The National Library of Armenia may have sustained severe damage to their digital archives due to a fire. It has been said that the fire may have occurred on 8-9 may, however this has yet to be determined.
The library began their journey on digitising archives since 2013, and hold over 6 million items in its physical collections.
These archives included over 7,000 books that were composed of over 700,000 pages, as well as over 2 million pages from Armenian language periodicals from all over the world in both Eastern and Western Armenian, including many periodicals from the Armenian community that lived in the Ottoman Empire prior to the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
The National Library of Armenia are now dealing with irreparable year of losses as well as financial. That being said, the original books, publications, and other documents that had been digitised remain intact and were not affected by the fire, therefore this is hope that in time, they can rebuild the entirety of the lost archive.
The National Library’s digital archive has been an important bibliographic resource in Armenia, where the number of libraries has dwindled from 1,300 to as few as 200 since the collapse of the USSR.
Prior to the fire, the digitised archive of the National Library held materials not only from the library itself but from other libraries in the country as well, including 12 libraries in Armenia’s provinces.