A Photographic Journey into the Past

WATERTOWN, Mass. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Archives constitute an invaluable repository of modern Armenian history from the late-19th century to our days. Thousands of reports, letters, telegrams, brochures, diaries, memoirs, photographs and artifacts make up the core of the collection, shedding light on the history of the ARF since its inception in 1890 and, more broadly, the history of the Armenian people in its homeland and in communities around the globe. 

After the opening of a reading room, the Archives have hosted a number of researchers in recent years, including Dr. Khatchig Mouradian. The Armenian Weekly asked Dr. Mouradian to curate a collection of photographs for our readers. We present them below, with brief captions. It is worth noting that the ARF Archives are in the process of scanning and cataloguing the entire photography collection, making them more accessible.

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Aram Manoukian successfully led the defense of Van against the Ottoman military in 1915, saving tens of thousands of Armenians from imminent murder. He became the temporary governor of Van after the withdrawal of the Turkish forces, and then emerged as the founder of the First Armenian Republic as Tsarist Russia faltered. He died of typhus in Yerevan on January 29, 1919. His funeral in Yerevan was one of the most widely attended the Armenian nation had ever witnessed. In his eulogy, ARF leader and statesman Nikol Aghbalian told the nation: “When the night falls, withdraw into the back chambers of your souls, speak to your conscience, and ask: Have you worked for the Armenian people as Aram has? Have you been as self-sacrificing? Have you dedicated your entire life to the Armenian people as Aram has?”
ARF women’s “Maro” group. Photograph taken in Tabriz in 1903. Caption in the back of photo lists the following names: Satenig Shahnazarian, Isguhi Aghajanian, Satenig Krikorian, Srpuhi (wife of Samson Khan), Heghine Krikorian and Maro Hovhannisian.
The ARF Central Committee of America in 1964: Arsen Terlemezian, Harry Khanbegian, Jimmy Mandalian, Varujan Azablar, Tatul Sonentz-Papazian, Setrag Minas, Arthur Giragosian, Yervant Terzian, Murad Piligian, Antranig Varjabedian.
Hairenik correspondent Levon Keshishian, President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Armenian American philanthropist George Mardikian. Photo taken at a meeting in Heliopolis, Cairo in June 1958.
Levon Shant and his family. A novelist and playwright, Shant founded the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society.
Photograph from the turn of the 20th century of an Armenian teacher in Dalvorig (Sassoun) with his students.


  1. I love these pictures. I remember all those ARF members in 1964 when we were members in the Providence A.Y.F chapter. Such wonderful and inspirational men who served the Armenian community for many years.

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