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UCL SSEES Library Archives

Archive Collection description: NAC


Naçi Collection (1921-1992 and undated)

An online catalogue for this collection is available.

Gjenco Demetre Naçi (1907-1992) was born in Turkey to parents of Albanian descent. Albania was at that time still part of the Ottoman Empire. His family later moved to Greece and he grew up in Paxos and Corfu. There is little information in the collection on the events of his early adult life although it is clear that he qualified as a lawyer, moved to Albania and at some time in the early 1930s, married Jeanne Rogge-Vancappel (1911-c.1992), a Belgian. When Albania was invaded by Italy in April 1939, Naçi and his wife left the country. It was at this time that he became private secretary to King Zog (1896-1961). King Zog had became president in 1925 and king in 1928. Naçi and his wife probably fled the country along with the king, his family and other staff.

King Zog and his party, now including the Naçis stayed briefly in Greece and Turkey before making their way to France in August 1939. After the fall of France in June 1940, they settled in Britain. At first they made their home at the Ritz Hotel, London but in May 1941 Zog and his party moved to Sunningdale before settling at Parmoor, a country house near Henley-on Thames. The group totalling around forty, was comprised of King Zog, his wife Queen Geraldine, their young son Leka, other members of King Zog's family, Sohir Martini who served as court minister during this period of exile and staff members including Naçi and his wife.

In February 1946 the king, his family and most of his party left Britain to live in Egypt. He never returned to Albania, which became a communist state and was declared a republic. Naçi and his wife remained in Britain and settled in London. He probably made his living as a journalist and translator. In 1949 the Naçis' only child Alexander Leonidha Peter (1949-1995) was born. The following year Naçi took up a post as Albanian monitor for the BBC monitoring service, based at Reading and the family moved there. Naçi always retained an interest in Albanian affairs, particularly after his retirement when he wrote several unpublished books on the subject.

Alexander Naçi obtained a degree in modern languages from Queens College, Oxford and worked as a journalist and lecturer. In 1973 he changed his surname by deed poll to Nash. On his death, he bequeathed his estate to SSEES to enable the setting up of a Centre for Albanian Studies.


NAÇ/1 "From the Illyrians to the Shqiptars: a historical insight", drafts and papers relating to this unpublished work by Naçi (1945-1990)
NAÇ/2 Other writings by Naçi (1932-1986 and undated)
NAÇ/3 Naçi's correspondence (1940-1983)
NAÇ/4 Photographs (1927-1986)
NAÇ/5 Naçi family memorabilia and certificates (1923-1990)
NAÇ/6 Newscuttings (1942-1988)

1921=1992 (and undated)

10 boxes and 2 outsize folders containing 35 items

(Language) (mainly) Albanian & English & French & Italian (with a few pieces) Flemish & German & Greek & Spanish

Access unrestricted

A record for this collection is also available on the UCL Archives web site. To see it, please type NAC into the search field.

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This page last modified Tuesday 4 May 2010.


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