Armenian Art and Architecture in the Seminary Library
Armenian Libraries Thinking Globally
More than 50 representatives from Armenian libraries worldwide gathered for the event, which included a range of presentations, discussions, and visits to important historic sites throughout Armenia. The primary objectives were to create better links between Armenian oriented libraries in both the Diaspora and in Armenia, to create a forum in which to discuss issues of importance, such as book preservation, digitization, and how best to send books between Armenia and the Diaspora in order to maintain up-to-date holdings in all Armenian collections – all issues of great importance for St. Nersess and her specialized collection.
Representing St. Nersess was Dr. Edward G. Mathews, Jr., who has served for four years as Adjunct Professor of Early Christian Languages and Literature at the Seminary, while overseeing the library. Dr. Mathews is a renowned specialist in Syriac and Armenian languages and literature. Speaking in Armenian, he delivered a brief report on the Seminary and its library.
September 10, 2009
St. Nersess Armenian Seminary was honored to be represented at the first International Conference of Armenian Libraries, which was held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from August 25 to 27. The conference was organized by Dr. Rachel Goshgarian, director of the Clara and Krikor Zohrab Center of the Eastern Diocese and Fr. Asoghik Karapetyan, head of the library and archives at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian of the Eastern Diocese of America.
Prof. Edward G. Mathews, Jr.
The heart of St. Nersess Seminary's library is the Archibishop Tiran Nersoyan collection, which was bequeathed to the Seminary upon Srpazan's death in 1989. The collection is highly specialized in the area of Armenian religious studies, especially medieval literature in Classical Armenian. Through steady growth, the collection today numbers around 12,000 volumes. Among the Seminary's rare and priceless books are certain 19th-century Armenian periodicals, the full run of the Armenian journal Ararat, as well as some extremely rare liturgical books, including aMashdots ritual book printed in Smyrna in 1676.
The Seminary's library has also incorporated the libraries of a number of other clergymen, who bequeathed their precious collections to St. Nersess, including V. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Semerjian.
One of the Seminary's priceless books: AMasdots Ritual Book published in Smyrna in 1676.
More than 25 Armenian Libraries Represented
In addition to St. Nersess Seminary and the Zohrab Center, the following libraries were represented at the conference: the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Catholicate of Cilicia, the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Jerusalem, the Mkhitarian Brotherhoods of Venice and Vienna, Bzommar Armenian Catholic Clergy Institute, the Mesrob Mashdots Manuscript Repository, the National Library of Armenia, the National Archives of Armenia, the Armenian Academy of Sciences, Harvard University’s Widener Library, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the British Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the AGBU Nubarian Library, Yerevan State University, American University of Armenia, Yeghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art, Armenian Library and Museum of America, National Association of Armenian Studies and Research, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Prelacy, and many regional libraries of Armenia.
The Seminary gratefully accepts books as well as monetary gifts to support the growth of the collection. For more information contact the Seminary by email or by phone: (914) 636-2003.