On Tuesday 13 February Vincent Lemire, Open Jerusalem director, and Yann Potin, Open Jerusalem core team member, will give a lecture entitled “Opening the archives of Jerusalem: for a world history of the Holy City” during the workshop “Inside the Cradle of History” jointly organised by the Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem and the Center for Jerusalem studies at Al-Quds University. It will take place at the Old City campus, Damascus Gate, Aqabet Al-Sheikh Rihan.
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
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
8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
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.
The Open Jerusalem project (full title: Opening Jerusalem Archives: For a connected history of citadinité in the Holy City, 1840–1940) is funded by the European Research Council (starting grant) from 2014 to 2019 and based at the Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée University in France. The project is directed by Vincent Lemire and run jointly with the researchers of the core team: Stephane Ancel, Yasemin Avcı, Leyla Dakhli, Angelos Dalachanis, Abdul-Hameed al-Kayyali, Falestin Naili, Yann Potin and Maria Chiara Rioli. Additionally, so far more than forty scholars from Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Canada have been involved in the project.
The Open Jerusalem project aims to unlock and connect different archives and sources in order to investigate the ordinary, entangled history of a global city through the lens of the concept of urban citizenship (citadinité). Citadinité is for a city what nationality is for a country and materializes itself in institutions, actors and practices. The project provides a bottom–up history of Jerusalem, a perspective that has been neglected by historians of the city, who have been generally preoccupied with ideological and geostrategic issues. This history is also a connected one because, within a complex documentary archipelago, the researchers seek points of contact revealing the exchanges, interactions, conflicts and, at times, hybridizations between different populations and traditions. The project is characterized by the scientific quality of its research tools, the close attention it pays to local archives and its unbiased openness to all demographic segments of the Holy City’s population. The transition of the project from an archival into an academic one is proceeding in three concurrent phases: the first involves creating an overview of the available resources, the second the organization of inventories and their presentation in a web portal and the third the development of a new urban history of Jerusalem from 1840 to 1940 through books and several other publications.
The project’s first international symposium, entitled “Revealing Ordinary Jerusalem (1840-1940): New archives and perspectives on urban citizenship and global entanglements,” is taking place at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies in Rethymno (Greece) on 10-12 May 2016. It aims to serve as a forum for deepening discussions and initiating scientific debates, with contributions from members of the Open Jerusalem team, scholars specializing in related topics, urban historians and specialists of the region.
As part of the Open-Jerusalem research program (funded by the European Research Council ERC), a systematic and standardized description of the archives of the French Consulate of Jerusalem has been launched for the period 1843-1940. This mission was funded by the Open-Jerusalem project and received the support of the French Consulate in Jerusalem and of the CADN (Centre des Archives Diplomatiques de Nantes). The purpose of this first mission (one month, January 2016) was to treat the part concerning the 1843-1914 period of the series 294 PO / B (71 archive boxes = 6.7 linear meters).
Since its repatriation in France in 1978, the series 294PO / B has indeed been much solicited by researchers. The original manuscript inventory of 1956 was not very detailed, many files were no longer located at their initial place, and some boxes were particularly disorganized. For all of these reasons, the reclassification of all of the 71 boxes and the consolidation and deepening of the existing inventory was undertaken as part of this mission. This was done in order to facilitate the consultation and the valorization of these particularly rich and exciting archives for the history of Jerusalem. Indeed, the records contain numerous documents on the political situation in the holy city, the relationship between local authorities and Ottoman government, municipal taxes, business affairs, the maintenance of public order, conflicts and solidarity between religious communities, public works and urban development, health issues, etc.
The very rare and high quality of these archives must be highlighted. They were reorganized on site by the Consul Boppe in 1904, and inventoried (still on site) by Paulette Gustin in the 1950s. In a 1958 inspection report, the French consulate of Jerusalem is complimented for the quality of its records: “Jerusalem can serve as an example to other Consulates”. To prepare the successive returns to the Centre des Archives Diplomatiques in Nantes, several missions have been implemented in the consulate: the archivists Miss Pouillon and Mrs Pozzo di Borgo realized an archive mission in Jerusalem in October and November 1977, just before the return of the archives in France in 1978.
