Tag Archives: jerusalem

Jerusalem 1900: The Holy City in the Age of Possibilities

Vincent Lemire

224 pages | © 2017

Perhaps the most contested patch of earth in the world, Jerusalem’s Old City experiences consistent violent unrest between Israeli and Palestinian residents, with seemingly no end in sight. Today, Jerusalem’s endless cycle of riots and arrests appears intractable—even unavoidable—and it looks unlikely that harmony will ever be achieved in the city. But with Jerusalem 1900, historian Vincent Lemire shows us that it wasn’t always that way, undoing the familiar notion of Jerusalem as a lost cause and revealing a unique moment in history when a more peaceful future seemed possible.

In this masterly history, Lemire uses newly opened archives to explore how Jerusalem’s elite residents of differing faiths cooperated through an intercommunity municipal council they created in the mid-1860s to administer the affairs of all inhabitants and improve their shared city. These residents embraced a spirit of modern urbanism and cultivated a civic identity that transcended religion and reflected the relatively secular and cosmopolitan way of life of Jerusalem at the time. These few years would turn out to be a tipping point in the city’s history—a pivotal moment when the horizon of possibility was still open, before the council broke up in 1934, under British rule, into separate Jewish and Arab factions. Uncovering this often overlooked diplomatic period, Lemire reveals that the struggle over Jerusalem was not historically inevitable—and therefore is not necessarily intractable. Jerusalem 1900 sheds light on how the Holy City once functioned peacefully and illustrates how it might one day do so again.

International Conference on the History of the Bilâd al Shâm

The Center for Documents and Manuscripts and the Study of the Bilâd al Shâm of the University of Jordan (Amman) will host the 10th International Conference about the history of the Bilâd al Shâm from the 2nd to the 4th of April 2017.

The event is organised by the University of Jordan and the University of Yarmouk.

Among the speakers, Open Jerusalem researcher Falestin Naili will give a lecture about “The Ottoman municipality of Jerusalem and the application of the Tanzîmât reforms in Jerusalem”.

Read the full program here.

The Politics of Archives and the Practices of Memory

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street, Providence, RI 02912

Thursday, Mar. 2
5:30-7:30 p.m.
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

7:45 p.m.               
Dinner for Critical Conversations panel speakers and workshop presenters at Brown Faculty Club

9:30 P.M.
Shuttle Faculty Club to Biltmore hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence

WORKSHOP PROGRAM

Friday, March 3
8:15 and 8:25 a.m.
Transfers for presenters from Biltmore hotel to Watson Institute

8:30-9:00 a.m.
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

Vincent Lemire: Opening Jerusalem’s Memories : for a Transnational, Open and Bottom-up Database of Primary Archives of the Holy City (1840-1940)

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

Alex Winder: Police Diaries/Personal Diaries: Using the Notebooks of a Mandate-Era Policeman to Write Palestinian History

Gadi al-Gazi: Profits of Military Rule

Commentator: Caroline Elkins

1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Lunch for workshop presenters at the Sharpe Refectory

2:30-2:45 p.m.
Group photograph Sharpe Refectory Steps

3:00 – 4:45 p.m.:
Panel 3: Literature, the Body, and the Politics of Memory

Ibtisam Azem: “The Book of Disappearance”: The Memory of Place and Its Oral History

Diana Allen: What bodies remember: Sensorium as historical counterpoint in the Nakba archive

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

8:15-10:00 p.m.
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 

9:15-11:00 a.m.
Panel 4: Oral history and the Politics of Decolonization

Yara Hawari and Francesco Amoruso:  Including Palestine in Indigenous Studies: Oral History and its Relevance for Decolonisation

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

De-Municipalising Jerusalem

Les municipalités proche-orientales datent de la fin de l’époque ottomane et sont ainsi des témoins et des acteurs importants des changements qu’a connus la région au cours des 150 dernières années. L’échelon municipal permet d’appréhender les questions liées à l’espace social et politique des villes sur la longue durée. Ainsi, pour le cas de Jérusalem, l’analyse de la gouvernance urbaine (entre la fin de l’époque ottomane et la période mandataire) pointe la centralité de cet échelon afin de comprendre de manière plus nuancée les changements politiques impulsés par l’arrivée de la puissance mandataire.

