[EARLY EXAMPLE OF AN ARMENIAN BIBLE PRINTED IN NEW YORK] Astuatsashunch'. Girk' hin ew nor ktakarants': Ebrayakan ew hunakan bnagirnerên t'argmanuats. [i.e. Bread of God. Book. Old and New Testaments. Hebrew and Greek manuscripts translated].

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[American Bible Society], Nor Eork [New York], 1860.

Extremely rare first edition of one of the earliest Armenian Bibles printed in the American diaspora.


The first Armenian-language book was published in the United States in 1857. At that time, very few Armenians lived in the New World, and from 1857 to 1888, all Armenian printing activity in the USA was carried out by American missionaries from New York. About forty titles were printed in three decades, including various editions of the Bible, the New Testament, the Psalms, other religious literature, and at least four printings of the Armenian translation of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. The missionaries then shipped these books to their various posts in the Ottoman Empire's Armenian-inhabited provinces. After the beginning of Armenian mass migration to the USA in the late nineteenth century, the new migrants set up their own presses. The first was that of Haygag Eginian (Haykak Ekinian), again in New York in 1890. Books printed by Armenians covered more varied subjects. They continued to appear exclusively in New York until Boston had its own Armenian press at the turn of the century and quickly overtook New York as the center of Armenian printing in the USA. Boston would hold this honor for decades, although Armenian books were also printed in the twentieth century in other towns in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota. However, the difficulty of maintaining Armenian as a spoken and written language among the US-born generations resulted in these printing centers dying out within a few decades. (Source: Celebrating the Legacy of Five Centuries of Armenian-Language Book Printing, 1512-2012 - Exhibit Booklet).

Rebacked spine in decorative original boards. Roy. 8vo. (23 x 17 cm). In Armenian (Modern West Armenian). 879, 274 p. Heavily stains and foxing on pages. A group of scratches on boards. Otherwise a good/fair copy. All edges gilt. Text printed in two columns of modern Western Armenian type. OCLC 32958726.