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About ARNC
Armenology Related
500 Anniversery of Armenian Printing History




Old printed books are the intermediate stage between manuscript works and books of later periods, being similar in certain respects to manuscripts (title pages, a burdensome mass of information, colophons, abbreviated words, memorandums, etc.), and differing from books of the new period. For that reason separate rules used in preparing descriptions were worked out for old printed books, according to which this (first) volume of the Bibliography covers a wide sphere and more detailed elements of description (relatively more limited information being required by books included in later volumes). Besides that, contrary to later volumes, it also includes old printed books in large libraries and in private collections abroad.

In the Bibliography those books printed by the same printer, irrespective of their being separate works or having a number of title pages are considered separate items. If the book has another book appended to it, which has its own date of publication and title page and is considered a separate book due to publication data, such books are considered separate items and receive consecutive numbers. Items printed separately but later bound together in one volume are also considered separate items. At the beginning of the description of each book, its consecutive number is given. If one asterisk is placed after the number, it means that an incomplete specimen was used for the description. Two asterisks are placed, if the description is based on a photocopy. One circle signifies that the description was based on bibliographical sources. Two circles are placed when the existence of those books are doubtful. Those descriptions which are not accompanied by any symbol, have been conducted on the complete book de visu.

Each description consists of two parts: brief and detailed. Brief descriptions include the names of the author, the translator, the printer and binder, the title of the book, the place and date of publication, the printing house, which edition of the book and which volume it is; in addition to Armenian, the use of foreign language texts are also given. If the book has an extensive, not clear title, a brief description includes a contracted form and the better known title used in earlier times is given. In brief descriptions, the author's name and title of the work are given in grabar and in capitals, while other data are given in the present spelling. A detailed description of a book contains: 1) Title page (or title pages) the exact reproduction (spelling, punctuation and even mistakes are kept as such). Abbreviations are given in full and taken in brackets. To maintain the appearance of the book and to differentiate it from publications of the same date, the end of each line of the title page is followed by a virgule (/). If there is no title page, mention is made of that fact. 2) Information is given concerning the volume and quantity of the book, such as the number of pages, numbering of pages and quires (Arabic, Armenian or Latin numbers and letters). If a few systems of numbering have been used, they are all noted, then in parenthesis, with an equal sign, the total number of pages is given, e.g., 7 unnumbered, 315, XIII (= 335 bordered pages). Measurements of type-setting and number of pictures included are also noted. Information is given concerning unique features of the typesetting of the book, title pages and the appearance of pages, ornaments, as well as types of letters used and their sizes. 3) The contents of the book is given, corresponding pages being noted. 4) The preface of the book, colophon or introductory note addressed to the reader is usually given in full; certain non-essential parts are replaced with ellipsis (...). 5) The names of libraries and owners of private collections where copies of that book may be found are given in abbreviations. Notes are made concerning defective examples, next to the library abbreviations (e. g. ML 51 title page missing, Hist. Museum 167 end missing, etc). 6) Bibliographical and other sources which mention that publication are given in abbreviations. 7) Notes are given only for those books when it is necessary to verify erroneous bibliographical data about the book or if the description is not based on the book itself and bibliographical sources do not make mention of it; that note explains where information on the existence of the book may be obtained or where the photocopy was received from.

Separate rules were not worked out for other printed material in Armenian letters, including maps, amulets, calendars, etc. in the Bibliography; in each case we were guided by giving the description of each as completely as possible.

As for descriptions of foreign books containing Armenian original texts, the author's name, place of publication and name of the printing house were given in Armenian; as for the contents, only the chapters and pages containing Armenian texts or extracts are mentioned.

Sample of a Description (composite)

62** Movscs Khorenatsi, Ashkharatsuyts (geography). Aghvesagirk (fox book, fables), verse, Arm. and Latin, trans, from Italian by Hovhannes Constantnupolsetsi, 2 vol., vol. 1, 2nd edition, Amsterdam, printed by Voskan Yerevantsi, printed house St. Echmiadzin and St. Sargis, 1668.

