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Worcester Exhibit Celebrates 500 Years of Armenian Book Printing

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In November, the Worcester Armenian Book Commemoration Committee will host an exhibit at the Worcester Public Library to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Armenian book printing.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Yerevan, Armenia, as the “World Capital of the Book for the Year 2012” in honor of this milestone occasion in Armenian history.

The Worcester Public Library

Various displays will explain, through essays and pictorial images, the development by Saints Sahag and Mesrob of the Armenian alphabet, which resulted in the immediate availability of Western and Christian knowledge in Armenia.  Also featured will be the Armenian alphabet in its various forms, copies of early illuminated manuscripts, and the advancement of Armenian printed books and materials.

Worcester is the site of the first permanent Armenian community in the New World and of the first Armenian church to be built in the western hemisphere. The city also host to the Kaloosdian/Mugar Endowed Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.  Several texts on the Armenian Genocide by the first two holders of the Armenian Genocide Studies Chair, Prof. Simon Payaslian and Prof. Taner Akcam, reinforce the exhibit’s theme of the power of the published word.  Contributions of Armenian-American writers include William Saroyan and Vrastad Kazanjian.

On Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., the committee will hold a Grand Opening Reception with refreshments in the library’s Saxe Room, with a lecture on Armenian book printing—titled “The Power of the Printed Word: Successes and Challenges, Past and Present”—by two Armenian newspaper editors, Alin Gregorian of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and Khatchig Mouradian of the Armenian Weekly.  The event is free and open to the public.  Other programs will follow throughout November.  For more information, call (508) 963-2076.

The Worcester Armenian Book Commemoration Committee is comprised of representatives from the Worcester Armenian community with the support of the Armenian Church of Saviour, the Armenian Church of the Martyrs, and Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church.  The cmmittee chairman is Van M. Aroian and committee members are Hrair B. Aprahamian, Nevart Asadoorian, Charles K. Der Kazarian, Frank S. Minasian, Sarah D. Moradian, and Stephen J. Papazian.

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