WASHINGTON— On Thursday, July 30, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues sent a letter to Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. It urged to change the Library of Congress’s subject heading for the Armenian Genocide from “Armenian massacres, 1915-1923” to “Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923.”
The letter was sent by the Co-Chairs of the Armenian Caucus: Representative Adam Schiff of California, Representative Frank Palllone, Jr. of New Jersey, Representative Jackie Speier of California, and Representative Gus Bilirakis of Florida.
It stated: “The Library of Congress’s role is not to conduct foreign policy or diplomacy. It is to serve as a center of research and knowledge for Congress, America, and the world. And in that capacity, the Library must be guided by principles of scholarship and truth, not by the haphazard application of geopolitical concerns. On that account, there is no serious historical debate about whether the extermination of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1915 meets the criteria for genocide. The scholarly consensus around the Armenian Genocide is clear. And holdings of the Library of Congress itself are a clear testament to the overwhelming evidence of genocide, including many scholarly works on the subject as well as collections of contemporaneous witness and survivor accounts.”
The House and Senate passed resolutions with bipartisan consensus to acknowledge and commemorate the Armenian Genocide in 2019.
“The resolutions leave no doubt about Congress’s intention and views about the fact of the genocide. There is no possible basis for the Library of Congress, as an institution that exists within the legislative branch, not to follow suit. It is both the proper thing to do and, more importantly, the historically and morally right thing to do. The Congress, at long last, has made clear we will not be party to genocide denial, and the Library must do the same,” added the letter.