Periodicals of Hakkı Tarık Us Collection

This digital collection of Hakkı Tarık Us periodicals is a collaborative project of the Beyazıt State Library, and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The Hakkı Tarık Us Collection -currently housed at the Beyazıt State Library in Istanbul- includes Ottoman periodicals,  books, yearbooks, almanacs and salname’s. The collection was named after its owner, Mr. Hakkı Tarık Us (1889-1956), and kept in an independent library after his passing. Between 2003 and 2010, the Beyazıt State Library, and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies proceeded to the cataloguing, digitization, and publication of 1366 periodicals.

Note that the files are in DjVu format, which is an open-source alternative to Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. In order to open them, visitors will need to download the DjVuLibre program.

The website is in English.

 

A database for Ottoman Inscriptions

ottomaninscriptions-database-for-ottoman-inscriptions-osmanli-kitabeleri-projesiThe Database for Ottoman Inscriptions (DOI) is “a searchable digital database comprising information about, as well as transliterations and pictures of, all the Turkish, Arabic and Persian architectural inscriptions created in the Ottoman lands during Ottoman times. While tombstone inscriptions are not included in this database, the database does incorporate those inscription texts which were composed but for one reason or another were not actually carved onto a stone; and also, inscriptions that have not survived the passage of time, but which are available to us in the “chronogram” sections of poetry collections. Incorporating these chronograms will give researchers the opportunity to evaluate inscriptions which were otherwise long lost.

One of the main impetuses for this project was that we ourselves sadly witnessed the disappearance of many Ottoman inscriptions over the short period of a few decades in Turkey or elsewhere. The fact that a number of inscriptions were damaged, lost or stolen was highly alarming and encouraged us to undertake this immense project. Many colleagues warned us about the enormity of the material to be covered. However, the project editors believe that even if this project is not able to immediately achieve the goal of covering every single inscription, a database of Ottoman inscriptions is long due.

The starting point of the project is the systematic recording of the inscriptions of Istanbul. Bursa and Edirne. Still, since the editors have decided to begin by entering previously published data into the database, researchers may encounter entries on inscriptions from cities other than Istanbul as well. For our methodology in collecting the inscriptions, click here.

The Database of Ottoman Inscriptions (DOI) is searchable by the benefactor’s name, the location of the building containing the inscription, and the date of construction, as well the types of script or poem. As such, the database represents an enormous resource for researchers who are conducting studies in the fields of Ottoman history, art history, philology, prosopography, etc. The editors hope that this data will bring new and fresh approaches to the aforementioned fields. To read the instructions on how to use the database, please click here.

H. Aynur, K. Hayashi, H. Karateke (eds.), http://www.ottomaninscriptions.com/; accessed on 03.01.2017.

Digital Scriptorium

Digital Scriptorium (DS) is a partnership between approximately forty American Libraries, Museums, and Associations housing collections of manuscripts from the Middle-Ages and Renaissance. A list of participating institutions can be found here. Governance is ensured by an Executive Director, and a Board of Directors, and funding comes from membership dues.

Digital Scriptorum offers an online union catalog allowing the discovery of pre-modern resources scattered across the world. Thanks to a shared metadata schema, the catalogue allows the searching of all holdings. Both the basic search and the advanced search offer refining options in the left-hand-side menu such as Language or Location. Visitors will note that descriptive records include persistent URLs in order to encourage direct citation, and sometimes links to the websites and/or digital repositories of the materials’ home institutions.

Digital Scriptorum also offers a digital image repository making those pre-modern manuscripts openly accessible to scholars, students, booksellers, collectors, and the general public. Images can be used under certain restrictions which can be found on the Using the Images page.

The website is in English.

The Gunnar Jarring Collection of Central Eurasia

indexThe Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) Collection of Central Eurasia publications consists of approximately 5,000 volumes including printed books from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, catalogues, and maps. The collection also counts more than 3,000 offprints, most of which signed by their authors with dedication inscriptions to their colleague and friend, Ambassador or Professor Jarring. Besides the travelogues and related literature, linguistic treatises and dictionaries for a great number of languages can be found in the collection, as well as books on history, religion, literature and several other disciplines.

The Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection is part of a digitization project initially funded by the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2011–2014), conducted in cooperation with the Sven Hedin Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and at a global level with the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) which is a network coordinating databases for collections from the Eastern Silk Road. Rare and fragile manuscripts and printed matters as well as other objects, such as photos, maps and drawings in the Jarring Collection at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII) have been digitized for storage and presented on this website.

Parallel to his career as a top diplomat in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) entertained a life-long academic career devoted to the Turkic world in general and Eastern Turkestan in particular. A large part of his own private library consisted of publications on Central Eurasia, both from the region itself and from other parts of the world, not least the former Soviet Union, where Jarring was Ambassador from 1964 to 1973. All of the most well-known accounts of expeditions to Inner Asia can be found in this collection along with a great number of less known accounts, some of which are very rare and accessible at just a few or perhaps even no other libraries in the world.

