29th melcom conference sarajevo 4th to 6th june 2007
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29th Melcom Conference, Sarajevo 4th to 6th June 2007. DIGITIZING MANUSCRIPTS IN TURKEY Public and Private Efforts. ZEYNEP GÜNEŞ. Approximately 300.000 Manuscripts in Turkey.

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29th Melcom Conference, Sarajevo 4th to 6th June 2007

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29th Melcom Conference, Sarajevo 4th to 6th June 2007


Public and Private Efforts


  • Approximately 300.000 Manuscripts in Turkey.

  • These collections held in manuscript, public and university libraries, in other official organizations, mosques and individuals’ houses .

  • Reasons for Digitizing manuscripts

  • Easy Access

  • Preservation

  • Conservation

Ministry of Culture set up a major digitizing project of manuscripts in 2003 and planned to finish in 2008.

162.552 manuscripts in 28 libraries affiliated to the General Directorate of Libraries of Ministry of Culture.

%86 completed (140.000 manuscripts)

%14 left (23.000 manuscripts)

  • Digitizing process, image capturing and cataloguing are being done by digitizing companies.

  • The companies has to follow the regulations and technical standards set by Ministry of Culture.

  • Imaging equipments

  • Kaiser Fototechnic

YORAX 9-21

Technical Standards

Image Formats

Manuscripts are saved in three formats:

  • Uncompressed Tiff format for master copy

  • In Jpeg and Pdf formats for access image

    Scanning resolution is 300 dpi.

Tezkire-i Şuara, Aşık Çelebi, 18th century

Master copies are saved on DVD’s and stored in the library.

Access images are stored in the servers both in the library andthe Ministry of Culture Directorate of Libraries.

Coding of images:

34 MK AE 1(9-10)

Istanbul Millet Library Ali Emiri Efendi Collection

Manuscript 1, page 9-10


  • Manuscript number

  • DVD number

  • Title

  • Author

  • Müstensih (copyist)

  • Library

  • Collection

  • Material

  • Language

  • Type of Script

  • Subject

  • Manuscript date in two calendars

  • Manuscripts length and width,

  • Pages

  • Illustrations

  • Conditions

  • Notes


  • Yordam Software is used in 25 libraries of Ministry of Culture.

  • With this programme researchers can make their queries in various metadata areas.




  • Researchers can search and access this digitized manuscripts on the database in the libraries off-line.

  • DVD copy of the manuscripts are delivered to the researchers on request.

Access – Website


  • Union Manuscripts Catalogue in Turkey

    198.000 entries

  • Images of the manuscripts

    74.000 images


  • 1 Euro: 1.95 YTL

Access for Foreigners

Before researchers needed permission from Turkey’s representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their countries.

After Decree dated 10 November 2003 (Decree no. 2003/6270) Administrations of the libraries in Turkey have been authorized for the permission.


  • Private sector and NGOs

  • They support digitizing projects which focus on Istanbul Libraries.

Millet Library “Ali Emiri Collection” and Suna İnan Kıraç Vakfı Fund

  • Ali Emiri Efendi, rediscovered Dîvânu Lugâti’t-Türk

  • Suna İnan Kıraç Vakfı , 8.000 manuscripts digitized.

  • Covers Inventory, Hardware and Software costs and imaging processes of the manuscripts.

Kitab-ı Bahriye, Piri Reis 16th century

Cerrahiyetü’l Haniyye, Sabuncuoğlu Şerafettin, 16thcentury

Suleymaniye Library and Evyap Company Fund

  • Suleymaniye Library houses 131 collections and 73.000 manuscripts in diverse subjects.

  • Evyap Company Funded hardware costs

Istanbul University Rare Books Library – Teknosa Company Fund

  • Istanbul University houses 55.000 manuscripts in Turkish, Arabic, Persian and other languages.

  • A digitizing project for these manuscripts started in May 2007 and planned to be completed in three years by sponsor of Teknosa.

Most of the manuscripts in Turkey are accessible off-line and some of them can be downloaded from the website.

Some of the projects sponsored by private sector and these efforts have an adverse effect on funding for future digitisation projects.

29th Melcom Conference, Sarajevo 4th to 6th June 2007


Public and Private Efforts


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