Guide to the Yervand Markarian Collection, 1933-1996

Special Collections & Archives

Oviatt Library

California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
URL: http://library.csun.edu/SCA
Email: oviattsca@csun.edu
Phone: (818) 677-2832
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Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Yervand Markarian Collection
Dates: 1933-1996
Identification: OCH/YMC
Creator: Markarian, Yervand
Physical Description: 0.08 linear feet
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Old China Hands Archives
Abstract: Yervand Markarian was born in Harbin, China, to Armenian refugees, and he grew up in Tientsin where his father ran a billiards hall. He attended St. Louis College in Tientsin, and in 1939 volunteered to fight in World War II with the French Foreign Legion. After serving some time working as a police officer in the French Concession in Shanghai, he opened a Russian restaurant, Kavkaz, which served as the headquarters for the American forces after World War II. After the Communist takeover Markarian emigrated to Brazil, and eventually came to settle in the Los Angeles area. The collection consists of a class photograph from 1933, and a VHS videotape of a television interview given by Markarian about his life and self-published autobiography, Kavkaz.

Biographical Information:

Yervand Markarian was born in Harbin, China, to Armenian refugees. He grew up in Tientsin, where his father ran a billiards hall and he attended St. Louis College. In 1939, Markarian volunteered to fight in World War II with the French Foreign Legion. After his term of service, he was sent to Shanghai, where he served in the Russian regiment of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps before starting a position as a police officer for the French Concession.
As the war intensified, Markarian’s father-in-law asked him to leave the police force, and offered to set him up with a partnership in a restaurant in Shanghai. Markarian took the offer, and opened the restaurant, Kavkaz, serving Russian food in the mid-1940s. Shortly thereafter, the war ended, and Markarian offered the restaurant as a space for the American military to use as their headquarters. While the American soldiers proved to be a boon to business, the success of the restaurant dwindled when the Communists took over in 1949.
At this point Markarian began applying for visas to Australia and the United States, but his applications were rejected. He then applied to an international refugee organization, who obtained visas for his family to emigrate to Brazil.
Through working with the American Consulate, he was able to get a job in Brazil working at a Ford Motor Company factory, where he worked in the parts and accessories department before transferring to the claims department. He eventually moved to the United States and settled in the Los Angeles area.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Photographic material
Video recordings

Administrative Information

Processing Information:

Jessica Geiser, 2013

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], [date], Yervand Markarian Collection , Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

Related Materials:

Scope and Contents

The Yervand Markarian Collection consists of a class photograph from 1933, and a VHS videotape of a television interview given by Markarian about his life and self-published autobiography, Kavkaz.

Collection Contents

Box 1, Item 1

Class Photograph, 1933

Box 1, Item 2

Business Card for Markarian's Book Kavkaz, 1996

Box 1, Item 3

Recording of an Interview with Markarian for Public Access Show, "Our Own Legacy", ca. 1996