The Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island wishes to digitize documents that date back to the 1890’s that are currently physically located in the three (3) Rhode Island Armenian churches. These are handwritten in Western Armenian and contain documentation from different compatriotic and other organizations that were formed some of which contain census type information. Digitization is needed to preserve them. Transcription and translation is needed to provide primary source resources for historical and genealogy research.
This is a fairly large project, with approximately 37 journals and ledgers identified at Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church alone.
An example of one of the journals that was used as a pilot follows: There are 37 pages total: Pages 1-12 narrative text (12 pages), pages 13-16 blank, pages 17-37 inventory style text(21 pages)
The project involved two deliverables:
- Transcription of the handwritten Western Armenian script into Armenian typed text into a Microsoft Word document.
- Translation of the content into English as a Microsoft Word document.
Results: Bylaws of a National Library which was established in 1895. There are a number of corresponding journals and ledgers that include member names, leadership and meeting minutes over a period of approximately 10 years. This can become one source of census information regarding the early Armenian immigrants in Rhode Island, hence one of the building blocks that will help create a documented history of Armenian immigrants who migrated to Rhode Island from Western Armenia trying to escape from religious and economic persecution.