Dr. Levon Avdoyan Presents New E-Book on 500 Years of Armenian Literary Tradition at the 2015 National Book Festival

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On Saturday,
September 5, Dr. Levon Avdoyan, Armenian & Georgian Area Specialist of the
Library of Congress, presented a new e-book as part of the 2015 Library of
Congress National Book Festival
. The e-book, entitled “To Know Wisdom and
Instruction,” contains 75 color images highlighting the varieties of the
Armenian literary tradition from the era of manuscripts through the early
periods of print and on to contemporary publishing.

“Dr. Avdoyan
continues to expand public access to the many riches of the Library of Congress
Armenian collection, which is a veritable treasure house of historic artifacts
including manuscripts, rare maps, recordings, and a wide range of Armenian
publications from around the world both old and new,” stated Dr. Rouben
Adalian, director of the Armenian National Institute who attended the
presentation. “I applaud him for sharing again with new audiences all this
information at the Library of Congress Pavilion during the National Book
Festival which has become a major cultural event in Washington, D.C.” Adalian
said.

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Featured
manuscripts range from 14th- and 15th-century gospel books hand-copied by monks
to 19th-century works on palmistry (Constantinople, 1894), firefighting
(Venice, 1832), cotton production (Paris, 1859) and the first modern Armenian
novel, “Armenia’s Wounds,” by K. Abovyan (1848). The first complete Armenian
language printed Bible from Amsterdam in 1666 is also included, with a richly
illuminated missal copied in 1722 for the use of the celebrant of the Armenian
liturgy. With these comes a rare 19th-century musical manuscript by Pietro
Bianchini, who was the first to transcribe the Armenian liturgy using European
musical notation. A 20th-century Soviet edition of the Armenian national epic,
“David of Sasun,” (1962) is one of the more contemporary items included in the
collection.

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In 2012, the
Library of Congress marked the quincentenary of this milestone with an
exhibition titled “To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition
at the Library of Congress” with a companion volume compiled by Dr. Avdoyan.
This volume is now available as an interactive e-book (through the Armenian
eBook Initiative from the iBookstore).

The
Library’s exhibition, “To Know Wisdom and Instruction,” can be viewed online at
www.loc.gov/exhibits/armenian-literary-tradition/.

The
Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division (www.loc.gov/rr/amed/) is the center for
the study of 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and
from the Middle East and the Caucasus to Central Asia. The division’s Near East
Section is a major repository for Armenian language materials on a wide variety
of subjects in varied formats.

Founded in
1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal
cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and
to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge
through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.
Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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Armenian Literary Tradition Is Subject of New E-Book

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In 1512, Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner) opened an Armenian press in Venice, Italy, and published an Armenian religious book, “Urbatagirk” (the Book of Fridays). The era of Armenian printing had begun.

In 2012, the Library of Congress marked the quincentenary of this milestone with an exhibition titled “To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress” with a companion volume compiled by the Library’s Armenian Area Specialist Levon Avdoyan. This volume is now available as an interactive ebook (through the Armenian eBook Initiative from the iBookstore).

Drawing from the Armenian collections of the Library of Congress, the ebook contains 75 color images highlighting the varieties of the Armenian literary tradition from the era of manuscripts through the early periods of print and on to contemporary publishing.

Featured manuscripts range from 14th- and 15th-century gospel books hand-copied by monks to 19th-century works on palmistry (Constantinople, 1894), firefighting (Venice, 1832), cotton production (Paris, 1859) and the first modern Armenian novel, “Armenia’s Wounds,” by K. Abovyan (1848). The first complete Armenian language printed Bible from Amsterdam in 1666 is also included, with a richly illuminated missal copied in 1722 for the use of the celebrant of the Armenian liturgy. With these comes a rare 19th-century musical manuscript by Pietro Bianchini, who was the first to transcribe the Armenian liturgy using European musical notation. A 20th-century Soviet edition of the Armenian national epic, “David of Sasun,” (1962) is one of the more contemporary items included in the collection.

Avdoyan will discuss “To Know Wisdom and Instruction” at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival, to be held from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The book talk will take place from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Library of Congress Pavilion. The book festival is free and open to the public. More information is at loc.gov/bookfest/.

The Library’s exhibition, “To Know Wisdom and Instruction,” can be viewed online at loc.gov/exhibits/armenian-literary-tradition/.

The Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division (www.loc.gov/rr/amed/) is the center for the study of 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East and the Caucasus to Central Asia. The division’s Near East Section is a major repository for Armenian language materials on a wide variety of subjects in varied formats.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.

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PR 15-145
08/18/15
ISSN 0731-3527