Matenadaran – Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. Mesrop Mashtots

It is a unique institution not only in Yerevan, but also in the vast Armenian – is Matenadaran, whose name in Russian loosely translated as Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. This institution decided to rank the clan museums, despite the fact that most of the exhibits and carefully nestled in the stacks, which has created ideal conditions for the preservation of these written records, and other documents are in the lab, where they had been sent to explore, some unique artifacts can see and mere mortals. This is a unique place, since usually these manuscripts and folios carefully stored in special institutions and from the demonstrations are carefully hidden. In Armenia, however, is alive, nurtured by centuries of tradition, share knowledge with those who are eager to receive them. That is why the tours in Armenia is so exciting. The more that modern Matenadaran – the library has only heir to a much more rich history, one that was at the Echmiadzin monastery. Yerevan Matenadaran also began its history in the twenties of the last century, when the arrival of Soviet power all of monasteries and church property was nationalized. For almost forty years, the manuscript lay safely in the vault until it was decided to establish a special institution, which would be engaged in research of ancient manuscripts kept them carefully and carried out various studies on the basis of a study written by, as well as of the appearance of the document. Treasury writing moved to a new, rebuilt by architect Grigoryan, March 1, 1959 construction. Located it is building in the heart of the city, near restaurants and Armenia hotels .


Now, in the depths of the Matenadaran kept about seventeen thousand ancient manuscripts and more than one hundred thousands of archival documents, which also celebrated many years. And record and tomes inscribed and printed not only in the Armenian language. About two thousand documents created in other languages: Latin, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Farsi, Japanese and many other languages. It is thanks to this abundance of ancient texts, especially as presented in as many languages, historians and cultural experts got a rich field for research cooperation and development of the peoples inhabiting the territory of Armenia, as well as the surrounding areas of the Caucasus, the Middle East and other lands. Tour Operators of Armenia believe that the collection like all fans of history.


Documents that are buried in the vaults of the Institute relate to the period from the fifth to the eighteenth century. This handwritten text, as well as unique printed books. Since the manuscript to the early twentieth century were kept in Echmiadzin monastery, which for centuries has been a mainstay of education, as well as the flourishing of many sciences, in the collection were extremely valuable and sometimes unique treatises belonging to the pen of Armenian historians, theologians, philosophers, mathematicians, physicians, geographers, who lived in Armenia in the Middle Ages, as well as in her previous century. No wonder the institution bears the name of the great enlightener Mesrop Mashtots, who gave Armenia its own alphabet and written language. In addition to the works of the Armenian sages, then stored and translated into Armenian writings of the Arab language, ancient Greek and Roman scholars. The uniqueness of these texts is that part of the works has reached us only in the translated version, whereas the originals are gone.


In addition to the extremely valuable manuscripts, here you can find and miniatures, some of which are independent works, while others were used as illustrations for the ancient tomes. Some handwritten works quite unique, and there is now a single copy. To those include Gospel, which was released the year 887, Echmiadzin Gospel inscribed later (in 989) and Evangilie Mughni, founded in the eleventh century.


The Institute possesses a truly outstanding collection of all kinds of objects that are not manuscripts or books, but without which the ancient manuscripts would have been just a collection of typed or inscribed sheets. For such exhibits include vintage pictures, invariably accompanied tomes, fabrics, used to cover design, a variety of stamping on the skin (ranging from metal and ending with all kinds exotic options), jewelry, which again were used to decorate the covers. Some of the exhibits – a true work of art. Since many books in these years were created in a single copy, and the design of the folio, and text decoration different vignettes and colorful illustrations were also unique.


The building itself consists of several levels. On the lower floors fit extensive book depository, where the conditions for storage of old manuscripts, steadily comply with the special temperature and maintained the necessary humidity. Immediately located laboratories with special equipment where the manuscripts are scrutinized in almost all aspects. The upper part of the building given over to the Hall, which houses the museum exhibition space reserved for storing catalogs, a spacious reading room and an office.


Of course, only a small part of this written splendor can be seen on the stands. This video is strictly prohibited and photography exhibits, as this can cause serious damage to the manuscripts. But even this small piece of education is to be sure to visit Matenadaran. This building, like the ancient Armenian monasteries, and still cherishes cultural heritage and knowledge, and generously shares them with interest.


Matenadaran – this is not just a place to store the unique manuscripts and manuscripts, it is also the institution where unabated, there is intense research. Some walls are working at the same time linguists, textual, source studies, paleography, critics, historians, culture experts and other specialists. Some ancient works are translated into other languages, so that it was available and foreign experts. This applies particularly to those manuscripts which are translations of the original disappeared. Since the mid-twentieth century is published in the periodical “Herald of the Matenadaran” (or “Banber Matenadaran”), where, in addition to extensive scientific articles in Armenian, you can find a short synopsis in Russian and French.