READ THE ARTICLE: F. Naili, La dé-municipalisation de la gouvernance urbaine et de l’espace politique post-ottoman : le cas de Jérusalem, Les Carnets de l’IFPO

Annual Congress of French Society of Urban History

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.

 

The politics of archives and the practices of memory

The Politics of Archives and the Practices of Memory,” is the theme of the fourth annual meeting of NDPS, to be held March 3-4, 2017, at the Watson Institute, Brown University.

New Directions in Palestinian Studies (NDPS) provides a platform for rigorous intellectual exchange on new directions in research and writing about Palestine and the Palestinians, supports the work of emerging scholars, and promotes the integration Palestinian studies into the larger streams of critical intellectual inquiry.

The central question of the fourth annual meeting is: What does it mean for the colonized, the disenfranchised, and the displaced to produce narratives through archival and memorial practices? Other theoretical, empirical, and comparative questions follow. How are archives and memories produced, assembled, and mobilized in settler colonial contexts? In what ways are archives and memories sites of struggle and appropriation, and looting? How can we theorize archives and memory from perspectives critical of state-centric political configurations and conventional concepts of sovereignty?

An archive fever has been coursing through the Palestinian body politic for two decades now. What explains this phenomenon and how has it been shaped by the information technology revolution? How have artistic and social media interventions reconstructed the archival and the memorial as sites for research? In what ways can one analyze novels, poetry, and other forms of literature as forms of memory and archives without instrumentalizing these literary genres?

Vincent Lemire, director of the Open Jerusalem project, will present the work conducted by OJ on Jerusalem history throughout dozens of archives in Jerusalem and around the world.

New Release: Jerusalem. A Global City

jerusalem-ville-monde
Jérusalem – Histoire d’une ville-monde

Edited by Vincent Lemire (Open Jerusalem Director)

With contributions by Katell Berthelot (Centre Paul-Albert Février, CNRS), Julien Loiseau (CRFJ) and Yann Potin (Open Jerusalem Historian and Archivist, Archives nationales  de France)

Paris, Flammarion

Date of Publication: 12 October 2016

Read here the table of contents

Inventorying Undisclosed Archives: The Italian Consulate in Jerusalem

Antonella Di Domenico*

The analysis of the holdings of the Italian consulate in Jerusalem collected in the Historical Archives of the Foreign Ministry in Rome is among the work pursued by Open Jerusalem in order to narrate an entangled history of citadinité – including the history of institutions, actors and practice, with a special attention devoted to unlocking archives – of a global city like Jerusalem from 1840 to 1940. immagine_post_deposito
These records haven’t been inventoried yet and they are currently not available to researchers. The holding consists of 200 files divided into 4 deposits: 1936 (concerning records from 1863 to 1925); 1974 (concerning records from 1878 to 1951); 1976 (this memorandum of deposit has been recently discovered); 1995 (concerning records from 1936 to 1977).
The holding is located in the Foreign Ministry Archives, ‘Archivio storico consolati’ section (F1, F2), covering 22 linear meters.
The history documented by these records begins in 1872, the year of the establishment of the Royal Italian Consulate in Jerusalem. This holding contributes important information not only about the activities and the institutional life of the Consulate itself but also of the complex dynamics between the Consulate and the city of Jerusalem, its inhabitants and structures.
In order to retrace the history of these archives and how they are now organized in the Archives, you cannot skip the figure of Count Quinto Mazzolini, emblematic politician of the Fascist period. Brother of the more well-known Diplomat Serafino, Quinto Mazzolini was Consul General of Jerusalem from 16 September 1936 to 20 June 1940. He was the first person to deposit the records of the Italian consulate in the Foreign Ministry Archives.
During his stay in Jerusalem, especially in the troubled years of the outbreak of the Second World War, Mazzolini actively worked to organise the papers of his office. He deposited the first part of the records in 1936, when he identified the records of what he called ‘the old archive’, depositing these records at the Foreign Ministry in Rome where they constituted the first part of the archives of the Italian consulate in Jerusalem. In 1940, after leaving Palestine, Mazzolini deposited other papers to the Foreign Ministry. Being forced to leave the Consulate for security reasons, he tried to keep at least a part of the records safe.
As attested by a cable dated 8 February 1951 with the object ‘L’archivio del Consolato in Gerusalemme trasferito a Roma‘ (The Consulate archive moved to Rome) the history of the records further became more complicated during the war. A part of the records were burnt, while another part was delivered to the Italian consulate of Spain that had assumed the protection of Italian interests in Palestine. Other records were moved to Rome. In 1945, Mazzolini probably sent the missing part of the records of the ‘Ufficio stralcio’ (the Removal Office, responsible for closing the work of a suppressed institution) to the Foreign Ministry Archives.

