Part II ~ Vintage Armenian Textbooks, Grammars, and Readers

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Treasures of NAASR's Mardigian Library: Vintage Armenian Textbooks, Grammars, and Readers: Part II

In this, the second part of our feature on vintage Armenian textbooks, grammars, and readers, we present 9 publications spanning from the early 1920s through 1950, published in Lebanon, Turkey, France, the U.S., and Argentina.

In the text below, we use the transliteration most appropriate for each individual title, depending on whether the book is in Classical, Eastern, or Western Armenian. (For the most part they are in Western Armenian.) The publication information given is for the item shown—in some cases the Mardigian Library holds numerous copies of multiple editions of these titles. In some cases we employ the more familiar form of an author’s name in the text (e.g., Aram Andonian rather than Andonean or Antonean). In all cases, the books are catalogued according to the Library of Congress. We recognize the potential ungainliness of this approach, which combines Armenian script with various modes of transliteration, and beg the reader’s forbearance. As always, we welcome additional information and/or corrections regarding the books featured.

Title: Dziadzan = Ծիածան
Author: Hovhannes Kazanchean = Յովհաննէս Գազանճեան
Publication Information: G. Bolis: Kradun B. Balents‘, 1922 (2nd printing); in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 104 p.; 18 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Seta Buchter

Eudokia/Tokat-born literary critic and linguist Hovhannes Kazandjian (1870-1915) was the author of the textbooks Nor Kerakanutiwn ardi Hayeren Lezui (Նոր քերականութիւն արդի հայերէն լեզուի, New Grammar of Modern Armenian) and Dziadzan (Rainbow) for all grades. These textbooks were reprinted several times in Constantinople, and the Mardigian Library has copies of various editions of the publication. Kazandjian was arrested and killed in the early stages of the Armenian Genocide. (Below: pages from Dziadzan, 1922) 

 

Title: Nor T‘ankaran Hayerēn Lezui Pardzrakoyn Tasěnt’ats’k‘ = Նոր Թանգարան Հայերէն Լեզուի Բարձրագոյն դասընթացք
Author: Compiled by H. and Z. Asadur and a group of teachers = Հ. Եւ Զ. Ասատուր աշխատակցութեամբ խումբ մը ուսուցիչներու
Publication Information: G. Bolis: Dbaran ew gazmadun "Selametʿ" Taniel Hovhannesean, 1929; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 444 p.; 19 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library

Nor T‘ankaran was published one year after Hrant Asadur’s (1862-1928) death but he was responsible for selecting most of the texts. The title Nor (New) T'ankaran explicitly connects this publication to the earlier 1908 T'ankaran (see part one of this feature) created by Hrant and Zabel Asadur. The second edition of Nor T'ankaran was published in 1945. The textbook contains 55 stories and 56 poems. Among them are Armenian and European classic and modern literary works, as well as writings from Turkish literature and short biographies of the authors. (Below: Pages from Nor T'ankaran, 1929)

 

 

Title: P‘etag Ěnt‘erts‘aran Hay Manugneru = Փեթակ Ընթերցարան Հայ Մանուկներու
Author: Compiled by H. K. Nigoghosean = Յ. Գ. Նիկողոսեան
Publication Information: Niw Eork‘: Gochnag Dparan, 1929; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 91 p.; 21 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Henry Haroian

H. K. Nikoghosian was an educator in Aleppo and Constantinople. The P‘etag (Beehive) books for children contain short stories, poems, songs, and plays. In the introduction, it is mentioned these textbooks are approved by the Educational Committee-Board of the Armenian Prelacy of America. First published in 1929, P‘etag was reprinted in the 1930s and 1940s. (Below: Pages from P‘etag, 1929)

 

 

Title: Lusaper = Լուսաբեր
Authors: Stepan Lisits‘ean = Ստեփան Լիսիցեան (1865-1947), Hovhannes T‘umanean = Յովհաննէս Թումանեան (1869-1923), and Lewon Shant‘ = Լեւոն Շանթ (1869-1951)
Publication Information: Stamboul: “Haigashen” Kradun, 1931; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 143 p.; ill.; 22 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of George Garabian

