Ifpo & IFJ
Thursday, Mar. 2
Critical Conversations Panel “Palestine-Israel in the Trump Era”
with Rashid Khalidi, Sherene Seikaly, and Brown Faculty J. Brian Atwood and Omer Bartov. Moderator: Beshara Doumani
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street
Dinner for Critical Conversations panel speakers and workshop presenters at Brown Faculty Club
Shuttle Faculty Club to Biltmore hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence
Friday, March 3
8:15 and 8:25 a.m.
Transfers for presenters from Biltmore hotel to Watson Institute
Registration and continental breakfast
9:00–9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
9:30 -11:15 a.m.
Panel 1: Archival Landscapes
Salim Tamari: The 1948 War: New Trends in Palestinian Historiography
Sherene Seikaly: Autobiography, the Archive, and the Question of Palestine
Commentator: Rashid Khalidi
11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Coffee Break
11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m.
Panel 2: Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury: Memory, Settler Colonial Archive and the Representation of Palestinian Villages
Gadi al-Gazi: Profits of Military Rule
Commentator: Caroline Elkins
1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Lunch for workshop presenters at the Sharpe Refectory
Group photograph Sharpe Refectory Steps
3:00 – 4:45 p.m.:
Panel 3: Literature, the Body, and the Politics of Memory
Sinan Antoon: Absence, Memory, and Return in Darwish’s Work
Commentator: Emily Drumsta
4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Coffee Break
5:00-6:00 p.m. Open Discussion
6:00-6:15 p.m. Walk to the Pembroke Center, 172 Meeting Street, Providence, RI 02912
6:15 p.m. Opening reception for Exhibition
Curated by Issam Nassar and Ariella Azoulay
Time Machine: Stereoscopic Views from Palestine 1900
7:35 and 7:45 p.m.
Transfers for workshop presenters to Biltmore hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI
Private dinner for workshop presenters at Biltmore Hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI
Saturday, March 4
8:25 and 8:35 a.m. Transfers for presenters from hotel to Watson Institute
8:45-9:15 a.m. Continental breakfast
Panel 4: Oral history and the Politics of Decolonization
Hana Sleiman and Kaoukab Chebaro (presented by Sleiman): The Palestinian Oral History Archive at AUB
Abdel Razzaq Takriti : Digital Histories of the Underground: Teaching the Palestinian Revolution
Commentator: Marianne Hirsch
11:00-11:15 a.m. Coffee break
11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m:
Panel 5: Rethinking Archives
Ann Stoler: On archiving as dissensus
Ariella Azoulay: No Archival Turn
Brinkley Messick: Sharīʿa, Property, Nakba
Commentator: Beshara Doumani
1:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.:
Working lunch for presenters
End of Formal Program and Departures
2:45 p.m. Transfers for presenters from workshop venue to hotel
Vincent Lemire will join next Annual Congress of the French Society of Urban History (19-20 January 2017) with a presentation about “Gouverner Jérusalem, entre souverainetés impériales, réformes municipales et revendications nationales (1867-1967)”.
The full program is available here.
Moving Ahead: On the Road to AtoM Web Platform
The first annual workshop of the ERC project Open Jerusalem will be held in the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (Istanbul) on 16-18 January 2017.
The workshop is not open to the public.
Stéphane Ancel, Antonella Di Domenico, Roberto Mazza and Maria Chiara Rioli are among the speakers at the workshop organised by the French School in Rome (September 29-30 2016) on the Italian consulates during the “long Risorgimento” (18th-19th century).
They will present their work on the fond of the Italian Consulate in Jerusalem, aiming at inventorying and analysing these undisclosed records, in the framework of the partnership between Open Jerusalem and the Historical Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
See the full programme here.
7ème séance / 7th session : Ethiopia in Open Jerusalem ERC-Project: Transnational Issues of Ongoing Researches and Inquiries, par / by Vincent Lemire (UPEM-ACP/Open Jerusalem Project Director) & Dr. Stéphane Ancel (IMAF/Open Jerusalem Project Member)
Mercredi 13 mai 2015, 14h-17h, Bibliothèque d’études éthiopiennes Berhanou Abebe (CFEE) / Wednesday 13th May 2015, 2-5 PM, Berhanou Abebe Library of Ethiopian Studies (CFEE).