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The records from 1872 to 1977 cover a wide spectrum of topics: educational institutions, cultural institutes, commercial, financial and political relations, issues of privileges and protectorates, protection of religious orders, conflicts among different rites. The subjects and the history of these records are of large interest for the scope of Open Jerusalem.
This new fond is rich of important sources for reconstructing the relations between Jerusalem’s inhabitants and the institutions at that time.
In order to inventory the records and make them accessible to scholars, Open Jerusalem and the Historical Archives of the Foreign Ministry (particularly thanks to Stefania Ruggeri) have established a partnership that has already led to some archival interventions: overview of the files; preliminary analysis of the holding; first arrangement and reallocation of the files, the reconstruction of a filing plan and the drafting of a list of deposits which is becoming more and more analytical as the archival work proceeds. These interventions will conclude with the publication of the inventory of the fond of the Italian consulate in Jerusalem in 2017 that will be published by Open Jerusalem and the Italian Foreign Ministry Historical Archives.

* An extended version of this article was presented by Stéphane Ancel, Antonella Di Domenico, Roberto Mazza and Maria Chiara Rioli at the French School in Rome in the workshop about “The Italian Consular services and the long Risorgimento” (September 29-30).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lucia Rostagno, La diplomazia italiana e il nazionalismo palestinese (1861-1939), Roma: Bardi, 1996

Nir Arielli, Fascist Italy and the Middle East, 193340, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

Gianni Scipione Rossi, Serafino Mazzolini – Mussolini e il diplomatico. La vita e i diari di Serafino Mazzolini, un monarchico a Salò, Catanzaro: Rubbettino, 2005

Ambasciate, legazioni e consolati italiani all’estero del Ministero degli affari esteri, Rome: Tipografia riservata del Ministero degli affari esteri, 1950-1957

Antonella Di Domenico, Il fondo del Consolato generale di Gerusalemme nell’Archivio storico del Ministero degli affari esteri. Strutture originarie e versamenti, BA dissertation, University of Rome – La Sapienza, 2015

Antonella Di Domenico, Elenco del I versamento del fondo del Consolato Generale di Gerusalemme (1843 – 1925)

Open Jerusalem at the French School in Rome

Ecole française de Rome

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.

Archival Labyrinths. Assumptionnist and White Fathers Archives in Rome

    by Eméline Rotolo
National Archives of France

The archives of religious congregations: an archival hydra

The archives of Catholic orders and congregations are hierarchically organized and this may translate into fragmentation in the conservation of holdings. First, the general archives contain the holdings of the general administration of the archives produced by the General Council and the General Father or Mother: correspondence, reports, publications. It also includes the archives and publications of the founder, as well as the following General Fathers or Mothers, characterized by extensive correspondence and often highly specialized work in different fields of research such as archaeology, linguistics, ethnology, etc. The Mother House ensures the conservation of these holdings with the support of one or more members of the congregations and orders, sometimes aided by trained lay people. Then come the holdings of the provinces, roughly equivalent to a country, and influenced by the provincial administration and life. After which remain the current archives of each community: for minor congregations sometimes they remain stored on site.

