Over the course of decades—indeed, centuries—innumerable Armenian textbooks have been published for the purpose of providing instruction in the Armenian language or more general topics to young readers. A substantial number of such books have made their way into NAASR’s Mardigian Library. Although no longer used for instruction, they are informative sources of information on past pedagogical practices, as well as frequently being charming and beautiful objects in their own right. Many, if not most, of these books show signs of being heavily used and are well worn. Far from diminishing their importance, this evidence of use, likely, in some cases, by multiple generations, has become part of the meaning conveyed to us today by these books.
The figure at the center of this installment of Treasures of NAASR’s Mardigian Library is the noted—while also being under-known—Western Armenian author and educator Hovhannēs Harut‘iwnean (ՅովհաննէսՅարութիւնեան, ca. 1860-1915), better known by his chosen pen-name of T‘lgadints‘i (Թլկատինցի). We feature here some publications of his work as well as those focusing on his work, including a special issue of Nor Kir [Nor Gir], the literary journal published by Peniamin Noorigian, which, thanks to Aram Andonian, included some previously unpublished works by T‘lgadints‘i, as well as two photographs from our collections.
Fifty-five years ago, April 1965, can truly be seen as,in the words of author (and NAASR Board member) Michael Bobelian, “the birth of the modern campaign of justice” for the Armenian Genocide. 1965 may also be seen as the year of the re-birth of efforts to document the Armenian Genocide, which would lead to the creation, in more recent years, of a growing body of scholarship on the Genocide.
Franz Werfel’s novel Die Vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh (The Forty Days of Musa Dagh), originally published in Berlin by Paul Zsolnay Verlag in 1933, is undoubtedly the most famous work of literature that focuses on the Armenian Genocide. We pause to remember the contribution Werfel (1890-1945) made, in the year 2020 which marks the 130th anniversary of his birth and the 75th anniversary of his death.