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The Parikian Collection of Early Armenian Printing at Eton College Library

Eton College Library is perhaps an unexpected place to find significant holdings of early Armenian printing: a collection of some 650 volumes bequeathed by the Anglo-Armenian violinist Manoug Parikian (1920-1987). To mark the 350th anniversary of the printing of the first Armenian Bible by Oskan Erewants’i in Amsterdam in 1666-1668, the Parikian collection has now been catalogued by Dr Vrej Nerses Nersessian with the financial support of the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Further information on the collection may be found here.

Search the Collection

To search the collection via the online catalogue, click on the ‘Search books and manuscripts’ tab and enter ‘Manoug Parikian’ in the Provenance field. Further search terms may be added, and results may be sorted. Materials in the collection may be consulted at Eton College Library by appointment.

Project Notes

Scholarly catalogue entries for the materials in the Parikian Collection were created between July and December 2016 by Dr Vrej Nerses Nersessian, former curator in charge of the Christian Middle East Section of the British Library. These were converted and enhanced to produce electronic catalogue records which conform to international library cataloguing standards by Eton College Library staff. As the production of the electronic records was carried out by non-Armenian speakers, it is possible that conversion errors in transcription or Romanization have escaped our notice. Any such errors may be reported.

References are provided to the standard Armenian bibliographies (Davt῾yan, Kévorkian, Nersessian and Voskanyan). The complete colophons of the books printed between 1512-1800 are reproduced in the Armenian national union catalogue by [V]Oskanyan, N.Aetal., Հայ Գիրքը 1512-1800 Թվականներին: Հայ հնատիպ գրքի մատենագիտութիւն, Erevan: Aleksander Myasnikyan National Library, 1988, and the colophons of books printed between 1511-1695 in Kévorkian, R.H., Catalogue des ‘incunables’ arméniens (1511/1695) ou chronique de l’imprimerie arménienne, Geneva: Patrick Cramer, 1986.

For accessibility using western keyboards, the main fields of the catalogue entries in the Eton College Library online catalogue use phonetic transcription. Local cataloguing standards and technical constraints have dictated the use of the Library of Congress Romanization Table in place of the Hübschmann-Meillet-Benveniste transliteration system, without diacritical marks.  Title and imprint in Armenian characters are also provided in alternate fields, and selectively for personal and corporate names (it is hoped this provision will be improved as resources permit).

The dates of publication supplied by the printers of early Armenian books follow the scribal tradition of Armenian manuscripts: according to the Armenian era inArmenian letters. The ‘Great Armenian Era’ referred to in the titles and colophons as ‘i t῾uin Hayots῾’ commenced in AD 552, the difference between the Armenian era and the Christian era being 551 years.