Exhibit at Harvard Commemorates 500th Anniversary of First Armenian Book


CAMBRIDGE — “The Armenians and the Book,” an exhibit commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first printed book in Armenian, will be open to the Harvard community on the third floor of Lamont Library, April 9 to 25.
The Armenian alphabet was invented at the beginning of the fifth century AD; and the exhibit, drawn from collections of the Harvard Libraries, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), the Armenian Library and Museum of America, the Armenian Cultural Foundation and the private collection of Dr. James R. Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard, features an array of documents — Armenian prayer scrolls, prayer books and magical manuscripts, a facsimile of the first Armenian printed book, the first Armenian printed Bible, illustrated editions of Classical Armenian texts and translations and rare, fine literary works from the era of the Armenian Genocide and the Soviet Armenian republic, as well as conversation manuals, cook books and printed ephemera reflecting the Armenian immigrant experience in America.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Mashtots Chair in Armenian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard and the above-mentioned organizations, with the support and collaboration of Professors Christina Maranci and Simon Payaslian and the Armenian programs of Boston University and Tufts University, and of Marc Mamigonian of NAASR. The chief designer of the exhibition is Mark Mckertich, with artistic contributions also by Russell.
With its particular stress on the heritage of the Armenians of New England and the treasures of local collections, the exhibit celebrates the legacy of Armenian studies at Harvard and looks to its future growth and enrichment.
For more information, contact Russell at russell@fas.harvard.edu.

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