NAASR Christmas Open House to Feature Illustrated Presentation by Ruth Thomasian


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BELMONT, Mass. — Ruth Thomasian, the founder and executive director of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, will be the featured speaker at the 2014 National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Christmas Open House on Thursday, December 4. The Open House will begin at 6 p.m. with Thomasian’s talk set for 7:30 p.m. The evening’s events will take place at the NAASR Center, 395 Concord Ave.

Thomasian’s presentation will highlight photographs from Project SAVE’s 2015 calendar titled “Armenians Remember Those Who Came Before,” as well as other related images from the archive’s vast holdings.

“Armenians Remember Those Who Came Before” honors those who lived in Ottoman Armenian communities before 1915: Yozgat, Tokat, Aintab, Dikranagerd, Amasia, Svegin, Kharpert, Ordu, Choroum, Agn, Van, Sepastia, Chemeshgazek, Talas and Brusa. Photos and captions capture the spirit and details of Armenian life.

Both before and after the lecture, NAASR’s bookstore will be open and feature a one-night-only, 20-percent-off sale. Numerous recent titles will be available. Refreshments will be served. The 2015 Project SAVE calendar will be available the night of the open house.

Since 1975, Thomasian, a photo archivist and historian, has dedicated herself to saving the photographic heritage of the Armenian community. During the 1970s, while pursuing a career in New York City as a theatrical costume designer, she became aware of the extreme scarcity of visual material needed to research costumes for Armenian plays set in the historic homeland.

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Out of this practical need for visuals, Ruth soon discovered that photographs and their stories are a valuable source of cultural heritage and social history. Now located in Watertown, Massachusetts, Project SAVE Archives has more than 50,000 well-documented images collected mainly by visiting with people and talking with them about their photographs. A wide range of topics address life in the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires, as well as the United States and elsewhere in Diaspora, from 1860 to the present 21st century.

Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated).


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