The Matendaran (Armenian: Մատենադարան) is one of the oldest and riches manuscript archives in the world. Its collection is over 23000 manuscripts and scrolls and over 500000 different documents. The manuscripts cover practically all areas of ancient, medieval and new Armenian science and culture: history, geography, astrology, music, grammar, rhetoric, philology, philosophy, law, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, literature etc. The majority of manuscripts are in Armenian, however there some artifacts in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, Indian and other languages.
The Matendaran is a museum, repository of manuscripts and a research institute. Its official name is Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. Mesrop Mashtots (362 – 440 AD) is the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. He was an early medieval Armenian linguist, composer, theologian, public official and hymnologist. The invention of the Armenian alphabet circa 405 AD was a fundamental step in strengthening Armenian national identity. The statue of Mesrop Mashtots stands in front of the building of the Matendaran in Yerevan.