The Publishing activities of Hamazkayin were launched in Beirut 1931 , when the Hamazkayin Printing House was established in the Djemaran. The first work to be printed was Djemaran’s platform and bylaws. The printing house did not own a printing press then. Staff members were only able to type and proof read at the Djemaran.
The overloaded budget of Djemaran hindered publishing projects. Nigol Aghpalian, one of Hamazkayin’s founders, suggested a way out. After paying off Djemaran, he became the printing house’s new owner so as to guarantee the continuation of its activities. The printing house was named “Houis” (“Hope”) and continued publishing school textbooks and other publications.
In 1944, the printing house started publishing “Akos” (“Furrow”), the Djemaran alumni’s periodical. In 1946, Levon Shant’s complete works were published. In 1947, following Nigol Aghpalian’s death and according to his will, the printing house once again became the property of Hamazkayin. Following a decision by the Central Committee, it was renamed “Hamazkayin Publishing House.” In 1948, Kasbar Ipegian, another member of the Central Committee, moved his managing secretary offices to the printing house. He organized the Hamazkayin bookstore and the book-distribution and marketing activities. Since then publications include literary books, children’s and youth books, as well as memoirs and books on party ideology and beliefs.
With some achievements and disappointments, the printing house continued its publishing activities until 1965. In that year, due to the donations of Vahe Sethian, the president of the Central Committee and later its president emeritus, the publishing house possessed its own modern equipment.
After operating in this way for some time, Vahe Sethian bestowed the printing house with its equipment to Hamazkayin and its management. The Central Committee named it the “Hamazkayin Vahe Sethian Printing House.”
In 1965, Yervant Monofarian was appointed as the director of the printing house.
In 1975, following the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War and the division of Beirut into Eastern and Western sides, the printing house gradually encountered major difficulties. Finally, between 1988 and 1989 the printing house moved to the Shaghzoian Center in Bourj Hamoud. Hamazkayin’s small bookstore also relocated to the Shaghzoian Center.
In 1998, Hagop Havatian was appointed managing director of Hamazkayin publications and the publishing house. A board of trustees appointed by the Central Committee closely follows the general process of publishing activities.
After buying the equipment of the French printing house “Emprimar” in 2003 and following the complete renovation of the premises of the printing house, today Hamazkayin boasts wide publishing possibilities. The printing house has an experienced and active staff.
Aside from Hamazkayin’s publishing projects, the printing house also functions in a commercial sense as it satisfies the demands of the market.
The printing house’s book distribution currently has a wider reach, because it collaborates with an important number of Armenian educational and cultural institutions and book-distribution centers overseas. An online bookstore has already been launched. It provides information on all Hamazkayin publications with linked details and directions.
Book exhibitions and travel vending are one of the main objectives of the book-distribution project. That is to bring books in Armenian to the Armenian reader.