Exhibition! Ottoman Manuscripts in Hamburg

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In connection with the “Turkologentag 2016”, the Hamburg State and University Library “Carl von Ossietzky” will host an exhibition on Ottoman manuscripts, starting from 15 September 2016 until 29 September 2016.

For the first time, the exhibition will give an exemplary overview on Osmanica that belong to museums and other collections in Hamburg. Besides a selection of Ottoman manuscripts from the Hamburg State and University Library, there will be exhibits from the Museum of Ethnology, the International Maritime Museum, the Museum for Art and Crafts, the Hamburg State Archive as well as the Museum of Hamburg History.

The presentation of the exhibits will concentrate on the production and use of manuscripts. Thus, the visitors to the exhibition will gain insights into fields such as layout and format variations, forms of use, or places of storage and circulation of manuscripts. The main part of the manuscripts exhibited will be codices with texts in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Persian. However, snapshots on the following matters will broaden the view on what ‘Ottoman manuscripts’ could be. First, there will be examples of manuscripts produced within the Jewish, Armenian, Aramaic and Greek communities of the Ottoman Empire. Second, objects such as certificates, but also tableaus, coins and medals will illustrate how handwritten script and its imitations permeated everyday life far beyond book culture. Last, but not least, examples of first printed books will raise the question whether with the emergence of print in the 18th century manuscripts became superfluous.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue that is published by the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University, in its series “manucript cultures”, available as paper and online publication. Among the contributors to this volume are renowned scholars such as Claus-Peter Haase, Klaus Kreiser, Hans Georg Majer, Christoph K. Neumann, Gisela Procházka-Eisl, Henning Sievert, and Michael Ursinus.

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