Moreover, it should be stressed that very few European consulates in Jerusalem were able to keep records of such an excellent level, quantitatively and qualitatively. At the time when the Ottoman Empire entered the war against the powers of the Triple Entente in November 1914, consulates of France, Britain and Russia hurriedly closed. During the first world war, the Spanish consulate (neutral country) was in charge of looking after the interests (and archives) of the Allied powers. As a result of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Russian Consulate archives have been lost, until now. The British consulate archives have largely been absorbed by the new occupying authorities and agents from 1917 onwards, which now makes them difficult to locate: they have been “diluted” in the Mandate archives. Regarding the archives of the consulate of Prussia and Germany, they were sealed by the British authorities in 1939 and then partially recovered by the new Israeli State Archives (ISA) after 1949. Among other ongoing investigations, the Open-Jerusalem Program strives to locate and describe all the consular archives in Jerusalem, including current missions in Rome and Madrid, for archives of Italian and Spanish consulates.
Brief history of the Series CADN / 294PO / B
The fund “Archives du Consulat de France à Jerusalem” preserved in CADN (Centre des Archives Diplomatiques de Nantes) consists of two sub-funds encompassing 9 description series. The first sub-fund (1843-1947), which is at the center of our research, includes:
– Series A, which includes the archives concerning the Holy Places, over the period of 1843-1914
– Series B, which includes the thematic files of the consulate of France from 1843 to 1941.
– Both the series A & B were repatriated to France in 1978.
Before the establishment of the Consulate of France in Jerusalem, the interests of France were managed successively by the consulates of France in Aleppo, Damascus and Cairo. It is in 1842 that the Ministry decides to create a consulate in Jerusalem, whose first titleholder was the Comte Gabriel Lantivy. The Consulate has, like other consulates, three main roles: it administers and protects the French community and French nationals abroad, it is in charge of administrative services for French nationals abroad (civil status, notary, issuing of identity documents, registration of French nationals) and finally, it is also an entity that can promote the French cultural identity. At that time, the consulate was placed directly under the authority of the Embassy of France in Constantinople1.
So the French consular archives retrace continuously, since 1843, all the activities of the consulate and its relations with local authorities, religious communities, consulates of other countries, the Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Achievements of the mission
The mission lasted one month, from 4 to 29 January 2016. Initially, the mission allowed to better understand the history of the fund and the arrangement of successive repatriations and to better document the series, through the consultation of the record of the Archives Department on the consulate of France in Jerusalem (odds 13ACN / 239).
Secondly, the systematic treatment of boxes 1-71 (representing 6.7 linear meters) helped to consolidate the ranking and to refine (or to correct if necessary) the initial manuscript description of the records (1956). The documentary typology was systematically clarified. In addition, the documents have been replaced in the specific order described by the 1956 manuscript, despite significant disorder prevailing in some boxes. For future better conservation, all the documents have been repackaged with neutral paper shirts and neutral cardboard boxes.
Alongside this work of repackaging, the 1956 manuscript inventory has been fully typed in a word processor. This greatly simplifies the search inside the files and allows queries by date or keyword.
Furthermore, a systematic survey of the relevant thematic elements for the Open-Jerusalem Project was drawn up with the help of a table of predetermined topics.
Finally, with a view to a possible future digitization, a tracking and reporting (in a separate list) of oversized documents or documents in bad condition has been made. The complete digitization diagnostic is still in progress.
Adélaïde Laloux (Master “Métiers des archives et des bibliothèques”, University of Angers), under the supervision of Bérangère Fourquaux, Vincent Lemire & Yann Potin
See M. Degros, «Les créations de postes diplomatiques et consulaires», La Revue d’histoire diplomatique, 1986, pp. 44-46 ; J.-Ph. Mochon, « Le consulat de France à Jérusalem: aspects historiques, juridiques et politiques de ses fonctions», L’annuaire français de droit international, 1996, pp. 929-945. [↩]
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)».
ERC Open Jerusalem – Call for papers – International symposium
Revealing Ordinary Jerusalem (1840–1940):
New archives and perspectives
on urban citizenship and global entanglements
10–12 May 2016 Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno, Greece
The ERC Project Open Jerusalem, directed by Vincent Lemire, is organizing its first international symposium entitled “Revealing Ordinary Jerusalem (1840–1940): New archives and perspectives on urban citizenship and global entanglements”. The event will take place at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies in Rethymno (Crete, Greece) on 10–12 May 2016.