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Three important institutions, since their establishment in Jerusalem linked with religious and diplomatic symbols they condense from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, namely St Anne’s Church and seminary, Notre-Dame de France hotel and the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, guided the first investigations by Vincent Lemire in September 2015 in the archives of the Mother Houses of the White Fathers and the Assumptionists in Rome. This second mission (February 1-5 2016) brought additional knowledge on Roman archival collections held by these two congregations of French foundation, installed in the late nineteenth century in Jerusalem. To provide a comprehensive mapping of the archives produced by the White Fathers and the Assumptionists in Jerusalem, further work should be considered in the provincial archives stored on site, in St Anne for the White Fathers and St Peter in Gallicantu for the Assumptionists.

    An archive history: why?

In the second half of the twentieth century, religious orders and congregations devoted relevant efforts to conservation, classification and creation of finding aids for their archives, providing better access to researchers. The up to now available information about the White Fathers and the Assumptionists reveal different approaches and research tools.
However, even if a standardization effort was made in the drafting of finding aids, a first common observation is deplorable: the lack or even the absence of any contextual description. Actually, a brief description of the archive completed with producer’s identification elements would allow to define the content of documents and the choices of classifications taken according to the principle of “respect des fonds”. These types of essential information permit also to document the history of the conservation taking into account transfers, natural disasters or the loss of archives due to eliminations, all events that influence the fonds.

3

These elements, considering the territory and the period (Jerusalem, 1840-1940), present a relevant interest: the major European religious institutions in Jerusalem have been requisitioned, occupied and sometimes raged during the First World War (1914-1917). Details are provided by some archives, as in the correspondence of Fr Van der Vliet, White Father of Dutch nationality remained in St Anne during the hostilities. In a French transcription of the diary he kept during those times, he tells (December 4, 1914) the episode of the transfer of archives hastily hidden in a damp place, under an arch, behind a lapsed wall, in the St Anne seminar to a safer place. Again, in a letter of Fr Leopold Dressaire addressed to Fr Athanase Vanhove, both of them Assumptionists, he reports the state of Notre-Dame de France at his arrival (December 11, 1917) after the capture of Jerusalem: “Your papers, personal belongings, objects and papers of Fr. Germer, religious objects remained (most of these files was mixed with the books and the community and clothes and they could only be recognized by interested parties, another part disappeared). Everything that was at your use (lingerie, books, notes, correspondence, benefactors addresses, etc.) is preserved”.
This description shows the archives in desolating conditions and therefore requesting a reclassification work. Information that would be useful to gather in order to document the history of each holding and make intelligible the process that led to the final classification status is therefore missing.

    The White Fathers: fonds classified and analysed according to the organization of the institution

Despite a certain timidity to put their archives into the historical perspective of their institutions, the implementation of useful research tools has to be acknowledged to both these congregations.
First of all, the White Fathers, thanks to their valuable online inventory, partly answer to the previous remarks with a brief presentation of their holdings in the introduction. They announce the main documentary typologies held in Rome: correspondence, reports, documents, publications from their founder, Card. Lavigerie, the General Government of the Company, its provinces and its members. This general state of the holdings in the form of a detailed digital inventory provides an overview of all the Roman records dealing with Jerusalem institutions, from their founding until very recent times. The last depositions, like for the MEL file 297: Jerusalem. Correspondence, with the annotation “These files were received from Jerusalem in June 1991,” as well as the most recent entries marked “2015 adding”, show the activity of the archive service.
This detailed digital inventory is based on a classification system respecting the logic of production and structure of fonds. It thus offers a structured analysis at different levels of description from general to particular, like for archives of the General Fathers, GEN series, classified and numbered – alphanumeric call numbers – in chronological order of succession of their role. Other relevant series include typologies such as personal folders (D.PERS), original diaries (D.OR) or copied (D.Cop), registers (REG.), photolibrary (PHOT.), maps, atlas, statistics (CART.); with some limitations, however, for the VARIA series or MEL. It is also noteworthy that three databases complete this detailed digital inventory for chronicles and annual reports, general councils and the conclusions of general chapters.

