The Armenian Orthodox Church in India
Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy, Kolkata.
OCP News Service

On 13th October, 2012, the 500th Anniversary of Armenian Typography was celebrated in Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy, Kolkata, India.

The school organized, in collaboration with Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd., an exhibition cum sale of books, where, among other books, 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 typography and how the invention of typography has revolutionized the cognitive and intellectual world.

Dr. Banerjee, in his erudite speech, remarked: “In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized 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 through the ages. They were the first to understand the prime 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.”

At the end of the talk, there was an engaging session of question and answer from the audience. The audience comprised students, teachers of ACPA, students from other prestigious schools and colleges and members of the Armenian community.

The 500th anniversary of typography is being celebrated in Armenia and all over the Diaspora with great fervor. The significance of this celebration acquired a new dimension with the UNESCO declaring Yerevan, the Capital of Armenia, as ‘the 2012 World Book Capital’.

OCP News Service