The ERC Open Jerusalem project aims to unlock and connect different archives and sources in order to investigate the ordinary entangled history of a global city through the lens of the concept of urban citizenship (citadinité). The objective is to produce historical narratives focusing on the way residents interacted with each other, inhabited and appropriated space(s). The symposium intends to be a forum for deepening discussions and opening scientific debates, based on contributions by scholars specializing in related topics, urban historians and specialists of the region. Therefore all participants are kindly requested to stay in Rethymno for the whole duration of the symposium.
Papers should address topics such as:
New archives and links between sources concerning the late Ottoman and Mandate periods (including cartographic materials)
Public policies, institutions and services (markets, charities, fountains, hammams, schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.)
Public time and civic events (city sounds, calendars, liturgies, feasts, imperial ceremonies, etc.)
Negotiation and struggle over shared or contested urban spaces
Civic actors (middlemen, dragomen, local notables, journalists etc.)
Itineraries inside and outside the city (pilgrims, travellers, tourists, migrants, etc.)
Connected sociabilities: economic, cultural and gender relations, interreligious encounters, etc.
Cultural exchange, press diffusion and reception, rumours, languages and creolisation.
We encourage comparative approaches, original studies based on new material and innovative papers, which will be published in a volume after the symposium. English will be the language for all papers, presentations and discussions.
We invite scholars to respond to this call for papers with a short CV, a title and a short abstract (ca. 200 words), including the sources that will be used, by 17 January 2016. The draft versions of the papers should be ready before the symposium (deadline 31 March 2016) and precirculated in order to leave enough time for discussants and participants to read the entire collection of contributions.
The Open Jerusalem project will be pleased to cover the travel and accommodation costs. Abstracts should be sent to Dr Angelos Dalachanis (email@example.com), a member of the Open Jerusalem team, who can also provide more information.
This post is a short abstract of the report written after a mission realized by Leyla Dakhli, Vincent Lemire and Anouk Cohen in Jerusalem for a week, from 8 to 14 June 2015. The goal of this mission was only to launch this fieldwork and to open future tracks of works. The focus was to investigate the circulation of printed documents in Jerusalem 1840-1940 and their position, while paying crucial attention to the different languages of their production and distribution. This approach aimed to have a better view of the possible and/or impossible connected practices of knowledge. To this end, the mission focused on two kinds of places of production and circulation of knowledge:
– Family libraries: the goal of this investigation was to understand what kind of books made up the libraries of scholars from the period in question with a particular interest in practical knowledge of languages (by paying attention to dictionaries for example).
– Printing presses: this investigation aims to study the type of books produced between 1840 and 1940 and the languages in which they were produced (from archival documents and letters cases left in the old printing workshops for example).
This mission sought to identify significant lieux de savoir1 (i-e places of knowledge) and documentation centers (archival or otherwise) and attempt to capture gestures and operations, instruments and supports, expertise and practices, interaction modes and validation procedures, forms of registration and dynamic transmission that contribute, in their articulation, in order to understand the concrete practices of shared and/or divided knowledge in the Holy city in the period 1840-1940.
The Khalidi library
The Khalidi library is arguably the best-preserved privately owned manuscript library in the old city. The Khalidi library houses 1200 manuscripts, most of them microfilmed and stored in boxes in a temperature-controlled room in the attic of the old madrassa. We consulted the catalog of the collections of the library published in 2006 by Khader Salameh and Nazim Al-Ju’aba and prefaced by Walid Khalidi in Arabic2 . Then, we consulted Ruhi al-Khalidi’s documents stored in an acid-resistant gray box3 . Theses documents mainly consist of vocabulary books (organized into lists) and notes taken from various books including those of Ibn Khaldun. These notebooks may belong to his son (John al-Khalidi). Finally, we visited the room where 1900 books printed in Latin characters are stored, including many dictionaries, almanacs and guides that occupy an entire section of the bookcase.
Instruments of knowledge such as magazines, dictionaries, grammar books, encyclopedias, manuals, guides, almanacs, atlases, official publications (such as court judgments of the mandate that would allow us to understand how they developed their research), as well as printers and publishers’ catalogs could be a very interesting material for future research.
