At the crossroads of the history of Armenian people, books and printing аre the lifesaving links transmitting historical facts and scientific achievements from generation to generation. The history of Armenian book printing has gone through different stages of development, giving to the next generations the opportunity to improve the art of printing. In 2012, the year of celebration of 500th anniversary of Armenian Printing, Yerevan was declared World Book Capital by UNESCO. The same year, in the National Library of Armenia, the largest repository of Armenian printed products founded the Museum of Printing, in order to present the evolution of book printing.
The history of printing is reflected in six halls of the museum. The hall “The origins of writing” presents the samples of written culture from the pre-writing period to its final formation: petroglyphs, cuneiforms, etc. In the hall “The Armenian alphabet” are exhibited the types of writing and the Armenian alphabet engraved in the books of European publishers. Then comes the hall “The pioneers of Armenian printing” – presented here is the first Armenian printed book “Urbatagirq” (“Friday book”, Venice, 1512), the first Armenian printed Bible (Amsterdam, 1666-1668), the first printed map “Hamatarats Ashkharatsuyts” (“Large World Map”, Amsterdam, 1695) and the first Armenian periodical “Azdarar” (“The Monitor Monthly ” Madras, 1794).
In the hall “The diaspora of Armenian book printing” visitors can get acquainted with the main centres where Armenian printing houses have been operating and where have been published the first Armenian books. In this hall you can learn the brief history of the printing centres. Explore the printing machines, clichés, photos of Armenian printing houses in different countries around the world in the “Book publishing” hall. The main types of printing are presented through holographic display. The hall “Eternity of writing” presents the history of book printing on the territory of modern Armenia. The Museum of Printing is equipped with new technologies creating an interactive environment of non-formal education.
From January 2018, the Printing Museum became a member of The Association of European Printing Museums (AEPM).
View the National Library of Armenia’s online exhibitions here.