One of the main purposes of the Matenadaran is the scientific description, preparation and publication of the “Mayr Tsutsak,” or the Main Catalogue of Armenian Manuscripts of Mashtots Matenadaran. In the Matenadaran the description works of the manuscripts have been done during the whole history of the Matenadaran. The Matenadaran began compiling a brief list of its manuscripts in the 1960s, and published two volumes of the brief lists; the first, in 1965, and the second, in 1970. After the publication of two volumes, the same group of the scientists began describing the manuscripts. In 1984, the first volume of “Mayr Tsutsak” was published. Today, eight volumes of “Mayr Tsutsak” exist and their digital versions are available on Matenadaran website.
  In the 1890s Reverend Jacobus Tashean developed 30 points with which the manuscripts are described by the result of discussions of the scientists of the Mekhitarist Congregation in Vienna. In Matenadaran the 30 points were edited, improved, added, questions and their answers were disposed for the important information’s immediately watching. The description of the manuscript has 3 main parts: external signs; contents; writing time and future mentions. In this point the manuscripts are shown to readers as monuments of material and spiritual culture.
  The Department of the Manuscripts Studies and Mayr Tsutsak was headed first by Asatur Mnatsakanyan, followed by Onnik Yeganyan, Paylak Antabyan, and Hakob Keoseyan. Since 2007 the head of the department has been Gevorg Ter-Vardanyan. There are 25 young specialists working in the department.
  The collections of Armenian basic manuscripts (11.230 units), the Armenian fragments (2.200 units) and the Armenian ribbon manuscripts (530 units) are also described in the Matenadaran. More than 7,000 manuscripts have already been submitted to scientific description. Philologist Vardan Devrikyan creates the name indexes. Mayr Tsutsak is projected to have 40 volumes. The volumes are published with the help of “Calouste Gulbenkian” Foundation’s support.

Gevorg Ter-Vardanyan
Chief of the Depository, Head of the Department of Manuscript Studies and Mayr Tsutsak

Digital versions of the Grand Catalogue of Manuscripts.