Ethiopia in Open Jerusalem ERC-Project: Transnational Issues of Ongoing Researches and Inquiries
Even if the tie between Jerusalem and Ethiopia is ancient, the Ethiopian community is usually not included in historical works concerning Jerusalem. “Open Jerusalem” project and its members are, on the contrary persuaded of the absolute need to include Ethiopia and Ethiopians in Jerusalem history. The Open Jerusalem project (full title: “Opening Jerusalem Archives: for a shared and connected history of citadinité in the Holy City-1840-1940”) aims at studying the urban society of Jerusalem from 1840 to 1940. Supported and funded by the European Union (EU), through the European Council of Research (ERC), this project focuses on local administrative archives and on all demographic segments of the Holy City’s population from 1840 to 1940. Presented by Dr. Vincent Lemire, director of the project and specialist of Jerusalem contemporary history, and by Dr. Stéphane Ancel, specialist of Ethiopian contemporary history, this paper aims at discussing the main issues of the project, specially the transnational issues about researches and inquiries of documents concerning Ethiopian community in Jerusalem.
Photo: Monastery of Däbrä Gännät Kidanä Mehrät, Jerusalem (S. Ancel)
Ouvrir les archives : enjeux, débats, conflits
Archives Nationales (site de Pierrefitte-sur-Seine) : 13-14 avril 2015
Organisateurs : Stéphane Péquignot (EPHE), Yann Potin (Archives Nationales)
Inscrites dans le programme « conflits d’archives en Méditerranée (2012-2015) » (Casa de Velázquez, Ecole française d’Athènes, Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes), ces deux journées d’études sont l’occasion d’une réflexion collective et comparatiste sur les ouvertures d’archives. Dans une perspective de longue durée réunissant archivistes, juristes et historiens spécialistes de la France, de la péninsule Ibérique et de Jérusalem, les conflits liés aux ouvertures d’archives seront d’abord envisagés comme une affaire de droit(s). Et ce depuis les conditions concrètes des ouvertures d’archives où surgissent des conflits, jusqu’aux acteurs impliqués et aux motivations liées à la valeur symbolique, politique, voire fondatrice prêtée aux archives. Il s’agit de comprendre dans quelle mesure les luttes menées en vue de leur plus grande accessibilité laissent des traces dans le fonctionnement et le rôle ultérieur des archives. Certaines ouvertures s’avèrent problématiques, inachevées, ou peuvent être remises en cause, en raison notamment de changements politiques. Tout en signifiant métaphoriquement une forme de libération par l’accès à ce qui était auparavant tenu au secret, « l’ouverture des archives » peut ainsi, de fait, constituer un compromis précaire entre des protagonistes aux intérêts divergents. En ouvrant les archives, met-on véritablement un terme définitif aux conflits qu’elles suscitent ? Accueillie dans le nouveau site des Archives nationales, à Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, deux ans après son ouverture au public en janvier 2013, la rencontre se terminera par une table ronde et un débat qui se proposent d’élargir la question de l’ouverture à toutes les formes contemporaines de communicabilité et de médiation de la matière « archives ».
Lundi 13 avril
9h. Accueil par Françoise Banat-Berger, directrice des Archives nationales
Ouverture : Stéphane Michonneau (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid)
Introduction : Stéphane Péquignot (EPHE, SAPRAT, Paris)
– présidence : Stéphane Péquignot (EPHE, SAPRAT, Paris)
9h30 Véronique Lamazou-Duplan (université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour) : Ouverture sous contrôle. Les archives de Foix au début du XVe siècle
10h 45 Marie Ranquet (SIAF) : La communicabilité des archives publiques en France, genèse d’un Graal archivistique (1794-2008)
11h45 Maria de Lurdes Rosa (Universidade Nova de Lisbonne) Ouvrir le chartrier, donner accès au patrimoine archivistique familial: les sens des ouvertures des archives de famille noble dans la longue durée (Portugal, XVe-XXIe siècles)
– présidence Yann Potin (Archives nationales, DECAS)
14h15 Jean-Pierre Bat (Archives nationales, DEL) : La guerre d’Algérie : historiographie ouverte, archives fermées ?
