Naasr Library Receives Greppin Collection


January 10, 2013

BELMONT, Mass.-The National Association for Armenian Studies
and Research (NAASR) this week announced that it has received a
significant donation to its Edward and Helen Mardigian Library by
John A. C. Greppin, professor emeritus at Cleveland State University.

Greppin, a linguist and specialist in Classical Armenian (grabar),
has published 15 monographs and edited books on Armenian linguistics
and the history of Armenian medicine. He is the author of many articles
in scholarly journals, and founded the Annual of Armenian Linguistics
in 1980 and edited it for 25 years.

A small selection of books from the Greppin collection donated

Greppin’s donated Armenian collection consists of approximately
900 titles and arrived in 46 boxes just after Christmas 2012. In
making the decision to donate his collection to NAASR, Greppin wrote,
“I’ve dealt with NAASR for 37 years now, and know it as the primary
Armenian research association in the U.S., and certainly the one
with the best research facilities. It is most satisfying to donate a
scholarly collection to an association where the books will be cared
for and, especially, used.”

NAASR Director of Academic Affairs Marc A. Mamigonian expressed his
gratitude on behalf of the organization, saying that “everyone at
NAASR is extremely pleased and gratified at Prof. Greppin’s kindness
and generosity. This is a collection that substantially bolsters our
holdings especially in the area of language and linguistics. It is
commendable, too, that Prof. Greppin has shown the foresight to insure
that his collection will continue to be a resource for generations
of scholars to come.”

The Greppin collection will be catalogued during the months ahead.

“The bulk of the books are in the Armenian language,” Greppin
explained. “They were acquired first when I was living in Yerevan,
1974-75, and I continued to acquire more when I lived in Ohio, by mail,
and when I was in Yerevan” on numerous occasions since the 1970’s.

Greppin noted that of special interest “are the runs of
Soviet-Armenian journals,” such as Tghekagir (later Lraber) and
Patma-Banasirakan-Handes. “The rarest set, held complete in very
few Western libraries, are the 45 volumes of the concordance series,
Haykakan Hamabarbar. Also I was able to acquire volumes dating back
to the 1940’s of studies of Urartian loan substratum in Armenian,”
he said. “In addition, there are a large number of books on the
natural sciences, the Armenian vocabulary of which I studied.”

Other significant collections received

The collection arrived at the end of a year in which a number of
other important collections of various types and sizes came to NAASR.

Mamigonian pointed to smaller but very interesting collections, such
as an archive of Edward Alexanian, donated by his daughter Adrienne
of New York, which includes important materials relating to the
Hamasebastahay Verashinats Miutiun/Pan Sebastia Rehabilitation Union,
dating between the 1940’s-1970’s; materials belonging to noted Ramkavar
leader Dicran Simsarian, donated by his son Edward of Worcester;
as well as the large library of the late Hagop Atamian of Watertown,
which is especially rich in literary and politico-historical works.

The Edward and Helen Mardigian Library is named for major NAASR
benefactors, the late Mr. and Mrs. Mardigian of Bloomfield Hills,
Mich. The Mardigian Library holds over 25,000 books and many thousands
of periodicals and newspapers, as well as a number of important
collections of personal papers and archives. Its catalogue may be
accessed through the NAASR website, For information
about the Mardigian Library or NAASR and its programs for the
furtherance of Armenian studies, research, and publication, call (617)
489-1610, e-mail [email protected], or write to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave.,
Belmont, MA 02478.

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