From the Assumptionist card index to the archives of the Jerusalem community: a not classified fonds or the result of a lack of internal organization?

The Assumptionists, meanwhile, have one more archaic but equally valuable research tool: a card index with thematic entries by “people”, “themes” and especially “places” covering up until the late 1970s. Vincent Lemire had fully photographed 158 index card for “Jerusalem” whose distribution is as follows: 99 index card titled “Jerusalem – ND de France”, 26 “Jerusalem – St Peter in Gallicantu” and 19 “Jerusalem – pilgrimage of”.

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This card index provides an analysis of the documents considered most important at the time of the redaction of this research instrument. Essentially it is not an inventory and it contrast the general vision of the holdings. Unlike the digital detailed inventory of the White Fathers, it does not reveal a hierarchical classification from the upper level (the Generalship) to the lower (the provinces).
For researches on Jerusalem, all the related index cards must therefore be consulted. The accuracy of “ND de France”, “St Pierre en Gallicante” and “pilgrimage” can eventually restrict the consultation. If the major tasks of the community (education, pilgrimages) reflected, it is hard to recognize the responsibilities of key actors normally responsible to classify documents.

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When the first index cards are examined analysis are only about an individual archive item or a small number of documents in favour of typologies than actions. Thus the letters of the General Father Vincent de Paul Bailly are scattered in seven articles when it should have been easy to classify them in a series of Generalship archives, a sub-series for those of Father Vincent de Paul Bailly and articles by chronological sections to classify the correspondence due to its function.
This fragmentation reveals, on the one hand, the gaps in the classification of holdings that should have followed the logic of archive producers and, on the second hand, the obsolete nature of this research instrument that doesn’t respect the archival logic of information’s non redundancy.
Other limits are noteworthy, as the presence of an alphabetical call number of the boxes, imitating a classification scheme, which is an irrelevant marker. Initially it might suggest a classification of all correspondence from Jerusalem in sections NS to NW, 1883-1956, but the correspondence of 1918 was forgotten while classifying.
Initially, we thought that all the correspondence from Jerusalem had been classified in sections NS to NW, 1883-1956, but the 1918 correspondence had been forgotten. It was immediately classified in the following box NX with, among others, a record on the construction of Notre-Dame de France, some records related to the First World War and accounting documents.
It’s the same for the ephemeris representing a distinctive typology deserving to be listed in series. Yet the records are divided in different box numbers: UT 2 for May 1891 – December 1892 entitled “ND de France chronicles” and mentioning “Following A 114-117” which seems to correspond rather to the registers 114-116 E (August 1891 – September 1898) but the ephemeris from May 1908 to December 1914 uses another letter B 187.
The choice of a card index, although coherent with those times, allows to hide these limits and the lack of a rigorous classification of the archives concerning Jerusalem. From the points raised so far, it is unlikely that a classification following the activities of the Province of Jerusalem has been accomplished. The current state reflects the deposits, with this system of non meaningful box numbers, where the fonds are fragmented and sometimes internally inconsistent (hence the choice of a card index).
Finally, we must emphasize that attached files have been extracted from the correspondence. Therefore it’s impossible to find the right documents they were attached to, although the presence of the card index. This action makes sense for certain types of items in order to constitute some series, like quarterly balances. However, other attachments require the support of the correspondence to be intelligible and yet find themselves separated from the letter; even worse, several sheets were divided through different articles.

IMG_3773_PK_PJ_202IMG_3220_annexe_1914_477IMG_3221_PJ_202

This sheet containing four pages concerning surveys of archaeological objects, annexed to a letter of 31 July 1914, as the record indicates with red ink at the top, is now listed PJ 202. However, during our investigation, we accidentally discovered a second sheet number 5 in the box number PK. These examples therefore makes very difficult a comprehensive study of the entire collection from the card index, whose ratio behind the classification is also questionable. Numbered pieces rarely represent coherent records.
This final report of a disorder of Roman Assumptionist archives concerning Jerusalem may be due to a gap of classification of the fonds – as mentioned before –, to affect the current classification following the history of the fond or simply reflect the disorganization of the community and of the establishment they comes from. In this case, it is likely that the fonds has had to suffer from these three evils.

