Talk: 500 Years of Armenian Printing (New York)

DEC. 1, 2011 * TALK: ‘500 YEARS OF ARMENIAN PRINTING.’ The Armenian Center At Columbia University presents “To Know Wisdom and Instruction: 500 Years of Armenian Printing, and a History of the Armenian Collection at the Library of Congress,” by Dr. Levon Avdoyan, the Armenian and Georgian Area specialist at the Library of Congress. In 1512, 72 years after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, Armenian words were first put to paper by movable type. In this lecture, Avdoyan, one of the world’s leading authorities on manuscripts from the region, will discuss an upcoming exhibit at the Library of Congress commemorating the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, and also provide a lively tour of the library’s Armenian collection. During his tenure, beginning in 1977, the Armenian collection has grown from some 7,000 items to an estimated 45,000, covering a myriad subjects and formats. The lecture’s title—“To Know Wisdom and Instruction”—is taken from a Biblical passage in Proverbs, the first words written in the Armenian alphabet, in 405 AD. Since that time, Armenian writers have developed a unique cannon of work and a rich literary tradition. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia University Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive at W. 116th Street. The lecture will also honor Michael Haratunian, the former chair of the Columbia Armenian Center, for his many years of leadership and service. Reception to follow.

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