Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society donates valuable manuscripts to Matenadaran

Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society has donated 27 14th-20th century manuscripts to the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan, including Books of Rituals, anthologies, a Book of Psalms, a Depository and a Bible. According to Armenpress, the books were donated during a ceremony held on 17 May.

“The 100th year anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia served as the best opportunity for these manuscripts to be in their “residence”, that is, the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran). These are the best samples of Armenian thought and arts. These books have a 600-year history, starting from the 14th century and leading up to the 20th century. They are records of Armenian rituals and rules of procedure, as well as traditions and faith,” Chairman of the Central Committee of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society Meguerditch Meguerditchian said and added that the Matenadaran is not a typical site for presenting samples since the treasures of the Armenian nation are not only preserved, but also examined.

According to the Matenadaran’s Chief Depositary Gevorg Ter-Vardanyan, this donation is special in that all the manuscripts are in pure Armenian and serve as valuable samples of maximally medieval manuscripts. “We have received 27 manuscripts and 1 small handwritten list. The oldest manuscript is the small doctrine entitled “Katsrdaran” and written by scribe Tovma in 1430 in Akhtamar. Perhaps it is damaged, but fortunately, the major Record is completely preserved. No information in the Record has been used in academic literature to date. The information is about history and the issues of the Armenian nation,” he said.

Chronologically speaking, the second is the large-scale manuscript of Sargis Shnorhali’s work “Interpretation of Catholic Papers” (1489), followed by the Depository of the 15th century, a Bible (1574), a Book of Psalms (1663), three manuscripts dating back to the 17th century and more. The manuscripts were sent to Beirut from different places. In some cases, they were donated by certain intellectuals. They have not been explored. According to Gevorg Ter-Vardanyan, the manuscripts need to be seriously examined. For safety, they have been decontaminated, and restoration will be launched in case of need.

According to Director of the Matenadaran Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan, over the past 60-70 years, the Matenadaran has multiplied and even quadrupled the number of manuscripts, and all this has been made possible through the efforts of contributors, benefactors and Armenian organizations. The manuscripts were collected from Armenians living in different corners of the globe and were compiled in the safest place, that is, the Matenadaran. Here those manuscripts are in good hands and are cared for and restored in case of need. In addition, they are examined by the best specialists. Ter-Ghevondyan viewed this donation as the greatest lump-sum donation made in the past 15 years and assured that they would find their honorable place in the rich heritage of the Matenadaran.

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