Библиотека им. Галуста Гюльбенкяна
|Библиотека им. Галуста Гюльбенкяна|
|The Calouste Gulbenkian Library|
The Calouste Gulbenkian Library
Mission and HistoryThe Calouste Gulbenkian Library of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem strives to collect, preserve, and make rapidly and easily accessible a vast array of ideas and information for the education, enrichment, and empowerment of its religious and lay community, as well as for the enlightenment of scholars and researchers in the region and throughout the world.
The Gulbenkian Library was built in 1929 through the benefaction of the late oil and financial magnate, internationally renowned as "Mr. Five Percent," in memory of his father and mother, Sarkis and Dirouhi, to commemorate the 50th jubilee of the Patriarch of the Day, His Beatitude Yeghishe Tourian (1921-1929). The Library continues to be financially supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal.
One of the world's most comprehensive resource centers for materials in Armenian and other world languages by and about Armenians from earliest times to the present, the Library offers a growing collection of more than 100,000 cataloged volumes, from early imprints to contemporary works, and including extensive files of periodicals and newspapers, both current and retrospective. Nearly every periodical issued by an Armenian publishing house anywhere in the world is received on a subscription basis.
A separate room houses rare and early imprints, published a hundred or more years ago. Armenians established the first printing press in Jerusalem in 1833. One of the Library's prized possessions is a copy of the inaugural issue of the Patriarchate's monthly of religion, literature and philology, the official publication of the Armenian Patriarchate.
Most book acquisitions are gifts, a listing of which is regularly published in the Sion gazette. A wide range of subjects is represented, with emphasis on Christianity in all its aspects. The collections are classified according to the Dewey Decimal System. Bibliographic records are maintained in a card catalog.
The Patriarchate also curates an extraordinary collection of 4000 illuminated manuscripts, housed in the Church of St. Toros, close to the Cathedral of St. James.
Plans for the Future
Plans are underway to renovate the historic Gulbenkian Library, transforming it into a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled facility which accommodates furnishings congruous with the character of the building and is equipped with electrical and communications systems capable of incorporating automation, electronic networking, and future technological developments. The Library will be harmonious with the historic setting and environment of the Armenian Patriarchate, which also comprises the Convent and Cathedral of St. James; the Theological Seminary of the Brotherhood of St. James; the Holy Translators (Surb Tarkmanchats) School (kindergarten through high school); the Edward and Helen Mardigian Museum of Armenian Art and Culture; and the St. James Printing Press.
In early 1997, a support organization, The Friends of the Calouste Gulbenkian Library, was formed and has been incorporated in California as a tax-exempt [501(c)3], a non-profit charitable public benefit corporation with the following purposes: To advance and promote in the Armenian and American communities the cultural and historical significance of the Calouste Gulbenkian Library; to enhance its collection development activities; to expand its programs and services which provide greater public access to information in the Armenian language and about Armenians from earliest times to the present to Armenological scholars and members of all Armenian communities in the United States and throughout the world; To organize and engage in activities which educate, enrich, and foster understanding and appreciation of the great cultural treasure in said Library among members of the organization and persons of Armenian ancestry in the United States of America and abroad; To solicit donations, grants or subsidies from interested members of the public and to apply to public agencies or private or public foundations for assistance under prescribed guidelines, rules and regulations promulgated by such agencies or foundations in order to fund selected capital improvements to the Library. Inquiries may be E-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org