Library of Congress Corrects ‘Armenian Massacres’ Heading to ‘Armenian Genocide’


The Library of Congress corrected its “Armenian Massacres subject heading to “Armenian Genocide”

Success of ANCA Campaign Will Cascade through Thousands of Libraries across America and around the World

WASHINGTON—A campaign, launched by the Armenian National Committee of America and strongly backed by key Congressional allies, resulted, this week, in a determination by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, that books and other resources currently cataloged under the subject heading “Armenian Massacres” will be referenced as the “Armenian Genocide.”

“This long-overdue correction by the Library of Congress – a principled, fact-based stand for the integrity of American institutions against malign foreign influence – comes at a particularly meaningful moment for Americans of Armenian heritage,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We see today the painful, real-world results of American leaders having allowed Turkey to bully our country into a century of silence on the Armenian Genocide. Even today – as Ankara and Baku openly seek to complete the destruction of the Armenian homeland – our government remains all too fearful of truth-telling to Erdogan and Aliyev. That has to end.”

Bipartisan letters to the Library of Congress calling for this change were spearheaded in the U.S. House by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Jackie Speier (C-CA) and in the Senate by Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

In a December 4, 2019 letter to Dr. Hayden, the ANCA recommended changing the terminology for the Library of Congress Subject Heading from “Armenian Massacres, 1915-1923″ to: “Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923,” in the wake of the near-unanimous passage of H.Res.296 (405-11) by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 29th of last year (the Senate passed an identical resolution, S.Res.150 (100-0) on December 12th.

The University of California – Los Angeles, one of America’s leading research libraries – played a vital role in this change, by submitting a formal request to the Library of Congress last month. The UCLA request was echoed by the ANCA in its own submission.

Over the past several months, thousands of community advocates weighed in directly with the Library of Congress and their Members of Congress via a dedicated portal on the ANCA website.

Congressional leaders welcomed the Library of Congress decision to change the Armenian massacres subject heading and properly characterize the Armenian Genocide.

“It is welcome news that the Library Congress, at our urging, will now use the historically accurate term ‘Armenian Genocide.’ This is one further step in overcoming the decades-long campaign of denial that has silenced too many about the murder of 1.5 million Armenians,” said Rep. Schiff. “This recognition is particularly meaningful at a time when the genocide of a century ago seems all too immediate, as Azerbaijan and Turkey are committing atrocities right now in Artsakh.”

“I am glad that the Library of Congress has chosen to honor the Armenian Caucus’s request to change the subject heading to match the historical fact that the Ottoman Turks perpetrated a genocidal campaign in the early 20th century that systemically and ruthlessly targeted Armenians,” said Rep. Pallone. “This change establishes the categorization that the Armenian Genocide deserves to match the historical record and helps set an example for scholars worldwide. The Library’s change follows the important precedent set by Congress last year when both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions commemorating the Armenian Genocide.”

“I am glad to see the Library of Congress will finally recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was; a genocide,” said Rep. Bilirakis. “For decades there has been a campaign of denial that silenced any attempt at recognizing the 1.5 million Armenian lives that were lost. While our work is not done, this is an incredible step as we work towards international recognition of the atrocities that were committed by Turkey only a century ago.”

“Last year I was proud to co-lead the historic House resolution to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide, along with the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Armenian Caucus,” Rep. Speier said. “As an institution founded on the principles of scholarship and learning, it is imperative that the Library not shy away from the truth. I am encouraged to see the Library correct its research headings to adhere to historical accuracy – and to properly acknowledge the murder of 1.5 million Armenians at the hand of the Ottoman Empire.”

“The use of the term ‘Armenian Genocide’ is necessary to paint an accurate picture of history and rightly honor the victims of this atrocity,” said Rep. Titus. “I am grateful that the Library of Congress will no longer conceal the truth about these horrific crimes. The Trump Administration should do the same.”


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  1. sylva portoian,MD said:

    From my poetry book ” My Son-My Sun, Chants Ann, Obama’s Mother” (2011)
    Which already entered the Congress Library a few years ago…
    Most of my poems about genocide…
    We asked P. Obama to recognize our cause …
    But he betrayed us 9 times, I repeat 9 times … without any apology …
    He thinks we are weak, we don’t have oil to sell …
    We are well known to have the highest dignity…
    Every honest human knows our principles…
    We are born to save humanity
    and leave in Peace…

    Playwright and Prophet of The Armenian Genocide.

    “Shakespeare the god of plays;
    I heartily call him to place his play better than calling Saints,
    They can no longer tolerate hearing each wounded sounds!”

    I wish Shakespeare saw these massacres from the rear,
    A catalyst, perhaps, for him to perform plays for his peers;
    Then all Anglo-Saxons would intellectually hark,
    Declaring, “Genocide was real in heaven’s park!”
    Proof left alone so long, needed our injured pens.
    As all creatures declined to utter even a respectful phrase.
    Skills paralyzed . . . unable even
    To collect the innocent’s smashed skulls.
    Those who ended their lethargic hearts
    By pounding their feet soundless on
    The cultured Istanbul’s pavements . . .
    Sighing under their artful bridges . . .
    A place alleged to be civilized!

    After all, most of our ancestors are dying away . . .
    Our scars must guide us to conquer the rocked ways.

    July 31, 2010

  2. Andrew Tashjian MD said:

    Hey. Sending letters and calling and….whatever,
    It’s about time they corrected a glaring need, or, inconsistency.
    “keep those letters and cards coming, folks” ( late nite shows )