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