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We still lack of answers about the history of the fond, including the conditions of the transfer of fonds from Jerusalem to Rome but also the possibility of a reclassification (some records present old call numbers). Lack of organization by the community of Notre-Dame France, seems to appear through the correspondence especially after the First World War: at that time, the community has to deal with financial difficulties and it demands to Rome a bursar to assist the Superior.

    “Cleaning” the Assumptionist card index: a delivery attempt to conduct exhaustive flat?

Despite all these issues, the card index remains essential since it is the only key to enter the fond. Moreover, it has several advantages: a conversion of this card index to an excel sheet, highlighting, when possible, the origin of the document or record, would probably improve the vision of Assumptionist archives concerning Jerusalem.
We propose to transcribe the card index using the best descriptive standards because, following the existing analysis, many fields may remain empty.
This conversion could bring out the grouping that had to be made during the classification. To proceed, a standardization of terms must be conducted. From these groups, a summary could be recreated in xml format for online consultation of a structured inventory. This proposal would also avoid to lose information about agents, authors and producers of the documents.
The card index “people” presents some gaps: Fr Moitraux, author of a war diary, has no record, although he appears in the index card “place” as author of the mentioned document.
The purpose would be to create a methodical finding aid containing all the additional Assomptionist fonds collected in Rome, Paris and Jerusalem. Surveys are to be carried out in Paris, while the Assumptionist Fathers of Jerusalem requested Open Jerusalem contribution and collaboration.

Postscript

Despite all these archival considerations, our mission mainly focused on the theme of the First World War in both the two archives and discover fragments useful in the perspective of a global history of Jerusalem at that time. However, other tracks emerged in order to retrace the daily life in Jerusalem. The Augustinian Fathers of the Assumption, the main organizers of Catholic pilgrimages to Jerusalem, imposed their building in the landscape of the city. Religious and administrative records – including the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held in Nantes – and recently unveiled photographic fonds may raise interesting issues on ND de France, especially in the history of constructions. Beyond this, the establishment at Notre Dame de France a museum and a library with a seminary could be linked with education activities conducted in other seminars, such as St. Anne, by various orders or congregations located in Jerusalem. And finally, given the irony of French diplomatic support to congregations that had been expelled from the national territory, could we not consider the study across multiple inventories – typology pleasing to the archivist – historically redundant for these institutions?

Ouvrir ou entrouvrir les archives de Jérusalem

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Vincent Lemire présentera les premiers jalons du projet de recherche OPEN-JERUSALEM qui se base sur le dépouillement des archives de Jérusalem, à la fin de l’époque ottomane et pendant la période mandataire. Ce projet majeur et novateur, financé par le Conseil Européen de la Recherche (ERC), vise à connecter les archives des diérentes communautés hiérosolymitaines, trop souvent étudiées séparément, pour établir une histoire de la «citadinité» à Jérusalem.

Vincent Lemire est maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine à l’Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée et chercheur associé à l’Ifpo. Il a soutenu en 2006 une thèse en histoire environnementale intitulée «une hydrohistoire de Jérusalem aux XIXème et XXème siècles». Il dirige actuellement le projet ERC OPEN-JERUSALEM (2014-2019) : «Opening Jerusalem’s Archives: for a connected history of ‘Citadinité’ in the Holy City (1840-1940)».

