Ottoman Archival Materials

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<ul><li><p>Ottoman Archival Materials for the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries: The Archivesof IstanbulAuthor(s): Stanford J. ShawSource: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan., 1975), pp. 94-114Published by: Cambridge University PressStable URL: .Accessed: 03/03/2014 04:48</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .</p><p> .</p><p>JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact</p><p> .</p><p>Cambridge University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access toInternational Journal of Middle East Studies.</p><p> </p><p>This content downloaded from on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 04:48:18 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p></li><li><p>Int. J. Middle East Stud. 6 (I975), 94-114 Printed in Great Britain 94 </p><p>Stanford J. Shaw </p><p>OTTOMAN ARCHIVAL MATERIALS FOR THE NINETEENTH AND EARLY TWENTIETH </p><p>CENTURIES: THE ARCHIVES OF ISTANBUL </p><p>It has been just fifteen years since my researches in the Bagbakanlik Arsivi (Prime Minister's Archives) in Istanbul on Ottoman provincial administration and finance before the nineteenth century' led me to attempt to describe what I saw in the archives for the benefit of other researchers.2 Since that time, a number of additional collections in that archive have been catalogued and made available, and my own subsequent research into the Ottoman reform movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have enabled me to examine these and other materials which I did not see or examine during my earlier research efforts in Istanbul. It is the purpose of this survey, then, to describe these more modern archival materials in Istanbul, particularly those in the Basbakanlik Arsivi which were not described in my earlier article, in the hope of encouraging all those interested in modern Ottoman and Middle Eastern history to make use of them in the course of their own research.3 In order to help the reader under- stand the nature of the bulk of materials in each collection, I am dividing them into four general categories: basic laws and regulations, administrative records and regulations, records of sultans and individual statesmen, and judicial records, although in fact the materials in each collection at least partly overlap in nature with those of the others. </p><p>I See S. J. Shaw, The Financial and Administrative Organization and Development of Ottoman Egypt, I517-1798 (Princeton, N.J., 1962); Ottoman Egypt in the Age of the French Revolution (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1964); The Budget of Ottoman Egypt (The Hague, Holland, 1968). </p><p>2 S. J. Shaw, 'Archival Sources for Ottoman History: The Archives of Turkey', Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 80 (i960), pp. I-12; 'Turkish Source materials for Egyptian History', Political and Social Change in Modern Egypt, ed. P. M. Holt (Oxford University Press, London and New York, 1968), pp. 28-48. </p><p>3 The best general inventory of the Basbakanllk Archives in Istanbul is Midhat Sertoglu, Muhteva Bakimindan Basvekalet Arfivi (Ankara, I955). It is a basic tool, and should be used consistently and regularly by all researchers. </p><p>This content downloaded from on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 04:48:18 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p></li><li><p>The Ottoman archives of Istanbul 95 </p><p>A. BASIC LAWS AND REGULATIONS </p><p>(I) The Hatt-z Hiimayun collection </p><p>Containing about Io,ooo documents from early in the eighteenth century to the start of the Tanzimat (I839), this collection consists primarily of documents and reports transmitted by the Grand Vezir's office (Bab-t Asafi) to the Sultan and the Imperial Council for deliberation and action, along with the orders issued as a result. For the most part, the different documents concerning indivi- dual problems were not kept together, but rather are found scattered through- out the collection. While no formal subject classification was followed in putting them together, the catalogues were generally arranged according to date, with materials concerning individual subjects often found relatively close to one another in the listings. Among subjects of interest treated in this collection are the reforms of sultans Selim III and Mahmud II, the French Expedition to Egypt, the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, and the Serbian and Greek revolu- tions. The original Ottoman handscript catalogues now have been supplanted by copies typed in the Latin script. </p><p>(2) The Cevdet collection Documents were classified and catalogued from 1932 to 1937 by a committee </p><p>under the direction of the well-known Istanbul scholar and bibliophile Muallim M. Cevdet.I Catalogues are available only in the typed Latin script. Covering primarily the years from I750 to 1839, this collection consists entirely of individual documents rather than dossiers, and