Armenian Manuscripts and Printed Books

There are currently 140 Armenian manuscripts in the Bodleian Libraries. The earliest manuscript dates back to the 11th century, whilst the most recent one was composed in the early 20th century. Interest in Armenian culture and manuscripts goes back to the times of the foundation of the Bodleian Libraries with the first Armenian manuscripts entering the collection through the benefaction from Archbishop Laud (1573-1645). Throughout the centuries numerous manuscripts have been donated to or acquired by the library with a significant number of acquisitions dating to the late 19th century.

The digitized collection includes images from 79 Armenian manuscripts, including palaeographic samples digitized for the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit.

In 2021/22 the Carnegie Corporation generously funded full photography of several important manuscripts from the collection. Digitized items include MS. Arm. d. 11, the earliest Armenian volume preserved in the library, and MS. Arm. d. 13, a copy of the four Gospels illuminated by Mesrop of Xizan, one of the last important representatives of the Armenian school of miniaturists in New Julfa in the first half of the 17th century.