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Department of Manuscript Studies

  One of the most important tasks of the Mashtots Matenadaran is the scientific description of manuscripts: the preparation and publication of Mayr Tsutsak of the Manuscripts or the Main Catalogue of Armenian Manuscripts (primary, general, detail). That research-work task implements the Department of Manuscript Studies and Mayr Tsutsak.
  The Manuscript description has three main parts: external signs, time of content and painting and future colophons. With this method the manuscripts are presented to the reader as memorials of the material culture and, especially, the spiritual culture. In the 1890s Reverend Jacobus Tashean developed 30 points with which the manuscripts are described by the result of discussions of the scientists of the Mekhitarist Congregation in Vienna. In Matenadaran the 30 points were edited, improved, added, questions and their answers were disposed for the important information’s immediately watching. The initial description phase is followed by the check-correction of the same description, then edition, preparation for publication volume by volume and compilation of indexes.
  The brief first Catalogue has been published in 1965, the second in 1970. With this two volumes and a volume with appendix published in 2007, the brief description of Matenadaran’s approximately 11,100 manuscripts was available to the public of Armenian studies. The main merit of this Catalogue was to be able to display the content of the Matenadaran’s massive collection into a small volume.
  Volume I of Mayr Tsutsak was published in autumn, 1984. Now on the table of specialists are put eight volumes of Mayr Tsutsak: Volume I (Ms. N 1-300), Volume II (Ms. N 301-600), Volume III (Ms. N 601-1000), Volume IV (Ms. N 1001-1500), Volume V (Ms. N 1501-1800), Volume VI (Ms. N 1801-2100), Volume VII (Ms. N 2101-2400), Volume VIII (Ms. N 2401-2700). Digital versions of volumes are posted on the website of the Matenadaran.
  The collections of Armenian basic manuscripts (11.230 units), Armenian fragments (2.200 units) and Armenian ribbon prayer scrolls (530 units) are simultaneously described in the Matenadaran. More than 7,000 manuscripts of Armenian basic manuscripts, 100 manuscripts of Armenian fragments and 150 manuscripts of Armenian ribbon prayer scrolls have been submitted to scientific large description.
  Department’s scientific-research activities are conducted by 25 young employees.
  Mayr Tsutsak is projected to have 40 volumes.

Head of the department Gevorg Ter-Vardanyan

Tel:(010) 510007 Extension 1-10