Title page - Book/ of world/ and/ Legends/ which is Aghvesagirk/ During the Catholicosate/ of the Reverend/ Hakoba Catholicos/ St. Etchmiadzin./ In Amsterdam/ Date of the prkich (savior) 1668./ the Armenian calendar (1117). October / the first of the month..

88 unnumbered pages 324, XII ( = 424) lined bordered pages. Eight folds, numbering of quires in Arm. and Latin. Measurement of layout 9.8x5-9 cm. Marginal illustrations. Fables in margins of Aghvesagirk are numbered in Arm. numbers. Titlepage decoratively bordered. 2 engraved pictures, 2 headpieces, 1 marginal ornament, ornamental letters and ornaments at end. Original, boloragir, 10 points, capitals and notrgir also used.

Contents, pg. 2 Vogem zbans govest [Ode to Khorenatsi, the first letters of each line forming the work "Voskani"]. 3-65 Ashkharatsuyts of Movses Khorenatsi... 214-224 second book of Aghvesagirk. [alphabetical list of first letters]. 224-225. Shnorhok yev [with] voghormutyamb... [short colophon].

Colophon. Shnorhok yev... and thus ended this book, good to see. In the year 1669 January 20. According to the Armenian O-dd-Q the year d-Q.

Maten. 654, no titlepage, 659 ending incomplete. Myasn. Lib. photocopy of titlepage. Vienna Mekhitarist Lib,, Brit. Museum.

Zarb. Biblio, 368-369. Hist 113, Ghazik. vol. 1, 590, 2058. Leo, vol. 1, 18, Theodik 166, Ara Galaydjian "Sion", 1967, pp. 255-258.

Comments. A. Ghazikian. ("New Arm? Biblio"). has erroneously given date of translation of book 1660 as its date of publication. Photocopy of title page was sent by A. Nalbandian (San Francisco).

Structure of the Bibliography.

The present volume consists of the following sections: 1) the basic part of the Bibliography includes descriptions of printed books of the XVI-XVIII centuries, given chronologically according to years of publication. The descriptions are arranged under each year according to the time when the printing house functioned. 2) In the undated books section, those printed books are given whose date of publication is not given in any bibliographical source or since the book was defective, it was not possible to clarify the date. 3) XVI century books printed in foreign languages and containing Armenian texts or alphabets are presented in a separate section. 4) The new additions section (appendix) includes books revealed after the publication of the Bibliography.

All printed books and other material mentioned in the Bibliography, irrespective of in which section they are included, are looked upon as separate items and follow one general system of numbering.

Two lists are given at the beginning of the Bibliography: one refers to the symbols used and the second to abbreviations and contractions. At the end of the Bibliography there are the following appendices:

1) Names - of persons connected with the printing of books given in the Bibliography.

2) Titles. If any book was published without a title page or it was missing and not possible to determine the title, the first line of the text has been used or an approximate heading [in brackets] (No. 989, 990, 1000, 1037).

3) List of Printing Houses and place of publication. The names of cities and of printing houses where Armenian books or old printed books in Armenian letters were published are given. After each name, the years during which it functioned is mentioned in parenthesis.

4) Subject list of material. Books included in the Bibliography are presented in alphabetical order according to contents, in separate thematic groups.

5) List of books parallel in Armenian and other languages. This list includes along with books in Armenian parallel with other languages; books in Armenian letters but of other languages; and also XVI century foreign language books contain Armenian texts, alphabets or other Armenian extracts.

6) List of pictures, contains those pictures from rare valuable books which have been included in this volume for various reasons, such as the Armenian alphabet of I486; Hakop Meghapart, the first Armenian printer and the books he printed; the first Armenian Bible to be printed; the first book printed in ashkharabar; first books printed in Nor Djugha, Armenia, Russia; the first map printed in Armenian, etc.


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