Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies in the United Kingdom by LCSS

Aug 03, 2015 10:00

LCSS is delighted to offer researchers, academics and postgraduate students the opportunity to enhance their skills on Ottoman and Archival Studies to be held 3-7 August, 2015

Visit LCSS News for the highlights of the Programme.

Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies in the United Kingdom by LCSS

Are you interested in discovering more about London archives and Ottoman studies as well as developing effective research skills?

LCSS is delighted to offer researchers, academics and postgraduate students the opportunity to enhance their skills on archives and Ottoman studies to be held 3-7 August, 2015.

The training for Archives and Ottoman studies will:

  • Help you develop your core research skills through workshops, talks and training sessions at libraries.
  • Provide you with guidance to become more familiar with key institutions and sources.
  • Develop your research skills to use archives and original documents and access the relevant sources in your area of interest.
  • Provide networking opportunities with colleagues based in the UK for future research opportunities.

At the end of the training programme you will possess an enhanced understanding of archival management principles of doing research and how to put these principles into practice.

The Training for Archives and Ottoman studies is a five-day programme with the following sessions:


Day 1 – August 3, Monday, the Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

12:00-14:15 Programme Induction, Welcome and Introductions

Keynote Speech by Dr Senija Causevic, a Co-Chair of the SOAS Centre for Ottoman Studies.

Dr Senija Causevic will give a keynote lecture about the current state of the Ottoman Studies, the latest trends and challenges in the field, and the role of the SOAS Centre for Ottoman Studies in promoting research and teaching in the field of Ottoman studies and facilitating links between SOAS and other individuals, institutions and associations with an academic interest in the Ottoman Empire and post-Ottoman societies.

Presentations on the AHRC Research Network - Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories- by Dr Gabriel Koureas, Senior Lecturer, Department of History of Art, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London and Dr Colette Wilson, Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, University of Westminster.

Why British resources are so important for the Ottoman Studies researchers?

The relations between the Ottoman State and the British Empire go back to the middle of the sixteenth century. The centuries-long process of interaction included exchange of knowledge and information in the field of science, technology, education and arts, and greatly benefited both sides. Today British libraries, museums and educational institutions offer highly valuable sources illustrating important milestones in the history of Ottoman State and its interactions with the British Empire.  The LCSS Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies in UK offers a great opportunity to students and researchers with the relevant interests for studying these unique sources in London.

2:30 -3:30 The Senate House Library, University of London- Visit Hosted by Dr Karen Attar

The visit covers the history of Senate House Library, University of London and provides an overview of its printed and archival special collections, from the arrival of the first books in 1838 to the present. Examples will be shown of the Library’s few books pertaining to the Ottoman Empire, from early travel books and books about Russo-Turkish wars to political pamphlets about Cyprus, alongside items epitomizing Senate House Library’s rich special collections holdings. The visit will also explain how books and archives are made available to readers and introduce groups to the archival catalogue.


Day 2 – August 4, Tuesday, The National Archives

10:00 – 13:00 Half-day Workshop

A half-day Ottoman studies workshop is covering broad skills and methodology including Discovery the TNA catalogue, an overview of medieval and early modern collections, the Foreign Office indexes and registers and an overview of modern collections. 

The TNA training on Ottoman and Archival Studies will be conducted by Dr Juliette Desplat and Ruth SelmanThe Training Programme is as follows: 


10:00-10:10 Welcome and introductions


10:10-10:40 Discovery our catalogue and other online resources

  • Discovery
  • Library catalogue
  • Research guides
  • Online records


10:40-11:20 Overview of Medieval and Early Modern sources

  • Overview of sources
  • Onsite resources and finding aids
  • Tax documents (E 179 database)
  • Customs accounts, port books
  • State papers


11:20-12:30 Overview of Modern sources

  • Overview of sources
  • Foreign Office registers and indexes
  • Colonial Office registers and indexes
  • Cabinet Papers
  • Maps and photographs


12:30-13:00 Document display and roundup discussion

13:00- 14:00 - Lunch 

14:00- 19:00 - Independent Research at TNA Archives


















                                                        The participants will get the opportunity to exercise the knowledge and skills that they have acquired from the TNA workshop through independent research. They will receive guidance and advice from both the TNA colleagues on request and Professor Salim Ayduz. At the end of the TNA training all participants will receive various relevant hand-outs including presentation slides.


