The archives of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul/Constantinople are one of the jewels in the crown of the Nubar Library’s collections. Their presence in Paris is due to the turbulent history of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul during the First World War and the advent of the Republic of Turkey (1923). The Armenian Patriarchate was dissolved in 1916 by the Ottoman government, while Anatolia had been almost entirely emptied of its Armenian population and the Patriarch Zaven Der Yeghiayan himself had been expelled. Following Ottoman defeat and the occupation of Constantinople by the Allied forces, the Patriarchate was restored in December 1918. On the eve of the entry of Kemalist troops into Istanbul, the Armenian Patriarchate archives were partially sent to Manchester, accompanied by Bishop Krikoris Balakian. These are now preserved at the Nubar Library in Paris.

Part of these archives was transferred from France to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1938, where they are kept today. The archives kept in Paris include, among others:

• The correspondence between the Patriarchate and Armenian religious and secular personalities residing in the provinces of the Ottoman Empire;

• Copies of the diplomatic correspondence of Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian with representatives of foreign powers in Istanbul;

• The personal archives of the patriarch Maghakia Ormanian;

• The census of the Ottoman Armenian population established by the Patriarchate in 1913-1914.


To access the complete list of the archives of the Patriarchate of Istanbul, click the link below:


pdfArchives of the Patriarchate of Istanbul.pdf