Open Jerusalem Panel at MESA 2015

MESA-logo

MESA 2015, Denver (US), Panel n° 4125, Sunday November 22nd, 8:30-10:30:
“Open Jerusalem! Towards a New Entangled History of Citadinité (1840-1940): Concepts, Methods and Archives”
Organized by Vincent Lemire
Supported by ERC Funded Project OPEN JERUSALEM

Chairman : Salim Tamari (Institute of Jerusalem Studies)
Discussant: Jens Hanssen (Univ Toronto)
Vincent Lemire (Univ Paris-Est / Dir. ERC Open-Jerusalem Project) : “Managing the Open Jerusalem Project : A Transnational, Collaborative and Democratic Attempt”
Michelle U. Campos (Univ Florida) : “Mapping People and Places in Late Ottoman Jerusalem through GIS”
Leyla Dakhli (Centre Marc Bloch – CNRS) : “From Mutual Understandings to Multiple Translations: Languages of Jerusalem at the Turn of the 20th Century”
Anouk Cohen (CNRS) : “Shared Uses of Religious Schools, Libraries and Printing Press in the Holy City”

Work in Progress: Ethiopian Archives in Jerusalem

by Stéphane Ancel, Open Jerusalem

Picture 1-Example of files from Ethiopian Archives

The presence of Ethiopians Orthodox in Jerusalem is attested at least from the 13th century. But during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the Ethiopian Orthodox community knew a great revival: the number of Ethiopians increased, buildings dedicated to them were bought or erected. Among others, historians like Littmann, Cerulli, Pétridis, Meinardus, Makonnen Zäwde or Pedersen have proposed valuable studies about the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem, especially Kirsten Pedersen who for the first time proposed a very clear and precise history of this community during the 19th and 20th century. But if the outline of the history of the community is known, there is a great lack concerning its involvement in Jerusalem city life during that period. Besides, the characteristics of the archives of the community are basically not known: only few documents had been accessible to historians and even Kirsten Pedersen, herself member of this community had a restricted access to these documents.

It is clear that during this period the community should have produced many documents. In fact, the main idea leading Open Jerusalem research is that the archives of the community should provide documents which permit to understand the involvement of the community in the daily life of Jerusalem at that period and its relationship with the local municipality and the other communities established in the town.

After a meeting with OJ director Vincent Lemire and me, the Ethiopian Orthodox community in Jerusalem was enthusiastic about the project and his Holiness abunä Matthias, Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa, and his Grace abunä Enbakom, Archbishop of Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Holy Land, gave us the access to the archives of the community in Jerusalem.
The study of these archives has just started. For the moment, documents found in the archives are administrative and financial documents, such as payment receipts, cheques, bank documents, financial reports, letters and correspondences concerning daily problems of the community, registers, etc. As a whole, these documents permit to open a window to the daily life of the community, and to understand all the problems and opportunities for a religious community established abroad, concerning installation, supplies, access to public services, administration or worship.
Here are some examples among the documents collected:

– Receipts and payment document are witness of Ethiopian involvement in local network:

Document in French, Ethiopians using middle men from Jerusalem for searching houses to rent, here Pascal Seraphin in 1913.
Document in French, Ethiopians using middle men from Jerusalem for searching houses to rent, here Pascal Seraphin in 1913.
Picture 3-Payment document for Russian Community 1914
Payment made by Ethiopian community to Russian community in 1914 for using a machine (“pompe à eau”).

– Receipts and payment documents to the municipality:

Payment dated to 1934 for cleaning the cesspit of Ethiopian building.
Payment dated to 1934 for cleaning the cesspit of Ethiopian building.

We can observe that Ethiopians had different interlocutors, according to the needs and opportunities. Interesting enough, each interlocutor supposed the use of a specific language, for example with the British municipality in English, with Russian community in French, local merchants in different languages.
Worship activities posed also problem and documents bring to light the role of the municipality to solve the problems and at first the problem of the usage of the Holy Sepulcher.

Also some documents bring to light ownership problems of the community. The problem of the Dar Es Sultan monastery is much known: Ethiopians during that period claimed the ownership over this monastery located at the roof of St. Helena chapel, in the Holy Sepulcher. This claim was contested by Coptic community (and it is still today the case). This case is known especially thanks to the work of Cerulli, Pétridis and Pedersen, and some documents concerning this case were published by abunä Philippos, first Ethiopian bishop of Jerusalem.
No spectacular documents concerning especially this case came out from our investigation in Jerusalem for the moment. But a very interesting book could be identified.

