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Book-ownership in Ottoman Sarajevo 1707-1828

Asim Zubcevic defended his thesis on 11 November 2015

A.Z. (Asim) Zubcevic
11 November 2015
Leiden University Repository

Supervisor: Prof. dr. J.J. Witkam

This dissertation presents findings on book ownership in Ottoman Sarajevo based on the examination of 59 inheritance inventories recorded in the city court registers (sijills) for the period from 1707 to 1828. It includes a case study of one particular book owner, kadi Ṣāliḥ ‘Izzat Ḥromozāde from Sarajevo, who endowed his book collection in 1828. The findings are placed in the wider social and cultural context of Ottoman Bosnia and the questions of literacy, education, the role of libraries, informal channels for the transmission of knowledge, the use of different languages and scripts, the role of scribes and bookbinders in a largely manuscript culture, and the introduction of print. The dissertation draws on the manuscript of the Chronicle of Mullā Muṣṭafā Basheskī (d. cca 1802), as the major narrative source for the period. It also gathers and presents the references to written culture in Bosnian oral poetry and various folk customs revolving around the use of books in order to illustrate one of the many interfaces between the written and spoken word and to demonstrate the range of functions books could play in a largely oral and illiterate society.

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