Professor Vahakn N. Dadrian (1926–2019)

LOS ANGELES — The Ararat-Eskijian Museum Research Center (AEMRC) and the Armenian Genocide Research Program (AGRP) within The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA have announced the launch of the Vahakn N. Dadrian Archive Project.

Professor Vahakn N. Dadrian (1926–2019) was a preeminent scholar of the Armenian Genocide and instrumental in establishing the larger field of genocide studies. He lectured and published widely in the field, leading to greater international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. His unique collection of archival materials and books is of extraordinary value to those researching the origins of the Armenian Genocide, the Genocide itself and its aftermath.

Throughout his long career, Professor Dadrian accumulated a wealth of material on the Armenian Genocide throughout the different archives in the world, American, British, German, French Armenian and Ottoman among them. His archive has also numerous unpublished manuscripts and newspapers from various languages. Before his death, he transferred these materials to the AEMRC. The Vahakn Dadrian Armenian Genocide Book Collection is now housed in The Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library located at the University of Southern California.

After a gradual process of herculean efforts and numerous trips across the nation transporting Professor Dadrian’s archives, the AEMRC initiated a project in 2009 to digitize his personal notes and archives of historical documents and make them available for future generations of researchers interested in furthering their knowledge of Armenian Genocide Studies and general genocide studies.

A total of 28,000 pages out of a total of 110,000 pages were digitized and indexed by 2018. It took two years of efforts to appropriately preserve the entire archive collection into special folders and boxes. This full archive has been available to scholars and researchers by in-person appointment only at the AEMRC. Due to a large grant recipient in 2023, we will be resuming the continuation of digitization and indexing of the remaining 80,000 pages.

AEMRC is also in the important process of facilitating the accessibility of the digitized collection, particularly to make it searchable through keywords for researchers. Dr. Anna Aleksanyan, a post-graduate student from Clark University, has been involved in these efforts. Dr. Aleksanyan is also currently on fellowship with the AGRP.

The Vahakn N. Dadrian Archive Project is led under the direction of Professor Taner Akçam, the inaugural Director of the AGRP. This project is anticipated to be completed by December 2025. Upon completion, the entire collection will be available online.

The AGRP will host a webinar this spring to offer additional insight into the project. Details to follow on the AGRP’s website.

The Ararat-Eskijian Museum was founded in June 1985 by Genocide survivor, Mr. Luther Eskijian, and includes a unique collection of Armenian artifacts as well as books and materials about the Armenian Genocide. The museum is also a cultural and educational center where scholars, artists, writers, and community leaders can present current and historical subjects related to the Armenian people, as well as Genocide education.

The Armenian Genocide Research Program (AGRP) was established within The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA in early 2022. Led by Taner Akçam, Ph.D., the AGRP engages in research and scholarly activities pertaining to the study of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire during the early 20th century.

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