Our Team


Ruth Thomasian, Founder and President

Ruth Thomasian, photo archivist and social historian, founded Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives in 1975 out of her practical need for visual information to help her costume Armenian plays set in the homeland. Ruth quickly discovered that photographs and the stories their owners told her were a valuable source of cultural heritage and social history.


Now, as Founder and President, she is focusing her attention on fundraising for Project SAVE Archives future.  She is still, however, a photo collector at heart, and will be happy to talk to anyone about original photos they would like to donate to Project SAVE.

Ruth holds a BA in history from Albion College, and an MS in Communications Management from Simmons College. 

Arto Vaun, Executive Director

A native of Boston, Dr. Arto Vaun was most recently Assistant Professor and Chair of the English and Communications BA program at the American University of Armenia (AUA), where he also founded and directed the Center for Creative Writing. He studied English Literature, Creative Writing, and Armenian Studies at UMass Boston, Harvard University, and Glasgow University. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Huddersfield University.


Other than Armenia, Vaun has lived and worked in the UK, Beirut, and Berlin. As a poet and musician, he has published and performed widely. Vaun has utilized photography not only in his academic career but also in his art. Most recently, his experimental video installation, "The Transgression of Light'', was exhibited at the Buyrakan Observatory in Armenia and chosen as an official selection at the Revelation International Film Festival in Perth, Australia and the Helios Sun Poetry Film Festival in Mexico City.

Marta Fodor, Photo Archivist

Marta holds a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a Master in Library Science from Queens College, CUNY. She is an SAA certified Digital Archives Specialist. Marta is also a photographer, and has a deep understanding of how photographs tell and preserve stories. 

Margaret Eckstein, Administrative & Archives Assistant 

Margaret holds a bachelor's degree in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has a background in photography. Her academic focus is on the digitization of archival materials as well as the preservation of digital archives. She is passionate and deeply committed to ensuring the accessibility of archival materials for future generations.