The series of Lusaper textbooks for four age groups were first published in Tiflis in 1907 in Eastern Armenian, and subsequently reprinted several times. Lusaper was also published in Western Armenian in Istanbul, as in the copy seen here. (Below: Pages from Lusaper, 1931)

  

Title: P‘aros K‘eragan ew Ěnt‘erts‘aran Mayreni Lezui = Փարոս Քերական եւ Ընթերցարան Մայրենի Լեզուի
Author: Piwt’anats‘i = Բիւթանացի (Hovhannes T‘orosean)
Publication Information: Dit‘royt‘, Mishigěn [Detroit, Michigan]: Hradaragut‘iwn P‘aros Kradan, 1932; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 64 p; 23 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Ara Ghazarians

The P‘aros (Lighthouse) illustrated primer, published in Detroit, contains exercises for early readers to learn and practice letters, words, syllables, and simple sentences. (Below: Pages from P'aros, 1932)

 

Title: Hraztan =Հրազդան
Author: Compiled by V[artkēs] Aharonean = Վ[արդգէս] Ահարոնեան and A[rmenuhi] Aharonean = Ա[րմենուհի] Ահարոնեան
Publication Information: Bost‘ěn: "Hayrenik‘"i, 1935; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 76 p.; 25 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Harry and Araxie Kolligian.

Lawyer, writer, public figure, and educator Vartkes Aharonian (1888-1965), son of author and statesman Avedis Aharonian, after settling in the United States in 1923, was engaged in the education of Armenian children. He and his wife, the poet, literary critic, and educator Armenuhi Tigranian Aharonian (1888-1962) compiled the popular, often reprinted Hraztan textbooks (named for the river in Armenia) in the 1930s. There were four versions for different level students; the 2nd is shown here. (Below: Pages from Hraztan, 1935)



Title: Ararad Ěntʻertsʻran = Արարատ ընթերցարան
Author: Mgrdichʿ Barsamean- Mkrtichʻ Parsamean Մկրտիչ Պարսամեան
Publication Information: Pariz: Kradun M. Barsamean, date not specified (1930s?); in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 80 p.; 18cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Aghavnie Canarian

Writer, editor, educator, and critic Mgrdich Barsamian (1886-1965) created and published these Armenian language textbooks which, he explains in his introduction, seek to educate the new generation in Armenian who are attending non-Armenian schools. He explained the important role of teachers and asked them to be creative and to do more than just rely on this textbook. These textbooks were reprinted several times. Barsamian was also the author of Agn ew agnts‘ik‘ (Ակն եւ ակնցիք, 1952), about his native city of Agn. (Below: Pages from Ararad Ěntʻertsʻran, 1930s) 

 



Title: Hayerēni Krawor Taser = Հայերէնի Գրաւոր Դասեր
Author: Lewon Shant‘ = Լեւոն Շանթ
Publication Information: Beyrut: Hoys, 1942; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 64 p.; 24 cm
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of the Hairenik Association

One of the authors of Lusaper, playwright, novelist, poet, and founder of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society Levon Shant (1869-1951), later compiled and published Hayerēni Krawor Taser (Written Armenian Language Lessons) in 1927 in Paris, republished later in Beirut. The NAASR Library has both editions. (Below: Pages from Hayerēni Krawor Taser, 1942)


 


Title: Nor Dzaghgak‘agh = Նոր Ծաղկաքաղ
Author: Vartan Kēorkean = Վարդան Գէորգեան
Publication Information: Buēnos Ayrēs (Buenos Aires): Dbaran "Ararad", 1950; in Western Armenian
Physical Details: 93 p.; 20 cm.
Source: NAASR Mardigian Library, from the collection of Hagop and Hamest Atamian

This anthology was published for four grade levels; the Mardigian Library has the second. Every lesson contains a text or poems, vocabulary, and grammatical notes. This is the only such textbook from this era in the NAASR library from South America, and it is signed by the author. (Below: Page from Nor Dzaghgak‘agh, 1950)

 

 


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