So far, two parts of the collection have been digitized, and are continuously updated:

If the materials are in numerous languages, the website is in English.

Ankara Üniversitesi Gazeteler Veri Tabanı

Ankara Üniversitesi Gazeteler Veri Tabanı is a modest but nevertheless interesting digital collection of digitized Turkish newspapers published at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Examples of titles included in the collection are: Cumhuriyet, Hakimiyet-i Milliye, Tercüman-ı Hakikat, or Zaman.

At the time of our visit, the collection counted eighteen titles accessible from the main page (click on the title). We were not able to find a description of the project specifying if the collection is a continually updated resource or if it is complete as is.

Issues can be either read or downloaded in PDF format. And a search tool (keyword, title, and author fields) available at the top of each page allows for basic navigation.

Although very simple, this website remains valuable given the content it provides access to. The interface is available in Turkish only.

Biblio Pera: the online union catalogue of international research centers in Turkey

Supported by Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), and developed by Koç University Suna Kiraç Library, BiblioPera is the online union catalogue of the Libraries of nine international Research Centers located in Beyoglu, Istanbul:

bibliopera-beyoglu-research-centers-networkNot only BiblioPera brings those multilingual collections together, but also, it aims at promoting historical, archaeological, and social scientific research on Turkey, and providing a unique virtual environment for scholars, research center staff, and librarians to share ideas, experiences, and collaborate on new projects, for scientific and cultural production.

BiblioPera allows to search more than 500,000 print materials, by title, author, subject, publisher, keyword and ISBN. Results can further be refined by library, language, and year of publication.

The website interface is available in Turkish and English.

al-hakawati.net

al-hakawati Arab Cultural Trust is an not for profit educational organization based in the United Sates and Lebanon aiming at telling the story of Arab heritage and civilization through folktales, and fairy tales from the Arab and Islamic heritage, biographies of personalities ancient to modern, artists and their arts, architecture, the environment and religions.

al-hakawatiContent published on al-hakawati content originates from the 22 states members of the Arab League, and can be browsed/accessed via the ten following sections:

  • Stories and Tales
  • Personalities
  • States
  • Cities and Regions
  • Civilizations
  • Arts and Artists
  • Histories and Culture
  • Environment
  • Architecture
  • Religions.

The section Stories and Tales will particularly appeal to Arabic language learners in search of easy texts to practice their reading skills: the Children Literature collection is quite interesting. Similarly, amateurs interested in Arab and Islamic Heritage will find valuable resources on different topics. However, due to the lack of accurate citation and attribution of writings, academics and scholars will not be able to use content published on al-hakawati. The website is available in English and Arabic

SALT Research digital collections

SALT Research comprises a specialized library, and an archive of physical and digital sources and documents on visual practices, the built environment, social life and economic history.

Collections at SALT Research focus on the period from the late 19th century to the present day with an emphasis on Turkey -primarily Istanbul- and the geographies of the Southeast Mediterranean and Southeast Europe.

The collections include visual and textual sources and documents on the art history of Turkey post 1950, the development of architecture and design in Turkey since the beginning of the 20th century, and the transformations in society and the region from the last century of the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic up until the 1990s.

SALT Research collections can be browsed and/or accessed (for digitized items) on the website:salt-arastirma-arama

The website interface is bilingual Turkish/English.

Archnet

Launched in 2002, Archnet is the world’s largest open access architectural library focusing on Muslim societies. A shared initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet aims at providing easy access to scholarly articles, data and original research that can be used for teaching, scholarship, and professional work in the fields of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design in the Muslim worlds. Archnet is a continually growing resource, thanks to numerous donations of historic archives and documentation. In sum, “Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam.”

archnetArchnet is a fully searchable database offering different search options:

  • the Research page allows visitors to do a text search (basic or advanced) applying geographical and time filters
  • the Timeline allows to visualize “a linear outline of the history of art, architecture and urbanism in Muslim societies”
  • materials grouped in collections such as Women in Architecture, Tangier Then and Now, or Hassan Fathy can be accessed directly via the Collections page
  • additional resources and pedagogical tools are also made available through the Resources and Pedagogy pages.

The website is in English.

New acquisition: al-Manhal, a database of Arabic books & journals

McGill Library has now subscribed to the Islamic Studies Collection of AlManhal database which gives access to thousands of electronic scholarly books and journals in Arabic. The collection is full-text searchable in English and in Arabic, and browsable by subject, by title or by publisher. Documents can be read online, listened to, downloaded in PDF, or printed. And the reader offers interesting features such as sharing, annotating, citing or highlighting the text. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

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