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The rich collection of Matenadaran

Matenadaran, or Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, has a collection of 17,000 manuscripts from ancient and medieval Armenian science and culture. It also includes translations of many original documents of other languages, which were not preserved in the original versions and are available only in the Armenian translation. The foreign writers whose works are available in their Armenian translation are: the illustrious Greek philosophers Aristotle, Plato, Philo of Alexandria, Porphyry, Zeno, etc.

Matenadaran also owns handwritten volumes in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Polish, classical Slavonic, their investigations adding fresh chapters to the histories of Europe, Transcaucasia, the Middle and Near East. Matenadaran holds books and manuscripts in the subjects of history, philosophy, literature, art history and cosmography.

This museum includes the writings of historians such as Movses Khorenatsi, Yeghishe and Aristakes Lastivertsi in its depositaries. Also you can find the preserved writings of prominent medieval Armenian writers Grigor Narekatsi and Nerses Shnorhali.

Exceptionally interesting is the 28 kg manuscript “Homilies of Moush” scribed in Moush in the 18th century. Shown next to it is the 15th century tiny book-calendar weighing 19 gram.

In the course of the recent 50 years, Matenadaran experts have published more than 200 studies, medieval original documents and exclusive manuscripts.

Modernization of Matenadaran

Recent efforts to modernize the museum include digitalization of a huge volume of manuscripts kept in Matenadaran. The digitalized manuscripts are accessible for scientific research and interested people can make use of them. Some digitalized miniatures have been posted on the Matenadaran's official website. 

A new building is being built thanks to the generous support of philanthropists. The new building will be equipped with modern technologies, including a scientific-educational center and modern reading halls. Scientific conferences may also be held on the premises.

The average number of visitors to Matenadaran is 50,000-60,000 annually.

Practical Information

The Museum stands at the top of Mashtots Avenue. 

Address: 53 M. Mashtots Ave.; Tel.: (+374 10) 56 25 78, 58 32 92; Open 10:00 AM - 16:30 PM; Closed on Sunday and Monday; Entrance fee 1000 AMD (~ $ 2).

Points of Interest