Mon & Fri 7:30 – 19:00    Wed 9:00 – 19:00
Tue & Thu 7:30 – 22:00    Sat 9:00 – 15:00
Mon & Fri 7:30 – 19:00
Wed 9:00 – 19:00
Tue & Thu 7:30 – 22:00
Sat 9:00 – 15:00


VIII Fair of Old Books, Manuscripts and Archives

From May 31 to June 7, 2012
On May 31, 2012, under the high patronage and in presence of His Beatitude Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX, Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics, the Phoenix Center of Lebanese Studies and the Main Library at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) inaugurated the VIII Fair of Old Books, Manuscripts and Archives. The Fair opened its doors till June 7, 2012 at the Esplanade of the Main Library.

Within the framework of the Fair, and on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Ourpatakirk, the first printed book in Armenian, an exhibition entitled “Itinerary of Letters and Lights: Traces and Fingerprints of a Nation (1512-2012)”, was also inaugurated.

This year coincides, as mentioned above, with the 500th anniversary of the first printed book in Armenian. In 1512, Hagop Meghabard edited Ourpatakirk, a prayer book. Armenians were pioneers in taking advantage of the invention of Gutenberg. Since 1512, wherever there were Armenian communities, Armenian printing houses were established and Armenian books were published. The content of the first Armenian books shows that the purpose of Armenian publishers was far from being lucrative; indeed, it was to protect the Armenians who lived in a foreign country, from the danger of assimilation and to bond them with their mother language and national traditions. Sometimes these books were even distributed for free.

The inauguration ceremony began with a welcome speech by Miss Nathalie Bouldoukian, who invited the audience to take part in the various activities of the Fair, particularly the four book signing ceremonies for Prof. Norma Zakaria, Mrs. Danielle Tabet Boustani, Mr. Joseph Abi Daher and Mr. Georges Yarack. In his speech, Mgr. Gabriel Moradian, Superior General of the Catholic Monastery of Bzommar, pointed out that the Monastery conserves 1,700 manuscripts, the majority of which are in Armenian, whereas the rest vary between Greek, Syriac, Arabic, and other languages. While Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, President of USEK, shed light on the great importance that the University attributes to the Oriental Christian heritage, considering that “… by evoking our interest in the Oriental heritage at USEK, we acknowledge the long tradition of USEK which perpetuates the secular work of the Lebanese Maronite Order”. Fr. Mahfouz thanked the Main Library, the Phoenix Center as well as the Center of Conservation and Renovation of old books and manuscripts, stressing that “The Fair of Old Books, in its 8th edition, is a form of their excellence in terms of heritage”. Finally, Patriach Nersos Bedros XIX stated that this Fair “…reflects the cooperation in the Lebanese context, highlighting the Armenian culture which represents an integral part of the Lebanese culture, within a young University ambiance. Lebanon knows, through its institutions, how to respect, promote and revive various cultures. Lebanon is therefore multicultural through the Armenian presence as well”.
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