DAY 3 – August 5, Wednesday

The SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Library Tour – the tour is conducted by Mary Fisk, Subject Librarian (History & Religions, Ancient Near East, Semitics & Judaica)

09:15am – 1:15pmAn Induction Tour of the SOAS Library and an Overview of the Ottoman Content in the SOAS Main Collections

The visit covers a general introduction of the SOAS Library and provides an overview of its rich collections related to the Ottoman Studies. Mary Fisk will conduct a tour and give a presentation about Ottoman materials, followed by Q&A session and refreshments.

11:30pm – 12:30pm (Group 1) – Visiting the SOAS Archives

12:30pm – 13:30pm (Group 2) – Visiting the SOAS Archives

The visit will provide a general overview of the SOAS Archives, guidance on access, and a brief tour of the SOAS archival storage areas. Professor Salim Ayduz will conduct an introductory session on a number of the Ottoman archival documents selected for display, using both his expertise on the subject and his knowledge of the Ottoman Turkish Language. 


DAY 4 – August 6, Thursday, The British Library

10:00 - 11:30 British Library Visit

The visit covers the history of the British Library and its collections, and explains how the library store their items and how they are requested and delivered to researchers in the reading room. You will find out about the jewel in the crown of the library’s collections. The visit will take you behind the scenes into a book handling room and also to the viewing platform, where you can see researchers inside the Humanities Reading room. Finally the group will be taken to the Treasures Gallery, where some of the most precious and iconic items are on display.

12:00pm -13:00pm - Visiting Ottoman Collections and Archives, Asian and African Studies, 'Print Room'

The visit will cover  the 'show and tell' and a general overview of  manuscripts and some rare materials  of various kinds relevant to the Ottoman period. The visit will conclude with a brief Q&A session.


Visiting Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation

14:30-16:00 : Exploring Research Tools for Searching Ottoman Sources

The visit will start with the welcoming words by Karima Benaicha, Head of the Library Department at al-Furqan, that will introduce the Foundation’s history and main activities, followed by a brief film about al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation. Celeste Gianni - library assistant - will explain in details Al-Furqan library’s collectionThe focus of this library is collecting library catalogues of Islamic manuscripts held in libraries around the world and other unique reference sources in the area of the Islamic written heritage.  Participants will be shown catalogues regarding collections of Ottoman materials in libraries around the world. Celeste Gianni will then explain how to use library catalogues as tool of research and proceed with an induction to the use of al-Furqan’s Digital Portal.


DAY 5 – August 7, Friday

11:00am -13:00pm - Visiting Weston Library of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Visit will cover an overview of the Ottoman Archives and Manuscripts (including a history of how these collections were acquired) and some guidelines on research and navigation tools for locating the sources. The visit will be completed with Q&A session when students will be able to receive some advice on their particular research interests.


  • Please note that places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis. 

  • To make a booking and secure your place, please register your details and pay the Programme registration fee following the link at the top right-hand corner of this page ('Register Now (£350)).

  • Attendants will be given a 'Certificate of Attendance' at the end of the programme.

  • There is a limited number of registration fee grants available.


Should you have  any additional enquiries, not covered above, please email to:


Prof Salim Ayduz

Director of Heritage Department at British Muslim Heritage Centre

Rosa Vercoe

Former Project Coordinator, LCSS

Dr Juliette Desplat

Head, Modern Overseas Records, Advice & Records Knowledge Department, The National Archives

Ruth Selman

Principal Early Modern Records Specialist, Medieval and Early Modern team

Dr Karen Attar

Librarian at the University of London’s Senate House Library & an Associate Research Fellow at its Institute of English Studies

Mary Fisk

Subject Librarian (History & Religions, Ancient Near East, Semitics & Judaica)

Celeste Gianni

Library assistant, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation

Dr Gabriel Koureas

Senior Lecturer & Program director for the MA Museum Cultures.

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