Theme 1: Tracing the Astronomical Heritage Through Libraries, Archives and Museums

An Ottoman Volvelle in a Perpetual Calendar (Image Courtesy of Talat Öncü, Private Collection, Ankara, Türkiye).

This theme aims to bring together museums, libraries, and archives to discuss manuscripts and material culture related to the history of Ottoman Astronomy. It consists of two subthemes: The first one is to trace the circulation of astronomical knowledge through libraries, archives and museums from a historical perspective. The second one is to introduce the archives, libraries and museums where the sources of the Ottoman astronomical heritage can be found and to discuss possible collaborations that will contribute to the present research on the history of Ottoman astronomy. Thus, questions such as the following may be discussed in the framework of these themes:

  • How does one trace cross-cultural interactions throughout manuscripts and materials within Libraries, Archives and Museums?
  • How can the contributions of the book collections and libraries that emerged in the Ottoman lands to the astronomical heritage be addressed?
  • How to trace the inventories of the private libraries, and how do they contribute to the historiography of Ottoman astronomy?
  • What is the place of manuscripts related to astronomy in Greek, Arabic, Persian, Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Italian, and Hebrew in libraries regarding different periods and locations of the Ottoman territories?
  • What kind of Ottoman astronomical manuscripts and artefacts are preserved in Archives, Libraries and Museums in Turkey and abroad? And what do they tell us?
  • How can issues related to uncatalogued works affect the direction of future research on the history of Ottoman astronomy? What are ways to make these manuscripts and objects accessible to more researchers?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the use of digital versions of collections digital representation for academics, educators, and the public?
  • Within the framework of the sources that will contribute to the historiography of Ottoman astronomy, what are the problems faced by researchers due to the blurring of traditional boundaries between archives, libraries and museums, and which methods and approaches can solve any potential issues?
  • What is the digital humanities approach to the History of Science? What could one say regarding its influences on directions for future studies on Ottoman astronomy?

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