An encyclopaedia project was the theme of the latest internal meeting of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland. Taking part, in addition to researchers from the Centre, were Professor Andrzej Pisowicz and Monika Agopsowicz. To produce an encyclopaedia dedicated to the cultural accomplishments of the Polish Armenians is the central task before scholars of Armenian studies in Poland. It is to be compiled by a representative group of humanists from various disciplines – principally historians and lingusts, but also researchers in the fields of art, literature, folklore, arts and crafts, politics, and sociology. We discussed possible structures and potential contributors for the encyclopaedia.
Dr Edward Ghazaryan, the former Armenian ambassador to Poland, was the guest of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland. The Centre was fortunate enough to be able to work with Dr Ghazaryan on a number of occasions during his diplomatic service in Poland, which was an especially active and fruitful phase in Polish-Armenian relations. The purpose of his first journey to Kraków, which he made at the very beginning of his mission, was to meet our still informal community of researchers and to fulfil official duties by meeting the president of Kraków and the Małopolska voivod. The lecture he gave in the library of Collegium Maius in 2015 began the commemoration in Kraków of the hundredth anniversary of the genocide committed against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
The registers of the Armenian parishes that functioned in Old Poland represent a very important source for learning about both the history of the Polish Armenians and the culture of the towns they lived in. The registers serve a vital purpose in, among others, genealogical, statistical-demographic, and socio-cultural research. The oldest of them, which date from the Old Polish period, are of particular value. One of these is the register of marriages and baptisms in the Armenian Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zamość from 1694-1775, which is kept in the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine in Lviv (the former Ossolineum).
Edward Tryjarski, the grand old man of Polish orientalists, has died in Warsaw. In the wake of the demise of Professor George A. Bournoutian, his passing represents a further painful loss to Armenian studies in Poland and the world. For decades, Professor Tryjarski was a presence in the life of the Armenian diaspora in Warsaw. He worked closely with the Circle of Interest in Armenian Culture at the Polish Folklore Society, and his Armenian contacts and friendships contributed to the research that produced Ormianie w Warszawie: materiały do dziejów (2001) (Armenians in Warsaw: Materials towards a History). So substantial was his support for the development of Armenian studies in Kraków, that it contributed to the establishment of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Professor George A. Bournoutian, who was a member of the Council of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland (RCACP). Along with his wife, the professor was a guest at the inauguration ceremony for RCACP in 2019. He also advised us on our research projects. That was his second visit to Kraków, where he had already been in 2018 to attend a conference organised by Biblioteka Kraków (Kraków City Libraries) entitled Polish Armenians and the Path to Polish Independence. The conference produced a book of the same name, which included a paper by Professor Bournoutian entitled The Establishment of the Contemporary Armenian State. We had been planning to do further work together. His passing is a profound loss to us and to the entire world of Armenian studies.