ARF Archives Institute Aims to Digitize Party’s 118 Year History

MONTEBELLO, CA–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation officially announced this week that it has established a central Archive institute that will be digitizing the vast archives of the 118 year-old political party, which include in them the hand written declaration of independence of the First Republic of Armenia.

The project will be headed by the ARF Archives Institute in Montebello, California, recently established by a decision of last year’s ARF World Congress. The Institute has offices in the Watertown MA and Beirut, Lebanon and is being headed by former Azbarez editor Vatche Proodian.

Proodian said the current priority of the Institute is to digitize the archives to facilitate academic research and study. The remainder of the archives will be organized and catalogued gradually. It will also prepare the processed material for publication.

An extensive effort has been exerted during the last several decades to organize the archives, currently stored in Boston, Massachusetts, Proodian explained, adding that thus far, five volumes have been published under the heading of "Topics for the History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation"

The volumes cover the complete period between 1890 to 1907 thorough the Fourth ARF World Congress and include, among other things, meeting minutes, reports, and letters. The first four volumes were edited by the late Hratch Dasnabedian, while the fifth volume was edited by Yervant Pamboukian.

Among the archives are the first and original ARF Manifesto, hand-written letters from ARF founders, World Congress minutes, circulars and regional organizational reports, as well as maps, and an extensive collection of photographs. Among the maps housed in the Archives, is one the Caucasus in 1907 during the Czarist period that delineates the demographic breakdown of Armenia’s in each administrative region.

Also included in the Archives is the hand-written declaration of independence of the First Republic of Armenia and hundreds of thousands of other documen’s, which Proodian aptly described as important historical and political treasures.

The institute’s Web site is www.arfarchives.org and its email address is vproodian@arfarchives.org. It is located at 420 Washington Blvd., Montebello, CA 90640.

The Institute’s website asks individuals who have archival materials from their recent ancestry to submit them for safe keeping at the Institute, which will evaluate and publish them, as a part of the political and cultural wealth of the Armenian people.

Individuals may contact Vatche Proodian for more information at the above email or by phone at 323.726.9931.

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