The Armenian Research Center/University of Michigan-Dearborn


How Can the Armenian Research Center Help You?

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is unusual to have on its campus a center devoted to the study of the Armenians. Unusual in that such specialized research centers are normally found on larger campuses such as Ann Arbor, and also unusual in that the Armenian Research Center is the only such research institute devoted to the study of the Armenians at any U.S. university.

This gives you the extraordinary opportunity to do special class research you would not otherwise have easy access to. These research opportunities include Russian history, Armenian history, Armenian literature, Armenian art and architecture, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia, Turkey, the Kurds and more. Besides opportunities for class research, the Armenian Research Center is able to offer internships and directed study for qualified students.

Now you may be wondering: Who are the Armenians, and why should I want to do research on them? That depends. Are you interested in modern history/sociology? Armenia has reemerged after 70 years of Soviet rule as an independent state in the volatile Caucasus, just above the Middle East, below Georgia and Russia, and right next to Azerbaijan. A lively neighborhood is putting it mildly. Are you interested in ancient history/sociology? The Armenians have been around for over 2,500 years, and their ancient state of Armenia was the first state to proclaim itself Christian. Maybe you are interested in something in the middle: say the Middle Ages. Armenia shifted itself during the Crusades to the Mediterranean Sea and had contacts with the Crusaders.

Armenia's varied history means that the literature major can study its literature both as the literature of a people in their own state, and also as a people in other states, such as the literature of the Armenians in America, of which William Saroyan is an excellent example.

Now you may be wondering: OK, the Armenians are an important people in their homeland and in its neighboring areas, but how does that concern me in America? Because of the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians, the Armenians are a diaspora people and they have sizeable communities on every continent of the world. Today, there are one million Armenians in the United States, with 30,000-50,000 in the metro Detroit area, making this area the third-largest concentration of Armenians in the United States. While you probably have heard of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Armenians of our local are very diverse in the occupations: the late Alex Manoogian, industrialist and philanthropist; Marilyn Varbedian, City Councilmember of Bloomfield; John Darakjian, jeweler; Richard Thompson, former Oakland County Prosecutor; Kaye Tertzag, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge; State Senator George Hart; former State Representative and current head of the Port of Detroit John Jamian; Edgar Hagopian, carpet distributor; George Googasian, George Bedrosian, and Peter Kupelian, attorneys. In the Detroit metro area, the history of the Armenians parallels that of everyone else: Just as many people left Detroit for the suburbs, so too did the Armenian-Americans, whose new Detroit-area loci are Southfield, Farmington, Bloomfield, West Bloomfield, and Dearborn.

Let's Get to the Specifics

The electronic database of the Armenian Research Center, along with our electronic connection to the Library of Congress and virtually every other major library in the world, is the very heart of our work. We are not excelled in our electronic connection by any Armenian facility in the world. Furthermore, all of our holdings are referenced in the database to make retrieval of hard copy almost instantaneous.

We have in the Armenian Research Center, as of June14, 2004, almost 44,000 items in our database, which can be divided into: 8,279 important books located in the Center (in English, Armenian, Russian and other languages); almost 20,000 newspaper articles (clipped and in vertical files accessible through the database); and several cabinets of microfilm and microfiche. The Armenian Research Center also has official archival documents, in different formats, from Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and the United States. These invaluable resources are critical for scholars in conducting research on the Armenian Genocide.

Furthermore, we subscribe to nine English-language Armenian-American newspapers, as well as the English-language Turkish Times, which are all kept on file. We also have a collection of many academic journals and manuscripts as well.

We also catalog materials on our database that we do not own so as to be a bibliographic reference center. Among other things, we have databased Armenian-issue materials of the Library of Congress, the British Museum, New York Public Library, and Richard Hovannisian's bibliography of the Armenian genocide, as well as materials from other sources too many to recount in brief.

To use computer jargon, the Armenian Research Center can be described as a virtual center, inasmuch as the physical space we inhabit represents only our electronic and physical nexus and does not represent the whole of our work or resources.

The George and Isabelle Elanjian Scholarship (for students enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for at least a year)

Information on the Elanjian Scholarship can be found here on the Office of Financial Aid's website.

To apply for the Elanjian Scholarship, fill out the University's Financial Aid Scholarship Application. The application has a deadline of February 1, so the 2004-2005 scholarship deadline has passed already. The form for 2005-2006 will be available in October 2004, and a link will be placed here at that time.

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