OTAP News: Number 12 - December 2004

It has been a long time since the Ottoman Texts Archive Project has sent out any news. This does not mean that we have ceased working or have given up on the project. It does mean that we have run out of funding -- temporarily, we hope -- and have had to husband our time and resources.

WHAT WE DID IN 2003-2004:

Since our funding for a paid assistant ran out in 2003, we have cut back on the labor-intensive tasks of preparing texts for the archive and have depended on volunteer student helpers for limited technical explorations. Recently we have focused our attention on the creation of tools that will eventually allow scholars to access and study Ottoman texts in ways that have been impossible in the past. The following are some of our projects:

However, you will see that we have also added some texts to the archive. There is now a preliminary edition of Ca`fer Çelebi's Hevesname, a unique and original narrative poem from the late 15th or early 16th century, prepared by Hakan and Hivren Demir Atay under the supervision of Mehmet Kalpaklı. The text is still being corrected but it is up on the website and available for viewing and use. We have also added a corrected version of Tarlan's edition of Necātī's gazels.


First and foremost we are looking for new funding sources with the help of the Development Office at the University of Washington. Our experience with a National Endowment for the Humanities grant application has convinced us that it is wise to seek private funding rather than look to government sources. If you have any suggestions for funding opportunities, please pass them on.

We are also looking for scholars doing transcription, editing, textual studies, and text analysis work, who would like to take advantage of our resources to prepare their texts. If you think you might be interested, just send us a note and we'll see what we can do for you.

If you or your university would like to discuss becoming a partner with us in this project, we would love to hear from you. We are especially interested in moving the center of the project to Turkey (where it belongs) and limiting the University of Washington's role to training and support.

For the most part, however, we are going to continue developing resources for the study and archiving of texts. We are going to continue to do what we can but, in the end, the project will succeed only if there is sufficient support in the broad community of scholars. And, for us, that means convincing scholars that they will benefit substantially from using our resources.

Our very best wishes,

Walter G. Andrews Mehmet Kalpaklı
University of Washington Bilkent University