The project started in the fall of 2003, with a team of graduate students collecting bio- and bibliographical references from which, in consultation with the editorial committee, a preliminary list of authors is being drafted. In parallel, a booklet of Guidelines for Contributors was prepared and the first articles are being assigned. In more detail:
Setting up a list of relevant historians and manuscripts
A team of graduate students is currently compiling a list of Ottoman historians by sifting through a massive body of secondary literature that has been published since 1927. First, the data on Franz Babinger’sGeschichtsschreiber der Osmanen und ihre Werke was put into digital format (including the reviews it received). Furthermore, encyclopedias (EI, İA, DİA, etc.), books, journal articles, dissertations, and current manuscript catalogues are being carefully examined. This research work has up to now produced more than a thousand names (three times what was found in GOW), and we expect to see this number grow even further as the process continues.
In parallel the research assistants are also collecting every piece of bibliographical information on the relevant manuscripts, thus creating a database to be used at later stages of the project. Also to serve this goal, another team of students is combing through all the published manuscript catalogues of the world.
Assignment of the articles
The assignment of articles will take place in two steps. The editors, in consultation with the board of advisors, have already begun to identify scholars who have already worked on particular Ottoman authors. These scholars will be invited to participate in the Historians of the Ottoman Empire project by writing the relevant article.
Particular attention will be paid to junior scholars from Turkish universities. Dissertations written in those universities are frequently devoted to little-known Ottoman authors, and too often remain unpublished. Historians of the Ottoman Empire will request the participation of these scholars in order to take full advantage of this oft-disregarded but highly relevant pool of research.
In those cases where a recent encyclopedia entry or short article devoted to an Ottoman historian happens to be suitable for the needs of this project, the editorial committee will request from its author and publisher permission to reprint. In some cases authors will be invited to update their piece in order to adjust it to the project’s guidelines.
A second round of assignment will concentrate on those Ottoman writers who have not been studied by modern scholars and whose historical works have not been edited. At that point a list of these historians will be made available on this website in order to attract applications from scholars who would like to research them and write the corresponding entries.
Please note that, throughout this process, the assignment of entries remains the absolute prerogative of the editorial committee. We strongly advise interested scholars not to begin the research or redaction of an article before the editorial committee accepts their application.