Atelier du programme ERC « Open Jerusalem Archives ».
Vincent Lemire (université Paris-Est Marne la Vallée), Ouvrir les archives d’une ville fermée ?
Stéphane Ancel (IMAF, ERC Open Jerusalem), Accessibilité des archives éthiopiennes d’Ethiopie et d’ailleurs : organisation, dispersion et destruction
Leyla Dakhli (CNRS, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), Dire, taire, traduire, les langues des archives de Jérusalem
Jonas Sibony (BULAC), Entrouvrir les archives des communautés séfarades de Jérusalem 1850-1950
Mardi 14 avril
– présidence : Stéphane Michonneau (Casa de Velazquez)
9h Olivier Poncet (Ecole nationale des chartes) : Au-delà de la preuve. La dramatisation des archives comme discours politique, social et savant (France, XVIe-XVIIe siècles)
10h15 Maria José Turrión García (Archivo General de la Guerra Civil Española) Historia del Archivo General de la Guerra Civil Española
11h15 Bruno Ricard (SIAF), Open data, droit des archives et protection des données personnelles
– présidence : Ghislain Brunel (Archives nationales)
14h15-15h15 Christian Hottin (Direction générale des Patrimoines) : Montrer pour mieux cacher ? variations sur l’architecture des lieux d’archives, entre transparence et opacité (XIXe – XXe siècle)
15h15-16h15 . visite du nouveau bâtiment des Archives nationales
16h15-18h : table ronde : Ouvrir les archives, clore les conflits ?
– Ghislain Brunel (Archives nationales, directeur des publics)
– Noé Wagener (CNRS, ISP)
– Sophie Coeuré (université Paris VII, Paris)
– Philippe Artières (CNRS, LAHIC)
– Gilles Morin (CHS, université Paris I / AUSPAN)
– Anette Wieviorka (université Paris I, IRICE)
Contact et renseignements : firstname.lastname@example.org
After the archival training session at the French National Archives held in Paris in December 2014, Open Jerusalem moved to Istanbul for a two-day session (21-22 January 2015) of archival work at the Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA) and a workshop at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA).
The Imperial archives in Istanbul are one of the main archives where to reconstruct Jerusalem history in the late Ottoman period because of the direct dependence of Jerusalem to the Sublime Porte, the richness of sources collected at the BOA and the high level efficiency in archival management. Therefore, the BOA play a central role in the framework of Open Jerusalem project. Yasemin Avci, associate professor at Pamukkale University and member of OJ team, is specifically charged with working through the tens of thousands of files, trying to retrace the various aspects of Jerusalem citadinité.
This work has been made possible by the full support and daily help of the direction and staff of the BOA. Professor Önder Bayır, director of Ottoman Archives, and Professor Mustafa Budak, vice-general director of Turkish State Archives, warmly welcomed the Open Jerusalem team and showed their endorsement to the project.
The Open Jerusalem Team visited the Restoration service of the BOA where Mrs Şükriye Ersin introduced the topic of the protective techniques for the conservation of historic documents.
The Director of the BOA Reading Room, Mr Fuat Recep described to the researchers the preservation procedures used in the BOA for the documents and the ongoing activity of training courses for the BOA staff.
On January 22nd, the French Institute for Anatolian Studies opened its doors to host a joint IFEA – Open Jerusalem round-table workshop about “Re-Opening Ottoman Archives. New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Modern History”.
The morning presentations by Vincent Lemire, Yasemin Avci, Yann Potin and Stéphane Ancel were all devoted to the discussion of the possible ways in which archivists and historians can catalogue and analyse the monumental amount of sources available in the BOA about Jerusalem’s history.