Picture 5-Wäldä Mädhen dairy 1891
A manuscript, in paper, written in 1883 E.C. (1890-1891 AD) by an Ethiopian monk called Wäldä Mädhen could be found. In his manuscript, Wäldä Mädhen describes the daily life of Ethiopians in Dar Es-Sultan at that time, their difficulties and their relations with other communities. Makonnen Zäwde could describe it shortly at the beginning of 1970s but Kirsten Pedersen could not have access to this book. Analysis and study of that book is in progress, in addition with the study of the known text called “History of Der Sultan”,
Picture 6-History of Der Sultan
An Amharic text dated to the beginning of the 20th century and preserved in a large manuscript in paper (Ms. JE692E) containing also the Kebrä Nägäst.

Maybe less known, documents present the case where Ethiopian community was the owner of houses rented to institutions or individuals. These documents are crucial to understand how the community built and managed its properties in the Holy Land.

Administrating worship place in Jerusalem have supposed a great flexibility, in using a specific language with specific interlocutors, in establishing relations with different middle men involved in local social network, in using specific network of merchants for supplies, and in establishing itself in Jerusalem scene. Thanks to full collaboration of Ethiopian Orthodox authorities, the ongoing study of Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem will open a great window on daily life of the Ethiopian Orthodox community in Jerusalem between 1840 and 1940.

June 25 – 26, 2015, International Conference: Archiving a City. The Future of Jerusalem Past

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June 25, 2015
Archives Nationales

18:00 Keynote Speech by Dr Önder Bayır
Director of the Ottoman Archives, Istanbul

«The Ottoman Imperial Archives:
A Key Place for the Study of Jerusalem History»

19:00 Cocktail

11 rue des Quatre Fils 75003 – Salle d’Albâtre


June 26, 2015
Opening Jerusalem’s Archives and Digital Histories
Interconnecting Methods, Tools and Practices

Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée
Laboratoire ACP – EA 3350
Bâtiment Bois de l’étang – Salle 6
Cité Descartes (RER A / Noisy-Champs)

9:30 Vincent Lemire (UPEM): Open Jerusalem Project: A Transnational, Bottom-Up and Collaborative Experience

10:00 Elisa Grandi (Université Paris VII): Digital History. Concepts, Methods and Historiographical Debates

10:30 Pierre Yves Saunier (Université Laval): Writing Open Jerusalem: The www Option

11:00 coffee break

11:15 Francesca Morselli (Cendari): CENDARI. Methodologies of the Collaborative European Archival Infrastructure for the Study of WW1 and Medieval Culture

11:45 Maria Chiara Rioli (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): Open Jerusalem: A Project of Digital Public History?

12:15 – 13: discussion

13:00 – 14:30 lunch break

14:30 Andrea Violante (NiEW): User Experience Design and User Centered Design Methodologies to Drive a Digital Project Within and Beyond the Margins of the Screen

14:45 Stéphane Ancel (Open Jerusalem) / Yann Potin (Archives Nationales): Imperial Ottoman Archives and Open Jerusalem Project: How to Deal with 19600 documents?

15:00 Angelos Dalachanis (Princeton University): Zotero in Jerusalem: Creating an Open Bibliographic Database

15:15 Luca Martinelli (Wikimedia Italy): Information in the Digital Commons: How to Make Knowledge Really Open

15:45 Chiara Scesa (NiEW): Pervasive Information Architecture for Historical Ecosystems. Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences to Move from the Digital to the Physical Environment and Back

16:15 Michele Mauri (Politecnico, Milan): Data Visualization for Digital Collections

16:45 Dario Ingiusto (Mapping the World): Mapping Jerusalem’s Archives and Open Jerusalem Project

17:15 discussion

 

CFEE Seminar: Ethiopia in Open Jerusalem

Photo 6 Consulate 1

Centre français des études éthiopiennes (CFEE) Monthly Seminar

on Medieval and Post-Medieval History of Ethiopia,

2nd year (2014-2015)

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)