Inside the Nubarian Library

with Boris Adjemian

hosted by Matthew Ghazarian and Susanna Ferguson

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Since its foundation in 1928 by Boghos Nubar, son of Egyptian Prime Minister and Ottoman dignitary Nubar Pasha, the Nubarian library in Paris has served as a major resource for Armenian intellectual life and historical research in the diaspora. What is less well-known is how the library's rich holdings in Ottoman Turkish, Armeno-Turkish, French and English as well as in Armenian might be useful for historians of the larger Ottoman world. In this episode, we talk with library director Boris Ajemian about the extensive archival, photographic, and periodical collections available at the Nubarian library, new directions and possibilities for Armenian and Ottoman social and cultural history, and the library's own fascinating past. 

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Dr. Boris Adjemian is the Director of the Nubarian Library and author of La fanfare du Négus: Les Arméniens en Éthiopie. (Photo credit: Vazken Khatchig Davidian)
Matthew Ghazarian is a Ph.D. student in Columbia University's Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, African Studies. His research focuses on the intersections of sectarianism, humanitarianism, and political economy in central and eastern Anatolia between 1856 and 1893.
Susanna Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern History at Columbia University. She is currently working on a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939."  


Episode No. 254
Release Date: 2 August 2016
Recording Location: Nubarian Library, Paris
Editing and production by Chris Gratien
Special thanks to Sato Moughalian for use of "Chinar Es" and "Habrban" (Find on CD Baby | iTunes)
Images and bibliography courtesy of Boris Adjemian


Coloured sketches of Çırağan Palace by Serkis Balyan (Source: AGBU Nubar Library, Paris)
Sopon Bezirdjian, “Persian Style” from L’Albert. Album des beaux-Arts contenant des dessins en style pur oriental pour la décoration et l’industrie, par Sopon Bézirdjian, artiste-dessinateur, Paris, 1900 (Source: AGBU Nubar Library, Paris)


Adjemian, Boris. La fanfare du négus: Les Arméniens en Éthiopie (XIXe-XXe siècles). Paris: Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2013.

Adjemian, Boris et Raymond Kévorkian, "Témoignages de rescapés et connaissance du génocide de 1915-1916. La constitution des fonds d’archives arméniens et leurs usages historiographiques," Études arméniennes contemporaines, 5, June 2015: 79-111.

Cankara, Murat. “Rethinking Ottoman Cross-Cultural Encounters: Turks and the Armenian Alphabet.” Middle Eastern Studies 51, no. 1 (2015): 1-16.

Davidian, Vazken Khatchig, ed. “Towards Inclusive Art Histories: Ottoman Armenian Voices Speak Back.” Études Arméniennes Contemporaines 6. [open access]

Ueno, Masayuki. “One script, two languages: Garabed Panosian and his Armeno-Turkish newspapers in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire.” Middle Eastern Studies 52, no. 4 (2016): 605-622.