- Yasemin Avci: «Documents about Jerusalem ‘Citadinité’ in the BOA: first description of the masses and possible working methods»
- Yann Potin: «The BOA / Open-Jerusalem database: how to deal with such an amount of documents?» FULL TEXT
- Stéphane Ancel: «Data base and open Jerusalem Project: methodological aspect»
In the afternoon, Professor Richard Wittmann illustrated Istanbul Memories, a project carried out by the Orient-Institut Istanbul and academic cooperation partners. In his presentation he showed the largely still unexplored richness of autobiographies, diaries and other first-person narratives, in order to draw a multi-language, non-sectarian history of the city. The following presentations by Falestin Naili, Leyla Dakhli and Abdul-Hameed Al Kayyali showed how these elements are at the very core of Open Jerusalem project and can open new paths of collaborations and historical research.
- Richard Wittmann: «The Istanbul Memories: An interdisciplinary and international research project of the Orient-Institut Istanbul»
- Falestin Naili: «The Minutes of Jerusalem Municipality (1892-1916): a forgotten source revealing the history of Jerusalem» FULL POWERPOINT
- Leyla Dakhli: «Imperial multilingualism and national translations? The wording of Jerusalem Citadinité»
- Abdul-Hameed Al Kayyali: «The Hebrew newspaper Ha-Zvi: a mirror of Jerusalem’s public affairs at the turn of the century» FULL POWERPOINT
Thursday 22 January 2015
- 9h: welcome
9h30: Vincent Lemire (Université Paris-Est/ Marne-La-Vallée, Open Jerusalem Director): Opening remarks
10h: Yasemin Avci (Pamukkale University): «Documents about Jerusalem ‘Citadinité’ in the BOA: first description of the masses and possible working methods»
10h30: coffee break
11h: Yann Potin (Archives Nationales, Paris): «The BOA / Open-Jerusalem database: how to deal with such an amount of documents?» FULL TEXT
11h30: Stéphane Ancel (Open Jerusalem Team) : «Data base and open Jerusalem Project: methodological aspect»
13h-14h30: Lunch Break
14h30: Richard Wittmann (Orient-Institut, Istanbul): «The Istanbul Memories: An interdisciplinary and international research project of the Orient-Institut Istanbul»
15h: Falestin Naili (IFPO, Amman): «The Minutes of Jerusalem Municipality (1892-1916): a forgotten source revealing the history of Jerusalem» FULL TEXT
15h30: coffee break
16h: Leyla Dakhli (CNRS, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin): «Imperial multilingualism and national translations? The wording of Jerusalem Citadinité»
16h30: Abdul-Hameed Al Kayyali (IFPO, Amman): «The Hebrew newspaper Ha-Zvi: a mirror of Jerusalem’s public affairs at the turn of the century» FULL TEXT
17h-18h : discussion
Jeudi 15 janvier 2015
Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem
Séminaire ERC Open Jerusalem
« Les langues juives parlées / écrites / archivées
à Jérusalem »
סמינר ירושלים הפתוח
במרכז המחקר הצרפתי בירושלים
“השפות העבריות המדוברות, הכתובות והנמצאות בארכיון
- 14h : Vincent Lemire (Université Paris‐Est, Open Jerusalem Director) : « Histoire connectée et enjeux linguistiques : quelle(s) Lingua Franca pour le projet Open Jerusalem ?
- 14h30 : Marie‐Christine Bornes‐Varol (INALCO‐CERMOM, Paris) : « Multilinguisme et contacts de langues : une langue parmi plusieurs autres et plusieurs langues dans une seule » FULL TEXT
- 15h : Gaëlle Collin (Musée d’art et d’histoire du judaïsme, Paris) : « Les judéo‐espagnol(s) d’Orient : djidyo, djudyo, djudezmo sefardi ou ladino, plusieurs noms et plusieurs graphies pour une même langue » FULL TEXT
- 15h30 : Jonas Sibony (INALCO‐CERMOM, Paris) : « Le judéo-arabe, judéo‐langue ou parler arabe ? » FULL TEXT
- 16h : discussion
Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem
3, rue Shimshon, Baka, Jérusalem
B.P. 547, 91004 Jérusalem
by Stéphane Ancel
• The workshop entitled «Archives Nationales – atelier méthodologique pour l’équipe de chercheurs du projet Open Jerusalem» was held on the 4th December at the National Archives of France (NAF) historical site in Paris, and continued on the 5th December at its new site in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine. Supported by the National Archives of France and the ERC-financed research project “Opening Jerusalem Archives : For a Connected History of “Citadinité” in the Holy City (1840-1940)”, this workshop was conceived and organized by Yann Potin, archivist at the NAF and member of the ERC Open Jerusalem project.