has been catalogued into sixteen major subject categories: </p><p>Number of documents </p><p>Adliye/Judicial affairs 6,371 Askeri/Military affairs 54,984 Bahriye/Naval affairs 12,743 Belediye/Municipal affairs 7,597 Dahiliye/General administration 17,468 Darphane/Ottoman mint, coinage 3,281 Evkaf/Religious foundations 33,35 Iktisat/Economic affairs 2,261 Hariciye/Foreign affairs 9,327 Szhhiye/Public health 1,45I Nafia/Public works 2,785 Saray/Palace affairs 9,oI9 Timar/Fief and military finances 8,794 Zaptiye/Police and public security 4,550 Eyaldt-z miimtdze/Special provinces ,o032 Maarif/Education and cultural affairs 9,242 </p><p>Total I84,256 </p><p>I See Osman Ergin, Mualltm Cevdetzn Hayatz, Eserleri ve Kiitiiphanesi (Istanbul, I937). </p><p>This content downloaded from on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 04:48:18 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p></li><li><p>96 StanfordJ. Shaw </p><p>Within each general subject catalogue, documents have not been arranged either by date or by subcategory. In addition, when documents concerned several subjects, the cataloguers were compelled to make arbitrary judgments as to which single category catalogue they should be assigned. The careful researcher therefore should consult as wide a group of subject catalogues as is possible in the time available. </p><p>(3) The Irade collection This is the basic collection of documents concerning the nineteenth and early </p><p>twentieth centuries, containing some 350,000 dossiers concerning the years from 1832 to the end of the Empire. For the most part, it is arranged into dossiers on each subject, containing the various documents and drafts involved in drawing up and issuing all the imperial decrees proclaimed during the last century of Ottoman existence. For the years from 1832 to I310/1892, one catalogue volume is set aside for the documents concerning each year. Each volume is arranged not by subject but only according to general category, Dahiliye/Internal affairs or Hariciye/Foreign and minority affairs from 1832 to 1840, with additional sections subsequently being provided in each catalogue to include dossiers for irddes issued by the special legislative bodies organized after that time, the Meclis-i Vdld-yz Ahkdm-z AdliyelSupreme Council of Judicial Ordinances' after I256/ I840, and the $ura-yz Devlet/Council of State2 after 1284/1867, and also those issued in connection with reports of the Meclis-i Mahsus-i ViikelalCouncil of Ministers after 1270/1853. Within each category, dossiers are arranged by date. The most important state problems are found among the 5,646 dossiers listed under Meclis-i Mahsus, the 7,2I4 dossiers under yura-yz Devlet, and the 21,136 dossiers under Hariciye. The approximately 80,ooo dossiers under Dahiliye and 26,336 dossiers under Meclis-i Vdld usually, but not always, concern matters of lesser importance. </p><p>In addition to the catalogues arranged by year, a separate series of documents and catalogues concerning problems related to foreign affairs and the minority subjects of the Sultan has been prepared for the years from I839 to I857 under the general title Mesail-i Miihimme/Important Problems.3 Subjects dealt with in this series are relations with Austria, Denmark, Sardinia, Iran, Monte- negro, Portugal, England, Wallachia and Moldavia, Serbia, Greece, Russia, France, Bulgaria, the Pope, Iran, Prussia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tuscany; problems concerning the Protestant millet, the Armenian millet, the Kurds, the Catholic millet, the Jewish millet, the Latin rayas, the Greek millet, the tribes of eastern Anatolia, the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and the provinces of Crete, Ni?, Yemen, Sidon, Bagdad, Aleppo, Adana and Mara~, Damascus, </p><p>See S.J. Shaw, 'The Central Legislative Councils in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Reform Movement before I876', IJMES, vol. I (1970), pp. 54-63. </p><p>2 Shaw, 'Central Legislative Councils', pp. 73-84. 3 See Sertoglu, Muhteva Bakmnindan, pp. 56-8, for a detailed list of the dossiers and </p><p>their titles. </p><p>This content downloaded from on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 04:48:18 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p></li><li><p>The Ottoman archives of Istanbul 97 </p><p>Ankara, Egypt, Bosnia, Diyarbekir, Thessaloniki, I?kodra (Scutari of Albania), Algiers, Sisam, Tunis, Hudavendigar (Bursa), Yanya (Janina), Uskib, Edirne, Erzurum, Aydin, and Trabzon; there are also separate catalogues dealing with problems such as the organization of quarantines, the Sultan's visits to Europe and different parts of the Empire, measures to be taken in consequence of revolts in Europe, and the like. An additional series of special catalogues, gathered under the general title Hiitiit-i Hiimayun (Imperial Rescripts), cover documents con- cerning subjects such as administrative and municipal regulations, military organization, the Imperial Arsenal (Tophane-i amire), the Imperial Dockyard (Tersane-i