It has long resided in a folder within the Avedis Derounian Archive, which has been at NAASR since the early 1990s, inside an envelope labeled “Dr. Kaloustian,” but until recently we did not realize its significance, let alone that this year marks the 200th anniversary of this interesting individual’s birth.
In conjunction with the celebratory event NAASR held on May 6, 2023, marking the appointment of Christina Maranci as the third holder of the Mashtots Chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard University, we are devoting this Library Treasures installment to materials from NAASR’s own organizational archives pertaining to this organization’s pioneering effort to establish the first chair in Armenian Studies in the U.S.—or, indeed, anywhere in the Armenian diaspora in North America—focusing on the years from 1954 to the appointment of the first chairholder in 1969.
In the late 1930s and 1940s Armenian-American author and journalist Avedis Derounian (1909-91) went underground and infiltrated and collected materials on the full spectrum of U.S.-based extremist groups.
Although he was not the first Armenian-American publisher—that distinction belongs to Haigag Ēginian (Հայկակ Էկինեան)—occupying a special place among the early publishers stands E. A. Yeran and Yeran Press in Boston.