• This workshop represented the first step of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership between the NAF and Open Jerusalem project. The importance of a deep understanding and knowledge of archival management principles, concepts and practices is crucial for OJ researchers. The workshop aimed so at giving to them methods and tools for describing archival materials and at establishing a mutual methodological approach to archives. For that purpose instructive presentations and training were done by members of the NAF.
• On the 4th December, at the Parisian site of the NAF, the workshop was welcomed by Yann Potin (NAF) and Béatrice Hérold (NAF). After expressing their wish for a fruitful partnership between the NAF and the ERC project, both of them underlined the absolute necessity of a mutual approach for describing archives during the Open Jerusalem project work. Each participant to the workshop was then asked to present his own work, difficulties and demands about the description and analysis of archival materials in Jerusalem. From this round table resulted first thoughts and perspectives, and crucial notions concerning archives could be like that presented and discussed.
• Yann Potin guided then all participants in the stores of the NAF. He explained the history of the institution, the way of classification and its evolution, and he showed several precious items preserved there.
• In her presentation entitled “Notions juridiques: propriété et communicabilité des archives”, Marie-Françoise Limon-Bonnet (NAF) presented to the participants the legal notions concerning archives in France. She explained how to define archival material, in legal terms, according to their origin and to the creator of the documents. Public and private archives were thus defined and dissociated, and the question of the availability of documents for research was explained and discussed.
• Then Leyla Dakhli (CNRS – CMB Berlin) and Naomi Nicolas-Kaufman (SEUA – TLHub) presented a new tool for participative translation works: the program called TLHub. All potentialities of the program were showed and the participants could be trained for using it.
• On the 5th December, at the new site of the NAF in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, the workshop started under the supervision of Emmanuelle Giry (NAF) and Emeline Rotolo (NAF) and concerned the diplomatic approach of contemporary archives. At first, the history of French diplomatic and some important notions were explained. Then, the participants could have been trained to the description of different types of files from the NAF. Marie-Alpais Torcheboeuf (conservator, Fondation de Chambrun) presented also the characteristic of archival materials produced by religious institutions in focusing on those of the Ecole biblique de Jérusalem.
• Then Jessica Huygue (NAF) and Stéphane Méziache (NAF) exposed to the participants all issues concerning digitisation of archival materials. Jessica Huygue explained processes followed by the NAF for digitizing archives. She exposed crucial steps to be followed for digitizing documents, especially the establishment of clear protocol for naming digital files. Stéphane Méziache gave to the audience his technical advises concerning devises and tools for digitisation process of documents. The problem posed by the creation a common protocol for description of archives (a “feuille de récolement”) was also discussed.
• All the participants of the workshop could visit offices of the National Archives devoted to the preservationand restoration of documents. Laurent Martin (NAF) explained some crucial questions linked to the preservation of documents. That way, he made the participants aware of good behaviors that the researcher has to follow in order to preserve the documents he is studying.
• Frédéric Douat (Archives départementales du 92 – Haut de Seine) shared with the participants his field research experience. He explained how he could have access to different types of archives, in public and private institutions. He focused also on the main information that researchers have to collect about an archive funds.
• Patricia Coste and Habiboussa Mansour (NAF) explained politics launched by the National Archives concerning the management of disasters and the preservation of archives where they are stored.
