The National Library of Armenia is the official cultural repository for the entire country and has a brilliant legacy of the most unique and fascinating Armenian books and literature.
Armenians, the millennial travelers of world civilization, bear the cross of a timeless spiritual and cultural heritage. They are the nation that has given meaning to their mission and their ways of life not with the sword but with the pen.
There is even a saying in Armenian that the pen can be mightier than the sword when necessary. Moreover, the concept of cultural strength and scholarly accomplishments has been the secret of Armenian existence.
By this token, the National library of Armenia is the largest and most important center for the preservation and study of the Armenian books and literature. So, if you want to find out more about its role in Armenian academics and some other interesting things, just stay with us.
National library of Armenia: The Storage of Armenian Treasury
Without any pathos, we can state that the National library of Armenia (NLA) houses the resources of Armenian knowledge and creativity. Here all the intellectual essence of a people’s yesterday, today and tomorrow are gathered in just one place.
Nowadays, the National library of Armenia is engaged in unique redefinition of library work and experiences a period of changes that gives renewed importance to the role of libraries. Furthermore, it transmits to new generations the rich legacy of Armenian books and outstanding literature, that it has inherited from the past.
Summing up the role and importance of the National library of Armenia we can say that it is bibliographic, scientific, methodical, informative and scientific public research center.
The history of its foundation goes back to 1832, when the library of “Yerevan Men’s gymnasium” was founded. Initially, it consisted of 18.000-unit collection, on the grounds of which was shaped and formulated the National library of Armenia.
During the years of 1925-1900s NLA was named after a significant state and public personality, Alexander Myasnikyan. It was renamed as National library of Armenia only in 1990.
Down below you can find the list of departments that are available in library.
- Acquisition department
- GRID Technology Research Center
- Foreign Language Cataloguing & Indexing Department
- Cataloguing & Indexing Department
- Book stacks
- Depository Collections Department
- Art & Sheet Music Department
- Circulation Department
- International Relations & Book Exchange Department
- Bibliography Department
- Public Relations Department
- Restoration Department
- Book Printing Museum
What Other Things You Should Know about the National Library of Armenia?
Located right in the heart of Yerevan, on Teryan Street, the National library of Armenia is surrounded by a number of institutions of higher education.
The oldest and main building of the complex is the Tamanyan wing, built in 1939 according to the design of prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian. It depicts the best traditions of Armenian and European architecture.
This oldest wing was reconstructed by the initiative of the government of Republic of Armenia in 2008-2011. Here are housed the Departments of Fine Arts, the General Reading room, Early Imprints, the Bindery, Rare and Archival Literature and the Publishing House.
The main public entrance of the library is near the Student’s Park from where you can enter the Administration Wing. Here are housed the Reading Rooms, the readers’ and authority catalogs, the acquisitions department and the administrative offices.
And last but not least, there is the Book Storage Wing built in 1980’s that is designed for the preservation of 9 million volumes.
Registration & Working Hours
Anyone interested in registration rules? Then here is the information on how to become the readers of the National Library of Armenia.
- First and foremost, you should be 17 and older in order to use the offered services.
- As for receiving a library card you must give your passport and two photos (3×4).
By the way, you can find some books that you may like in their digital library section of their official website.
Interesting Facts about the National Library of Armenia That Will Amaze You
- The National Library of Armenia is the world’s largest depository of Armenian printed productions and the most valuable Armenian books and literature. Armenians were among the first nations that took advantage of Gutenberg’s invention in 1512 and founded Armenian printing houses and thus started to publish first printed Armenian books.
- First periodical “Azdarar” published in 1794 in Madras, first printed Armenian book “Urbatagirq” dating back to 1512 published in Venice, first printed map “Hamatarats ashkharhatzuytz” published in 1695 in Amsterdam, first printed Bible in Armenian published in 1666-1668 in Amsterdam: Guess what? These all are stored in library’s rich collections that make it a real treasury.
- The National Library of Armenia also owns some books with the most unique, extraordinary and splendid covers, like from ivory and rice paper.
- The rich collection of the library also includes some rare editions of Armenian books, as well as some ancient literature in Russian and foreign languages. But probably the most amazing and breathtaking collocations of the library are the phylacteries and encyclicals. Phylacteries are magical prayers that are known for their healing significance.
- The National Library of Armenia has a collection of more than 6.3 million registered units. These include Armenian books, maps, magazines and newspapers, posters, cards and postcards, thesis, music notes video clips, calendars, banknotes and CD/DVD-s.
Prominent People’s, Organizations’ and UNESCO’s Role for Armenian National Library
- Among the most prominent readers of the library were such outstanding Armenian writers and scientists as Paruyr Sevak, Avetiq Isahakyan, Nairi Zaryan, Derenik Demirchyan, John Kirakosyan, Viktor Hambardzumyan, Eduard Jrbashyan, Sergey Mergelyan and many others.
- Nowadays, you can find there such remarkable readers as famous political scientists, physician, historians, doctors, scientists, economists and representatives of various other fields of science.
- The National Library of Armenia maintains close ties with individual benefactors and organizations from Armenian Diaspora, such as Vartan Gregorian (president of Carnegie Corporation of New York), Hrach Zadoyan (professor, publicist), Gia Ayvazian (Armenologist), Hovsep Nalbandyan (literature critic, translator, public figure, publicist, Vice President of Armenian Writers Association of California), Peter Cowie (head of the Armenology department after Narekatsi of the California University), Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Armenian community of Lebanon, etc.
- In 2012 Armenian celebrated the 500th anniversary of the first printed Armenian book. By the way, that year the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, was declared as “World Book Capital” by UNESCO.
- In order to show the importance of Armenian book printing and to illustrate it to the public the National library of Armenia has a Museum of Printing. The collection of the museum includes exhibits that represent the history of Armenian printing literature, such as antique books, printing equipment, printing machines and some other materials that demonstrates the museum from the most interesting angle.
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