Yerevan is home to the largest in the region repository of ancient manuscripts – the Scientific Research Institute named after Mesrop Mashtots or Matenadaran. It was founded in 1920 on the base of the literary collection of the Matenadaran of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. In 1959, it was reorganized in a newly built building in Yerevan. There is a museum operating in the institute, where you can find ancient manuscripts in Armenian, Georgian, Latin, Russian, Japanese and other languages. The exhibited collection includes the largest surviving Armenian manuscript “Msho Charantir” (Homilies of Mush) dating back to the 13th century which weights 28 kg, and the smallest church calendar of 1434, weighing 19 gr only.
The visit to the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts must be arranged in advance with an accompanying person. The entrance for the visitors with mobility impairments using wheelchair is separate, that’s why the date and time should be arranged in advance. Special toilet rooms are located in another section, which makes it difficult to visit without an accompanying person.