Printing is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. It offered an opportunity for the knowledge and achievements of the human mind to be rapidly spread and enlighten all segments of society. We can even say that printing provided one of the favorable conditions for the formation of modern civilization. It is not accidental that our people were one of the first in the world who began the work of printing. It was the natural path of our people that prior to the century of the introduction of printing, they created native language manuscripts for a millennium, very often under conditions lacking peace and security, and living in hardship. But in the reformer force of spiritual power, and lived and created for the sake of a peaceful and just world.
You, dear ones, preserve, restore, study and submit the written legacy; to which our people gave their soul and mind, their history, their world, knowledge and emotions, its fragrance and colors of nature; which we must convey to our future generations. Today we live in the age of e-books, which creates new opportunities, so that the heritage in the bookstores is widely available to the public. We greatly no one could deprive our people from spiritual food, that faithful to its Christian spirit, believed appreciate your efforts in this direction in recent years, and the programs implemented for creating electronic libraries. In whatever form it is submitted, the book will continue to provide spiritual food to our people.
We again extend our Pontifical blessings and great appreciation to you for your dedication and service and your contribution in our cultural and national life. We welcome here the presence of the newly appointed Minister of Culture, Mr. Armen Amiryan and extend our congratulations, and wish you a productive service. We convey our appreciation to the organizers and all supporters of the conference.
We offer our prayers to God, to keep our Homeland in peace, protect our people throughout the world and bless our efforts for the sake of the vibrancy of our spiritual and national life.
We wish success to the activities of the Conference”, stated His Holiness.
Minister Amiryan also made welcoming remarks. He considered it notable that the conference theme was "Preservation of the Past for the Sake of the Future". “The thematic directions are consistent with the activities carried out by the Ministry of Culture in the library field. The organization of book exchanges between the Armenological institutions will remain on the priority list of the Ministry and I am sure that the participants will continue the effective cooperation in this direction”, stated Minister Amiryan. The Minister referred to the need for supporting digitalizing, software, and providing methodological solutions to the structures which have large Armenian collections in the Diaspora, and the activities carried out by the Ministry in this regard.
“I hope that the mission set before the conference - which is to support the Armenian scientific centers and libraries in the registration of the Armenian printed heritage, will continue to care for the long-term preservation of and outreach for Armenian heritage.
As a results of the discussions, new ways of cooperation will be found, new models will be offered regarding electronic cataloging, digitization and preservation of library collections, as well as the cooperation between the Armenological libraries”, concluded the Minister.
His Eminence Archbishop Tirayr Panosyan, a member of the Brotherhood of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia and head of their Matenadaran; spoke during the Conference.