Last week I was invited to attend the Wellcome Library’s 9th course on manuscripts. I have been working with the curator of the Islamic department Nikolaj Serikoff for the last year on their documentation project, and have expressed an interest to work on something from the collection for my final MA project. I discussed this with Nikolaj last week and he suggested that I attend a few days of a course on reading Armenian manuscripts, today was the first day.
In attendance along with scholars of Byzantium, Persia and Armenia was the Armenian Abassador who spoke very briefly and expressed her interest and apologies as she could not stay long, as well as the speakers; Dr Gohar Muradyan and Dr Aram Topchyan from the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Matenadaran.
We began by viewing some of the Wellcome’s own Armenian manuscripts, of which they have 15, as well as some Persian and Islamic ones. Then the speakers started off the seminar by giving a small history of the Armenian script and language as well as useful terminology and handed out a booklet to accompany the course which included a wealth of images and information and also the Armenian alphabet and numbers.
Not knowing anything about Armenia or its history, I found the talk interesting but difficult to follow, thankfully, the slides that they showed also had the terminology so I didn’t have to guess how things were spelt!
I will be unable to attend all of the course, but have been asked to come back on Weds when we will be visiting the British Library and viewing their collection of Armenian manuscripts.