From the Excel table of the Latin characters printed catalog (available on Khalidi library’s website4 ), it would be possible to define several sets of data to grasp some publication policies as well as identify the major production centers. Moreover, this statistical study would allow to identify the number of languages and to create clouds of information. Finally, crosscheck this different sets of information would help to understand in which languages the different users of the library were reading and what were the main themes they were interested in. The type of crosstabs that would be interesting to develop are the followings: owners / dates, owners / themes / languages, owners / places of publication.
The Budeiri library
In this place, located next to the Haram esh-Sherif, we may distinguish three blocks of documents.
1) The old manuscripts: 1,166 manuscripts make up the collection. Today, 90% of them are digitized. The manuscripts are safely kept in a small room inside iron storages. It is worth noting that this room is located near a zâwiya where the ancestor allowed students to study.
2) The printed books: there are 158 printed books dating from the end of Ottoman period and Mandate period, mainly written in Ottoman and Arabic. All of them have been inventoried, receiving a singular quotation. Compared to the Khalidi library, Budeiri library’s collection has fewer books in foreign (specially European) languages.
3) The archives are well preserved under plastic cover and stored in about twenty files. This is an original documentation in regard to different fields, especially the history of the Jerusalem Jordanian municipality (1949-1967). There are also various policy papers, poetry and personal documents such as letters. Other documents dated 1950’s consist in names of streets and locations. There are also maps, stamped collected letters and business cards.
Franciscan printing press (FPP)
The Franciscan printing press (FPP) was founded in 1847, the first book printed this year was a catechism in Arabic. The old printing machines and letter cases are well preserved. With the exception of some of them that were displaced recently in Beitphage (the new site for FPP Franciscan Printing Press), three machines remained within the walls of Saint Saviour’s Convent. One of them stands in the great hall of the Custody.
Thanks to Fr. Sergey Loktionov, archivist in chief at the Custody, the historical archives of the FPP are well preserved and perfectly described (under the category “Tipografia”). For sure, the Franciscan printing press was the largest printing press in Jerusalem during the period in question, especially (but not only) for books printed in Latin characters. Thereby, it’s a sort of laboratory / observatory through which it’s possible to see the way in which the city did functioned on a social and cultural level. Indeed, we found a lot of mentions of business cards, printed invitations to concerts, receptions, etc. In the archives there are also precise indications on the printing process, including of activities of production and its different stages. Here are some examples of the consulted files:
1. 1854 apr. 6 – 1888 dic. 27: “Difficoltà per la stamperia”
2. 1878 – inizi sec. XX: “Officine, operai”
3. 1922 giu. 1 – 1926 giu. 22: “censure di publicazioni – Imprimi potest”
4. 1899 ago. 1 – 1952 nov. 21: “Quietanze e note contabili”
5. 1908 apr. 12 – 1953 feb. 18: “Regolamento degli impiegati dell’officina”
6. 1866 mag. – 1873 dic. 2; 1955 feb. 10 – 1955 mar. 16: “Miscellanea”
7. 1879 May 7 – 1892 Sett 12: “Libri stampati al conto della Custodia”.
8. 1880 January 5 – 1909 March 11: “Libri legati pel magazzino”. This register lists all the activities from the Tipografia’s bindery. It provides the list of bound books. We learn that for some books only a few bound copies were printed. Also, the same book could be bound and/or not bound.
9. December 1917 – April 1919: “Registro dei lavori pel governo”. This register, which looks like an ordinary notebook, is of a great importance: it lists all the printed works produced by the new British power in 1918-1919. There are pell-mell passes, labels, administrative stationery, forms, posters, legal notices, a music program, blank passports, maps of prisoners, telegram forms, Post records, daily reports from hospitals (Hospital Report Daily), records of wanted persons, documents related to the police force, building permits, conversion tables (“money rate”), Passes to enter City Walls, contract forms, Medical Ordinance, Jerusalem School of Music. It also contains valuable information on the price of commodities. These data are particularly important because they provide information on the implementation modalities of the new British administration in 1918-1920. Indeed, the Tipografia custody, being the most important of the city, did functions at that time as a kind of official printing press; and thereby, for historians, as a main way of getting information).
