Campus Gotha, Forschungsbibliothek Gotha

Situating an Eighteenth-Century Library: Reflections from the Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar’s Library Project (Gotha Manuscript Talks)

10. Apr 2024, 6.15 pm
Gotha Manuscript Talks
Gotha Research Library in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg
Dr Guy Burak (New York University, New York City)
Event type
Event Language(s)

Join virtual event here

This time, Dr Feras Krimsti (Gotha Research Library) and Professor Konrad Hirschler (University of Hamburg) welcome Dr Guy Burak (New York University, New York City) to the Gotha Manuscript Talks.

A book from al-Jazzār's library.
A book from al-Jazzār's library.

In recent years, the study of Middle Eastern and Islamic libraries has called into question commonly used adjectives: “Islamic”, “Ottoman”, “Medieval”, “Mamluk”, “Syrian”, “Palestinian”... Years of research and numerous monographs have made it quite evident that each of these adjectives conceals as much as it reveals about the library, yet scholars have found it hard to abandon them. The question of the proper adjectives has become pressing again in the collaborative research project on the eighteenth-century library established by the famous Ottoman governor al-Jazzar in the northern Palestinian town of ‘Akka. As one of the editors who coordinated the project, whose participants came from different disciplinary backgrounds, I found myself intrigued by these attempts to classify al-Jazzar’s library. The talk, then, will offer a reflection on the challenge of classifying a library in the broader context of the historiography of libraries in the region.

Guy Burak is Librarian for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU Libraries. His research focuses, among other topics, on Islamic history and law.

contact person:

Curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection
(Gotha Research Library)
Gotha Research Library (Gotha, Schlossplatz 1)
Office hours
on appointment
Profile page