In Memory of Nancy Armen Kandoian


Nancy Kandoian’s encounter with former NYPL president Vartan Gregorian on her first ever morning in Yerevan, October 2019

Nancy Armen Kandoian died on May 16, 2022, after a long illness. A loyal Weekly subscriber and lifelong New Jerseyan, she was best known as a map librarian at the New York Public Library (NYPL) for over 40 years. She was the youngest daughter of the late Armig G. Kandoian and Jane A. Erganian MD (Kandoian), proud aunt of Nicholas Armig Sweeney, dear devoted sister of Janet A. Kandoian and Ellen Kandoian Sweeney, as well as brother-in-law Richard J. Sweeney. 

Nancy was beloved by all who shared her passions, who partook of her baking and cooking, who shared her love of gardening and train travel, who shared her devotion to her Armenian heritage, and who enjoyed Medokawanda Camp reunions and Medomak fiber arts retreats. We will find Nancy everywhere but especially in the love and gratitude of all who knew her. We hear her gentle but meticulous voice in her exquisite NYPL blogs, for Pi(e) Day in the Map Division, Cartography of America’s National Parks, as well as map and genealogy resources for the 100 year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

Nancy earned her BA at Mt. Holyoke College where she majored in geography. She earned her master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University.

Nancy lived her 70 years with love, persistence and grace.

Her colleagues at the NYPL’s map division expressed the sentiments of many with their condolences:

Nancy started at the Library 44 years ago as a map information assistant and has been the heart of our map division ever since. Over her long and fruitful career at NYPL, Nancy helped shape the field of map librarianship, particularly through her tireless dedication to the practice of map cataloging, and her mentorship and training of countless colleagues both at the Library and across the US. Employing unending patience and devotion to her craft, Nancy’s contributions to librarianship will benefit our patrons for generations to come. 

She was the consummate professional, expert at her job, dedicated to the Library’s mission and public service, and always kind, respectful, and thoughtful with both patrons and colleagues. Her generosity was also unparalleled—whether she was sharing her vast knowledge, taking the time to talk with colleagues, or passing out her (incredible) homemade baked treats. She will be deeply missed.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. This is a loss for all of us. Nancy always went out of her way to assist everyone, Armenians included, who could benefit from her vast expertise. Her signature grace and kindness will be missed.

  2. Nancy was a rare gem, always ready with a smile to help with research. Her kindness and friendship will be greatly missed.

  3. Nancy Kandoian often came to hear me play each summer for many years in the Piano in Bryant Park series, right behind the New York Public Library where she worked. She was a loyal fan of my music. She hardly spoke to me and, when she did, it was to say “Hi, how are you?” shyly, softly and with grace. I declined the Park gig in summer 2020, for safety, and since then Nancy hadn’t returned. Now, I learned from our mutual friend Nancy Kalajian about Nancy’s passing. This is sad for me. She was kind. It was in her eyes. I didn’t know that she was so accomplished, but I’m not surprised. Quietness is a sign of great intelligence and character. Nancy had both. I will miss her.

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