Worcester Public Library Exhibit Celebrates 500th Anniversary of Book Printing

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WORCESTER — The Worcester Armenian Book Commemoration Committee is hosting an exhibit at the Worcester Public Library for the entire month of November to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Armenian book printing. Yerevan, Armenia has been designated the “World Capital of the Book for the Year 2012” by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in honor of this milestone occasion in Armenian history.

Various displays explain, with essays and pictorial images, the development by Saints Sahag and Mesrob of the Armenian alphabet, resulting in an immediate availability of Western and Christian knowledge in Armenia. The Armenian alphabet in various forms, copies of early illuminated manuscripts, and the advancement of Armenian printed books and materials are other features of the exhibit.

Worcester is the site of the first permanent Armenian Community in the New World and the first Armenian Church to be built in the Western Hemisphere. The city is fortunate to have the presence of the Kaloosdian/Mugar Endowed Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University. Several texts on the Armenian Genocide by the first two holders of the Armenian Genocide Studies Chair, Prof. Simon Payaslian and Prof. Taner Akcam, reinforce the exhibit’s theme of the power of the published word. Contributions of Armenian- American writers include William Saroyan, Vrastad Kazanjian, and others.

A grand opening reception with refreshments is scheduled on Wednesday, November 7, 7 p.m., in the library’s Saxe Room with a lecture on Armenian book printing by two Armenian newspaper editors, Alin Gregorian of the Armenian Mirror- Spectator and Khatchig Mouradian of the Armenian Weekly. Their topic is “The Power Of The Printed Word: Successes And Challenges, Past And Present.” Other programs will follow throughout November. The event is free and open to the public.

The Worcester Armenian Book Commemoration Committee is comprised of representatives from the Worcester Armenian Community with the support of the Armenian Church of Saviour, the Armenian Church of The Martyrs, and Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. The Committee Chairman is Van M. Aroian and Committee Members are Hrair B. Aprahamian, Nevart Asadoorian, Charles K. Der Kazarian, Frank S. Minasian, Sarah D. Moradian, Stephen J. Papazian.

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