Armenian publishing of Baku

In 1864 in Baku Armenian Philanthropic Society was founded with the efforts of which in 1870 the first Armenian printing-house was established in Baku. With the fonts brought from “Enfiachian” printing-house of Tiflis the book “Hndkatsvots Antske Anmardabnak Kghzinerum” (“The Passing of the Indians Through Inhabited Islands”) translated by Avag Grigorian (1872), 4 volumes of “Sokhak Hayastani”(“Nightingale of Armenia”) song-books (1874), “Gosh Mkhitar, Voghimpianu yev Yezovposi Entir Araknere” (“The Selected Fables of Gosh Mkhitar, Olimpian and Aesopus”) translated by Khoren Fr. Mirzabekian (1878) and the reports of the Philanthropic Society were published. The “Malfaian and Co.” printing-house operated since 1874, the “Ghazabiants” – since 1876.

The printing-houses of S.Ter-Hovhannisian the series of Philanthropic printing-house) and Alexander Ghasabian opened in 1880s, S.Shahbazian and “Aror” printing houses in 1890s. For the latter Aramean fonts were brought from Constantinople and new splendid publications as, for example, illustrated calendar “Aror” (1893-96) were printed there. In the informative literature there are references also about Gyulbasarian’s and “Eghbayrk Ghazarianc” (“Ghazarian Brothers”) printing houses. Some of them as “Aror” and Shahbazian printing-houses operated till 1920. The printing houses of N.Yerevaniants, M.Antonianc, A.Taraian, L.Mirzoian, K.Khatisian, “Artsvaberd”, “Aramazd”, Karapetian brothers were founded at the beginning of 20th century. Armenian books and periodicals were published also in “Trud”, “Truzhennik”, “Baku” and other non-Armenian printing- houses. 

Due to the Armenian Philanthropic Society of Baku a museum was opened in the city which collected manuscripts, antiquated books and archives of the Armenian public and political figures. A library was established in 1870, a reading-hall, adjacent to it, operated from 1880. In different periods Shirvanzade and Leo worked there. In 1914 the library had 21800 books and got 68 periodicals. Adjacent to the library a literary fund was created. 

In 1872-1920 totally 300 books, textbooks, reference-books were published in Baku. Most of those were published in Ashkharhabar (Eastern Armenian language).