• Finally, Béatrice Hérold (NAF) presented different protocols for the description of archival materials. The standards called ISAD-G (General International Standard Archival Description), for the description of archival funds, and ISSAR-CPF(International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families), for the description of the creators of archives were explained to participants. The latter were also introduced to the use of the XML standards for encoding archival finding aids called EAD (Encoded Archival Description), and for encoding information about the creators of archival materials called EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context – Corporate bodies, Persons and Families). The workshop ended with the presentation of the characteristics of SOSIE program (“Saisie en Open office pour la Structuration d’Instrument de recherché en EAD”) used by the NAF.
by Falestin Naili
The round-table entitled “New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Late Ottoman and Mandate Social History: Sources and Resources in Jordan” was held on the 24th of November 2014 at the Ifpo Amman. Supported by the Ifpo and the ERC-financed research project “Opening Jerusalem Archives: For a Connected History of ‘Citadinité’ in the Holy City (1840-1940)”, this round-table was conceived and organised by Falestin Naili, research associate at the Ifpo Amman and member of the ERC project. It brought together four members of the ERC project with their colleagues of the University of Jordan in order to present and discuss their respective research in relationship to the ERC project’s aim of overcoming the segmented historiography of Jerusalem by opening and interconnecting the city’s archives and laying the framework for an urban history approach to Jerusalem.
The round-table was welcomed by Vanessa Guéno (Ifpo Amman), who underlined that the Ifpo is currently relaunching the Ottoman studies and who emphasized the possibilities of future synergies between the Open Jerusalem Project and Ifpo Research Programs.
Vincent Lemire, executive director of the ERC Open-Jerusalem Project, briefly presented the scope, the scientific framework and the global schedule of the ERC project (2014-2019). He underlined the importance of Jordan’s archival sources and institutional actors dealing with Jerusalem’s history. Hence, he explained that the ERC project team was eager to meet their colleagues from the Center for Manuscripts and Documents and the Committee for the History of the Bilad Al Sham of the University of Jordan in Amman.
In her presentation entitled “Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut and beyond: moving from the Jerusalem municipal archives to the collective memory of Ottoman Jerusalem in search of citadinité (urban citizenship)”, Falestin Naili presented the first results of her analysis of the Arabic minutes of Ottoman Jerusalem’s municipal council for the period from 1892 – 1917, which account for about 45% of this rare primary source. These hand-written minutes document the decisions and announcements of the council (founded several years before the Ottoman Provincial Law on Municipalities of 1877) and offer a wealth of information and many glimpses of daily life issues in Jerusalem. About two-thirds of the members of the municipal council were elected and one third were ex officio members. Muslims, Christians and Jews were among the members and the Ottoman government chose the mayor among the elected members. After a short digression into the material and palaeographic aspects of the minutes, Falestin Naili gave examples of the issues dealt with in the municipal minutes, emphasizing that revenue-generating activities were an important preoccupation of this urban institution spearheading Jerusalem’s development of modern infrastructures and services. As an interconfessional interethnic urban institution interacting directly with the citizens and the imperial authorities, the municipality was probably the most important mediating structure for Jerusalem’s urban society, translating imperial impulses into local activities and relaying local realities and initiatives back to Istanbul. This new picture of Jerusalem’s society at the end of the Ottoman period should be complemented by several other sources, such as court registers, local press, imperial documents and, last but not least, autobiographical writings and collective memory narratives from this period.
Yasemin Avci, Associate Professor at the University of Pamukkale and member of the ERC team, presented her analysis of the Ottoman language minutes (about 55% of the total text) of Jerusalem’s municipal council for the period from 1892 – 1917 and their link with the imperial level of governmentin a paper entitled “Jerusalem Municipal Archives and Istanbul Imperial Archives: how to interconnect the two levels”. She explained that the resolutions of the municipal council are in a rough draft format, since they were for the internal use of the council itself. Nonetheless, they could occasionally be inspected by central government authorities. She then placed the municipal council back into the new governmental structure created as a result of the Tanzimat reforms, which signified the development of a legal authoritarian regime in the Ottoman Empire. Within the pyramidal structure extending from Istanbul to the provinces and sanjaks, the municipal council was at the bottom as a means of connecting urban administration to the imperial center. Although the objective of the creation of municipalities was not democratic, the municipal councils could at times nuance, circumvent and even subvert imperial intentions in their desire to assert varying degrees of autonomy.
