Monday, October 21, 2013

HAZİNE: a guide to researching the middle east and beyond

HAZİNE: a guide to researching the middle east and beyond
In the Ottoman Empire, the hazine was the treasury, a storehouse in which courtiers found books to read, scribes deposited documents, and clerks stowed away precious objects that arrived from around the empire.

We started HAZİNE in the hopes of creating a similar storehouse of information for scholars researching the Middle East and the Islamic world at large. There are so many archives, libraries, museums, and other research centers with material on the Middle East that it is often hard to know where to begin one’s research. At the same time, many smaller archives and collections are overshadowed by the massive resources of state institutions. Instead of each researcher beginning on his or her own, acquiring a few tricks of the trade from more seasoned researchers, we hope researchers will use HAZİNE to acquaint themselves with these collections, large and small, and jump directly into the research.

For the moment, our reviews focus on resources on the Ottoman Empire, but in the future we hope to expand further and provide resources for different geographical regions such as North Africa and South Asia. We also plan to include collections of material objects found in art or ethnography museums.

At the same time, we would like HAZİNE to become a forum for scholars to discuss different methods and techniques for conducting research and to delve deeper into the histories and ethics of the archives themselves. To this end, we have a series of short essays that are meant to be reflections on the nature of conducting research and the constitution and preservation of archives. We find these concerns particularly pertinent today as the increased digitization of manuscripts and documents transforms the way we research. As we continue to update our site, we also hope to include an increasing number of resources for researchers, such as specific guides to various types of source material.

So check back regularly for future developments. If you would like to stay updated, please follow us on our Facebook page.

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