Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Armenians and The Book at Lamont Library, Harvard University

Unfortunately not open to the public, fortunately available for  viewing by students and professors at Harvard University as well as graduates of Harvard College or Harvard University (if you're one of the privileged, be sure to bring a photo i.d. -- the librarian will confirm from her tome on Harvard/Radcliffe graduates that you can, in fact, get in to see this exhibit) is a fascinating exhibit entitled "The Armenians and the Book", an exhibit organized by Prof. James Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian at Harvard University. Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first printed book in Armenian,  the exhibit features examples of very early works from Harvard University's collection,  

A page from Aesop's Fables, 19th Century, in Armenian.
A bound manuscript of magic incantations in Armenian.

several Himayils (prayer scrolls) on loan from ALMA (the Armenian Library and Museum of America), numerous manuscripts and early printed books, as well as more recent publications, with a special photograph of William Saroyan that accompanies an inscribed and autographed presentation copy of one of Saroyan's books.  Unfortunately, these photos taken through glass without flash give a very limited sense of the wonders of this exhibit which is set up on the third floor of Lamont Library, Harvard Yard, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
(Above Left) Inscription by  Armenian-American writer William Saroyan (photo above)

Some 20th Century Armenian publications printed in the United States and Armenia.


  1. Lamont Library is located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Quincy Street in the far southeast corner of Harvard Yard, east of Harvard Square. The only entrance to Lamont Library is the main entrance, which is in the front of the building off of Quincy Street.
    The Armenian alphabet was invented at the beginning of the fifth century A.D.; and the exhibit, drawn from the Harvard Libraries, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Armenian Library and Museum of America, the Armenian Cultural Foundation, and local private collections, features an array of documents- Armenian prayer scrolls and magical manuscripts, the first Armenian printed Bible, fine illustrated editions of Classical texts, and rare 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 here in New England.
    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 organizations, with the support also of the Armenian programs of Boston University and Tufts University.

    1. i love this post dear. it really nice. Good information provide by this blog.
      Business Management