Mirzoyan Library – Yerevan, Armenia - Atlas Obscura

Mirzoyan Library

One man’s collection of photography books has transformed into a charming exhibition space. 


When award-winning photographer Karen Mirzoyan realized there was nowhere in Armenia for photographers to immerse themselves in photography or access excellent books on the subject, he decided to open up his personal collection of 100 fine photography books to the public. That is how Mirzoyan Library was born.

Mirzoyan decided to rent a space in a historic old courtyard-style house with creaky wooden balconies and stairs—the kind that were once quite common in Yerevan but today are nearly all gone. He frugally furnished the building with old and repurposed furniture to match the setting. Since its opening, the space has proven to be a big hit. It’s an oasis of quiet and art in the bustling city center.

Well-known photographers have visited the library and had exhibitions there. They and others have helped expand the book collection so it now includes more than 600 books. The collection became so large the library had to expand into another space in the courtyard below.

Know Before You Go

The library is free to use, but books cannot leave the premises. The space also doubles as a small cafe.

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