Bibliographic studies on sources of history culture

Research in this field aims to assess, record, and make known to interested researchers the collections of source materials related to various aspects of Islamic history and culture found in libraries, archives and private collections worldwide. These materials include official documents, manuscript works, books and periodicals, and other types of documentation.

One of the first such publications produced by the Centre was titled Muslim Pious Foundations and Real Estates in Palestine. It contains information which was deciphered and processed from a sixteenth-century Ottoman state register pertaining to charitable foundations and Muslim properties in the five regions of Palestine: Al-Quds, Gaza, Safad, Nablus and Ajlun. The Introduction explains the methodology, the nature of the language used in the documents and explanatory notes about the terms used for weights, distances and money. The main part consists of an index of the foundations and properties which played a role in public education and welfare activities.

A catalogue titled Ottoman Yearbooks (Salnames and Nevsals), compiled by Mr. Hasan Duman (ex-Director of Beyazit Library, Istanbul) at the request of IRCICA, was published in 1982. It covers the state and provincial yearbooks (salnames) which were issued by the Ottoman State between 1847 and 1918. These yearbooks contain general and specific information on central and provincial affairs of the Ottoman State. Therefore, they are references par excellence on the periods they cover.

A Guidebook of the Ottoman Archives, prepared by IRCICA and published in 1986 with the cooperation of the Centre for Archives and Manuscripts, University of Jordan is the first and still the only book in Arabic on the subject. It gives the history of the Ottoman Archives attached to the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, describes the collections, classification systems and regulations. It contains a bibliography and a glossary of Ottoman archival terms.

A Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Koprulu Library in Istanbul was prepared by the Centre’s Department of Bibliographies and Manuscripts and published in three volumes (1986). It covers approximately 1,000 original manuscripts and lists their copies available in the collections of 129 major libraries of Turkey. The number of titles of manuscripts in the catalogue total 3,500. These works are related to various fields of science and learning, including Quranic studies, history, philosophy, natural sciences and mathematics.

The Union Catalogue of Periodicals in Arabic Script (1828-1928) published in 1986 was prepared by Mr. Hasan Duman (ex-Director of Beyazit Library, Istanbul) at IRCICA’s request. Its contents reflect developments related to printing activities in the Muslim world. It contains information on 1804 titles of periodicals in various languages all written in the Arabic script. Annotations are included to indicate the libraries where these publications are found and their available copies. A number of indexes complete the catalogue.

A catalogue of Ottoman Postal Stamps, prepared by Dr. Hidayet Y. Nuhoglu and Mr. Talip Mert (IRCICA), was published in 1990. It contains information and the reproductions of more than 2,000 postal stamps hat were used by the Ottoman Postal Administration from 1910-1918. It is a useful source for philatelists and researchers interested in the history of urbanisation, demographic movements, trade history, social geography, and military history.

A Catalogue of the Islamic Manuscripts in Cyprus was published by İSAR in 1995. The catalogue has a preface by President Rauf Denktas. It was prepared by the Centre’s staff with the cooperation of Mr. Mustafa Hasim Altan, Director of the National Archives and Research Centre of Northern Cyprus. It covers 2255 manuscripts which are located in the collections of Sultan Mahmud II Library, Selimiye Mosque, Laleli Mosque and the National Archives of Northern Cyprus. The number of Arabic manuscripts included in the catalogue is 1948, Turkish manuscripts 211, and Persian manuscripts 96.

A reference book on the collections of manuscripts found in the libraries of Turkey, titled Bibliography on Manuscript Libraries in Turkey and Publications on the Manuscripts Located in these Libraries, was compiled by Mrs. Mihin Lugal, IRCICA’s expert librarian, and Mrs. Nimet Bayraktar, an experienced librarian from outside the Centre. The book was published in 1995. It is expected to serve as a guidebook for libraries which contain manuscripts, because in addition to the bibliographic information about the manuscripts, it contains information about each library and a bibliography of the publications about these libraries.

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