The 500th anniversary of Armenian printing was celebrated in the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy of Kolkata, India.
The school organized, in collaboration with Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd., an exhibition and sale of books, where some very old books in Armenian and English languages from the famous 184 year old Araratian Library were on display. The exhibition remained open for two days.
Very Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of Armenians in India and Manager of Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy invited Dr. Sushanta Banerjee, Director of The American Library, Kolkata to grace the occasion as a Special Guest. Dr. Banerjee delivered an absorbing speech on “The Importance of Reading Books,” tracing the origin of typography with special emphasis on Armenian printing.
Dr. Banerjee, in his speech, remarked: “In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized the society by inventing the printing press in Germany. The Armenians used the Gutenberg technique by mounting their 39 alphabets on metal. This is how, through the permanence of the printed word, the Armenians could protect their language and church manuscripts and through them, their national identity and wisdom throughout ages. They were the first to understand the primary importance of the Gutenberg technique and put it to immortal use. Thus, through the invention of printing, the world found a new path of changing life, education and culture.”
The 500th anniversary of printing is being celebrated in Armenia and all over the Diaspora. The significance of this celebration acquired a new dimension with the UNESCO declaring Yerevan, the Capital of Armenia, as 2012 World Book Capital.