Abdul-Hameed Al-Kayyali, associated researcher at Ifpo Amman and member of the ERC project, presented the first results of his ongoing research on Jerusalem’s Hebrew press in a paper entitled “The Hebrew newspaper Ha-Zvi: a mirror of Jerusalem’s public affairs at the turn of the century”. The Hebrew press, and in particular Ha-Zvi (later called Ha-Or) for the period between 1840 and 1940 (available online www.jpress.org.il) provides some specific information which cannot be found in the minutes of the Jerusalem municipal council, such as the names of candidates for municipal elections. Furthermore, they provide many detailed accounts of daily life (schools, hospitals, transport, water etc.) in Jerusalem, mainly from the perspective of the city’s Jewish inhabitants. The work on Ha-Zvi is relatively easier than that on other newspapers, since (as a publication directed by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the «father» of Modern Hebrew) it contains a simpler Hebrew with less Talmudic and Yiddish terms than other newspapers of that period.
Nufan Al Sawariah, Professor in the History Department of the University of Jordan, presented a paper entitled “Water and its resources in Jerusalem: The Registers of Jerusalem’s mahkame shar‘iyya as a source of study”. He emphasized that the sijill shar ‘i has to be considered as an important mirror of life in Jerusalem, reflecting a large number of people’s everyday preoccupations. One of the most important daily life issues in Jerusalem was the regular cutting of water which sometimes even amounted to a complete halt. The sijillat contain many details about the extent of people’s suffering due to lack of water and about the efforts of the imperial and local government to resolve these problems. The registers also contain much information about the water infrastructure in and around Jerusalem, including public fountains, reservoirs and aqueducts, which were regularly supervised and repaired by government employees.
Abla Muhtadi, who is a researcher at the Center for Manuscripts and Documents of the University of Jordan, offered a rare insider perspective on the sijillat mahkame shar‘iyya in her presentation entitled “Jerusalem’s court registers as a source for social history”. In fact, although the prerogatives of the shari‘a courts diminished as a result of the reforms of the judiciary system in the second half of the 19th century, these courts remain an extremely valuable source on the daily life of Jerusalemites. Even after the separation of civil courts according to confession, Christians and Jews at times opted for appearing in front of the qadi instead of turning to the courts of their confessional group. The sijillat contain much information about the holders of public offices, about teachers and schools, shops, restaurants, hospitals and hotels, to name just a few categories of public spaces. In Abla Muhtadi’s words, the sijillat are the “living memory” of the city and its inhabitants, providing the texture of daily life.
The discussions in English and Arabic were stimulating and full of promising perspectives for further connections between different local archives, namely the court registers and the local press in Arabic, Hebrew and Ottoman. Mahmoud Yazbak (Professor of History, University of Haifa) who attended the round-table, offered much valuable advice based on his own work on the sijillat for Haifa and Jaffa and urged the participants to pay special attention to continuities between the period preceding the Tanzimat and the actual reform period. Vanessa Guéno shared her insights about the effects of the judiciary reforms from her work on Ottoman Homs. All the participants agreed that a larger event should be organised next year at the Center for Manuscripts and Documents, whose Director Mohammed Adnan Al Bakhit, has expressed his wish to host such an event.
Photo: two excerpts from the municipal minutes of 1910 (1326 hijri),
the first one being a public bid for meat for the municipal hospital,
the second an announcement of a public sale of tax-farming rights
according to the iltizam system
Open Jerusalem research team will attend a training session at the National Archives of France next week (4-6 December). This three-day workshop will represent the first step of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership between the NAF and Open Jerusalem that will bring some archivists to work in Jerusalem’s archives.
Open Jerusalem aims to unlock the modern history of the Holy City through archives. Therefore, the importance of a deep understanding and knowledge of archival management principles, concepts and practices is crucial for OJ researchers.
We will report our Paris activities on our social network channels (facebook, twitter and google+). Follow us!