10. 1857 June 15 – 1879 December 31: “Giornale delle prestazioni della tipografia”. By 1857, this register describes in great detail the work done by the workers during the months worked. Beginning ten years after the founding of the Tipografia, this register may be the first of its kind in a context of reorganization of the printing press.
11. 1847 – 1873: “Opere stampate nella Tipografia”. This register is composed of two parts: on the one hand, it shows all the documents printed from January 1847 to March 1873. 607 documents had been printed over 26 years. Besides books, there are also travel tickets (biglietti di viaggio) for “il Municipio”. A mention “biglietto di Transito” appears in 1871. On the other hand, are listed the outdoor expeditions to convents. Each page is devoted to one book [mostly catechisms, mass books, or Italian grammar books, etc.]. The main recipient cities are: Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, Saida, Tripoli, Nicosia, Fajum [Fayoum] Tiberias, Caiffa [Haïffa]… Thus, the Tipografia of Jerusalem operated as the as an important production center throughout the Levant.
12. 1890 January 2 – 1909 January 11: “Stampi della tipografia”. This is the register of orders for commands or manufacturing of special characters. In one column, there appears the drawing of the new engraved character. This register is particularly interesting because it allows us to date the production or purchase of letter cases in different alphabets (Russian, Arabic, etc.). By leafing through the register, we learn which characters (and languages) were mainly produced at each period.
This first mission to the family libraries and printing presses in Jerusalem consisted in laying the groundwork for case studies that could be conducted in the coming years. Basically, the goal of this fieldwork would be to better understand how knowledge was shared and/or divided and how texts were circulated (or not) in networks through Jerusalem 1840-1940. Of course there are a lot of other places to include in the future dashboard of this fieldwork (Hebraic, Armenian, Greek, Russian, German, British Printing Press; old Hebraic libraries in West Jerusalem). It should be noted here that this mission not only helped to locate existing archives but also, through chance encounters with people, relationships and spontaneity of the search, gave birth to archives.
With regards to future studies that could better seize on modalities for constituting public knowledge in Jerusalem during the period in question, two types of questions could be considered, focusing on family libraries or on the printing presses. For example, a case study of Khalidi or Budeiri library could focus on how knowledge materializes in a particular architectural feature or furniture, in a group of books or specific objects. Indeed, the architectural and physical environment of the library could be placed at the heart of the investigation in order to study its essential role in the representation or self-representation of scholarly activity or of a certain idea of knowledge itself. Libraries give to see a certain idea of knowledge, specialist or generalist, local or universal, and how they materialize a representation of culture within its limits and in its ambitions.
An investigation on Printing Press and printers could inform the history of scholarly work that is actually determined by the development of techniques and instruments. Sites that attract considerable attention — for authors, readers, and technicians — printing presses are also diffusion locations, where knowledge is reticulated or radiated. At the crossroads of flow, they are devoted to the establishment of texts themselves and their reproduction. Thus, the study of printing would open the way to a dynamic approach to knowledge: in terms of spheres of influence, centrifugal and centripetal forces, but also in terms of circulation and translation. In this way, one would better understand the central nodes of a network in relation to the others, located in more distant peripheries. A huge challenge, to be continued!
Christian Jacob, « Introduction: Faire corps, faire lieu », Lieux de savoir, Tome 1, Paris, Albin Michel, 2007. [↩]
Al-Ju’aba Nazmi, Walid Khalidi, Catalog of Manuscripts in Al-Khalidi Library – Jerusalem, Vol. 1 & 2, London: Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 2001-2006. The website of the Khalidi Library: http://www.khalidilibrary.org/indexe.html. [↩]
Ruhi al-Khalidi (1864–1913) was a writer, teacher, activist and politician in the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the twentieth century. He was the nephew of Youssef Ziya al-Khalidi, who was one of the first mayor of Jerusalem. In 1908, Ruhi was one of three delegates elected to represent Jerusalem in the new parliament and become Vice-President of parliament (1911). [↩]
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”
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:
– Receipts and payment documents to the municipality:
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.
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.
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)
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)
The new issue of Jerusalem Quarterly is now available online. It includes an article by Yasemin Avci, Vincent Lemire and Falestin Naili (Open Jerusalem) about “Publishing Jerusalem’s Ottoman Municipal Archives (1892–1917): A Turning Point for the City’s Historiography”.