amire), state-owned buildings (Ebniye-i emiriyye), the Treasury for Foundation revenues (Hazine-i Evkaf), the private treasury of the Sultan (Hazine-i hassa-i fahane), weddings of members of the Ottoman family (Sur-i Hiimayun), Imperial and private factories, and the Imperial treasury. The docu- ments in these subject collections are arranged according to date, and while they nominally go only to 1857, in fact documents from later dates may also be found in some of them, going at least up to the end of the nineteenth century. </p><p>Starting in the year 1310/I892, the registers of the Irade collection for each year were divided according to Ministry, with separate annual catalogue volumes thus being provided for: DahiliyelInterior, HariciyelForeign and minority affairs, Adliye/Justice, Maarif/Education, Maliye/Finance, RusumatlExcise and special taxes, Tophane/Arsenal, Zabtiye/Police and security, Nafia/Public works, Orman ve Maadin/Forests and mines, Meseyhiye/Religious affairs, $ehir Emdneti/Istanbul municipality, Imtiyaz ve Mukavelat/Capitulations privileges and contracts with foreign individuals and companies, Telgraf ve Posta/Telegraph and post office, and Szhhiye/Public health. Separate catalogue volumes also were provided in most years for Hususi Irdddt/Special orders out- side regular categories, Nizdmdt/Organizational ordinances and regulations, and Defter-i Hakani/Register of Imperial revenues. This system was followed until 1334/I916, well into World War I, when a new subject system was introduced, with all dossiers and their catalogues organized solely according to subject, in eight main groups: </p><p>Group I dossiers. Matters concerning the Sultanate and the Imperial family: the organization of the Council of Ministers (Heyet-i Viikela) and changes in its membership; persons admitted to the presence of the Sultan; affairs of the Imperial Properties/Emlak-t Hiimayun; religious holidays and festivals; gifts awarded by the Sultan; foreign ambassadors to the Porte; Ottoman ambassadors abroad; institutions supported by the Sultan's treasury; the Emir of Mecca; Tripoli of Libya and Benghazi; foreign rulers and their families. </p><p>Group II dossiers. Basic organizational regulations (nizamat) and instructions (talimat); commercial privileges and agreements; treaties; the coal mine of Eregli; foreign institutions in the Empire; questions of nationality; special agents sent to foreign governments; medals and insignia awarded by the Sultan; matters concerning foreign ships passing through the Straits; roads and bridges. </p><p>MES 6 I 7 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 04:48:18 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p></li><li><p>98 Stanford J. Shaw </p><p>Group III dossiers. Appointments to administrative positions; awards to administrators (memurzn). </p><p>Group IV dossiers. Temporary laws; tax increases and exemptions. Group V dossiers. The Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina; the Imperial gift </p><p>(siirre) sent annually to the Holy Cities; appointments as Imperial preacher (Hitabet); declarations of war; pardons for criminal punishments; affairs of the Hicaz railroad and the Hicaz; organization of courts; administrative organi- zation and subdivisions; religious foundations; dismissal and trial of admini- strative officials; orders for execution and penal servitude; construction on state property; orphanages; martial law matters; societies; schools; provincial organization. </p><p>Group VI dossiers. Petitions to the Sultan (miistediyat); reductions in salary for officials; foreign subjects in Ottoman service; congresses; private business companies; provincial budgets; provincial and district representative councils;' non-Muslim societies; archeological excavations; extraordinary taxes; budgets of special livas; basic laws (kavanin) and regulations (nizamat); the Ottoman con- stitution; regulations for the election of deputies; the Mecelle law code; agricul- tural and industrial fairs and exhibitions; railroads in Rumeli; the abolition of paper notes (kavaim-i nakdiyye) and the unification of the public debt; news- papers and magazines; foreign relations problems, with special dossiers on problems with England over Akaba and Kuwait, with Austria-Hungary over Bosnia and Herzegovina, with France over its occupation of Tunis and Algiers, and with various foreign powers regarding the Suez Canal, neutrality of the Black Sea, and navigation through the Straits; information on peace negotia- tions with Russia; the revolt of Serbia and Montenegro; Russian war indemnities; the Congress of Berlin, with special dossiers on matters concerning reforms in Anatolia, the definition of the Ottoman boundary with Greece, and lands to be left to Montenegro; Austrian refugees to the Ottoman Empire. </p><p>Group VII dossiers; Military Affairs. Military appointments, demotions and gifts; military organization; military retirement affairs; military courts; reduction of military salaries; provisions of sancaks and awards and...</p></li></ul>