In 2010, German historians of Armenian origin Vahe Tashchyan and Elke Hartman created the “Houshamadyan” (Յուշամատեան, a “Book of Memories”) website, a documentary and historical project for the reconstruction of the life of the Armenians in the Ottoman Turkey.
“Houshamadyan” is a non-profit scientific organization. Their project covers all aspects of the history of the Armenians living in 3000 cities and villages of the Ottoman Empire, including their social and everyday life, dialects, music, literature, material culture, etc.
The site hosts a large amount of information: documents, photographs, periodicals, unpublished notes, artifacts, music, culinary recipes of various regions, and generally everything that describes different aspects of the life of the Armenian population. This data is of immense historical value for not only the authors of the project but also for us.
According to the website, this is a long-term project, and the authors are convinced that the Internet is the most accessible and practical means of fully carrying out the work needed to restore historical memory.
The goal is interactivity: every visitor can express his desires, make adjustments, and share the facts like photos, books, memories, and other information. Any data and scanned photos can be sent to the e-mail address specified in the on-site contacts.
The authors do not post materials on the Armenian Genocide. Their goal is to show the daily Armenian life with its traditions, work, holidays, etc.
The site with a developed design and convenient navigation is available in Armenian, English, and Turkish.
The historian Elke Hartman, whose ancestors on the mother’s line come from Marash, believes that an interactive website can become a new bridge for communication between different generations of Armenians as well as other peoples.