Constantinople in the 17th century.

Istanbul in the Seventeenth Century

Historians of the Ottoman Empire

Initiated in the Fall of 2003, the project Historians of the Ottoman Empire aims at filling an extensive gap in the field of Ottoman Studies by offering scholars a major bio-bibliographical reference book on Ottoman historians.

In contrast to earlier similar projects in the field, Historians of the Ottoman Empire intends to comprise all the historians who have lived and produced within the geographical limits of the Ottoman Empire -- regardless of the language in which they wrote. The reference book will thus cover works of history primarily in Turkish, but also in Arabic, Persian, Armenian, Greek, and other languages.

To our surprise, the first few months of study generated a list consisting of almost a thousand historians (Franz Babinger's work from 1927 on the same subject listed about 380 historians). Even this stage of the project demonstrates the dire need to update the reference material that scholars have been using up to now.

The editors, in consultation with an international board of advisors, have set up a list of scholars who have already researched and written about particular Ottoman historians; these scholars are being contacted and assigned the relevant entries. As the articles accumulate, the results will be made available to researchers through the World Wide Web.

The most important intended contribution of this project is to accompany each author-entry with a list of manuscripts (along with their locations) for this author's works. Unpublished manuscripts will be given particular attention, and a short summary or a table of contents will be provided.

The Historians of the Ottoman Empire is intended to be a major reference work for scholars and students of the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Europe, and the Caucasus, as well as for non-specialists interested in the histories and cultures of these regions.

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