font size of the keywords reflects the relative frequency with which they appear in the records. It is also possible to search for documents based on their type in the Type category. The types on the homepage are: Text, Cartographic Material, Sound Recordings, Projected and Video Material, Two-Dimensional Graphics, and Data Sets.

A more specialized search is possible through the Qualified Type on the Homepage. Some of the Qualified Types are: Newspaper article,  Article, Report, Announcement, Interview, Numeric table, Book, Law and Legislation, Facebook page/Group, Podcast, Image, Event, Sound Documentary, Film, Photography, etc. Next to each type there is a number that refers to the number of documents belonging to that particular Qualified Type.

Finally, the homepage also has a “Local Coverage’ category, which allows you to search for material on the basis of their relevance to a specific location. Next to each particular individual location, there is a number that refers to the number of documents that refer to this particular location.
All of the above categories and some additional categories can also be found in the Navigation Menu at the top of the page. The Navigation Menu options are described below.


Creator: Through the Creator submenu, it is possible to search for a document if the user knows its Creator. The creator may be a person, a group of persons, a government body, a transnational body, a non-governmental organization, a collectivity, a newspaper, etc.

Date: Via “Date” it is possible to search for documents based on their date of creation or publication by year and /or month. The material covers mainly the period from January 2015 to today, in an attempt to cover the period when the refugee-migratory phenomenon in the Aegean was at its peak. There is also earlier material, directly linked to refugee flows in the Aegean.

Title: On the submenu “Title” all titles appear in alphabetical and chronological order. Here it is possible to search also via the title of a particular document. If there is also a title in another language, it appears as Alternative title.

Qualified Type: Via “Qualified Type” it is possible to search for documents on the basis of their Type (texts, audiovisual material, two-dimensional graphics, cartographic material, data sets). The option of search through the documents’ Type is offered either through the homepage or through the Navigation Menu by selecting one of the available formats (i.e., interviews, announcements, newspaper articles, documentaries, etc.)

Organizations: The “Organizations” section contains material related to the organizations and collectivities that responded to the humanitarian crisis in the Aegean. A part of the material in this category has been produced by the organizations and collectivities themselves and is either already publicly available or has been made available to the Observatory with permission (for instance, material regarding their mode of operation, announcements, internal documents, etc.). Another part of the material comes from other sources that refer to these organizations and collectives (such as newspaper articles regarding humanitarian governance).

Subject: The submenu “Subject” refers to the central thematics that characterize the material and which comprise the thematic spectrum of the Archive. Each document may cover different subjects. For this reason, a particular document may be traced in more than one subjects.

Spatial Coverage: The section “Spatial Coverage” provides the possibility to search via geographic regions and islands in the Aegean, as well as via the individual locations to which each particular document refers. Each document is identified with reference to a general location (such as an island) or particular locations on each island (cities, villages, and regions) to which its content refers.

Keywords: The Keywords allow for a more specialized search of the material. On the “navigation” menu the keywords appear in alphabetical order. The number next to each word indicates the number of documents linked to this keyword.

Search through filters: The Archive offers the option of conducting a Filtered Search of its content according to specific criteria. For example, the search for a term is restricted to user-defined fields such as Title, Subject, etc. or can be pursued only via the dates s/he is interested in.