The department has played an invaluable role in the salvation of Armenian manuscripts and helped to restore and preserve the Armenian collections of Jerusalem, Aleppo, Antelias, Bzoummar, and Jugha.
In 2023, the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, the largest institution in the USA with samples of Armenian art, proposed a project to Matenadaran for the manuscripts’ conservation and restoration. Thanks to a grant program provided by Bank of America, a cooperative project was initiated, and the employees of Matenadaran have implemented and will continue to provide their professional assistance in phases. The restoration of the Armenian Museum of America manuscripts began in the summer of 2023 with the participation of the head of the department, Gayane Eliazyan, senior restorer Susanna Barseghyan, and acting chief depositor, senior researcher Davit Ghazaryan. Davit Ghazaryan had previously worked with the Armenian Museum of America in 2022 with extensive descriptions of the collection. The collection is rich and valuable, collected mainly through donations. It includes Gospels, the oldest of which is the Cilicia parchment Gospel of 1207 /Saint Karapet/, Sharakans, Psalms, Prayer Book, Counselor’s Book, Treasury, secular, theological, literary collections, fragments, and charms. The restoration process required a complex surgical operation to heal the little-studied vault. The restoration team, joined in the second stage by senior restorer Taguhi Jenterejyan, disinfected and treated 4,836 manuscripts, deacidified 530, sterilized 19 manuscript fragments, treated one old printed Bible, and repaired 20 fragments. Each manuscript at the Armenian Museum of America is unique and displayed in its original form.
Jason Sohigian, the museum director, has praised the dedicated efforts of the high-ranking specialists at Matenadaran responsible for restoring manuscripts. He has created a conducive environment for them to carry out their work without any hindrance for a long time. As part of the art preservation program, Bank of America has selected the Armenian Museum of America as one of 23 cultural institutions to allow the museum to extend its collaboration with Matenadaran. In the next phase, the same delegation from Matenadaran, with senior restorer Artur Petrosyan, is preparing for another visit to the USA. This time, they will focus on saving Armenian treasures like manuscript fragments and ribbon-shaped charms that require immediate study and repair.