Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New OA Database: “A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990”

The computerized database, containing 61,022 Jewish tombstones from across Turkey, is the largest academic tombstone database of its kind in the world. The fruit of the labor of numerous individuals and bodies, its primary goals are to preserve the remnants of the gradually-disappearing Jewish life in Turkey, aid scholars to paint a broader and richer picture of the past, and enable interested laypersons to search for their roots.

New OA resource: Syrian Heritage Archive Project

Until now, a general register for Syrian cultural heritage has been lacking. Several Syrian and international initiatives are working together on a compilation of the abundant research data collected over the past decades within the framework of archaeological and art-historical projects, with the content made accessible for research via a national Syrian Heritage register.

In 2013, the Museum of Islamic Art (National Museums in Berlin) and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) started the “Project for the Establishment of a Digital Heritage Register for Syria”/“Projekt zur Erstellung digitaler Kulturg├╝terregister f├╝r Syrien”. This original name was soon replaced by a shorter English version: “Syrian Heritage Archive Project”, commonly abbreviated as SyrHer or SHAP. From the very beginning, the project was funded by the Cultural Preservation Program maintained by the German Foreign Office.

This website is the responsibility of the subteam of the Museum of Islamic Art.

A detailed documentation of Syria’s cultural heritage provides a basis for recording damage and destruction from the war and for possible future reconstruction measures. The awareness of a common cultural heritage may become an important component for national reconciliation processes in the future.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Open Access Book: Trajectories of State Formation across Fifteenth-Century Islamic West-Asia

Trajectories of state formation across fifteenth-century Islamic West-Asia : Eurasian parallels, connections and divergences
Author: J van Steenbergen
Publisher: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2020]
Series: Rulers & elites, vol.18
Ebook ISBN: 9789004431317
Hardback ISBN: 9789004431300

"The concept, practice, institution and appearance of ‘the state’ have been hotly debated ever since the emergence of history as a discipline within modern scholarship. The field of medieval Islamic history, however, has remained aloof from most of these debates. Rather it tends to take for granted the particularity of dynastic trajectories within slow-changing bureaucratic contexts. Trajectories of State Formation promotes a more critical and connected understanding of state formation in the late medieval Sultanates of Cairo and of the Timurid, Turkmen and Ottoman dynasties. Projecting seven case studies onto a broad canvas of European and West-Asian research, this volume presents a trans-dynastic reconstruction, interpretation and illustration of statist trajectories across fifteenth-century Islamic West-Asia. "

Friday, June 26, 2020

Open Access archive: Taliban Sources Repository

The Taliban Sources Project (TSP) is one of few Taliban documentation projects in existence and is the only collection to include the cultural, social, and legal output for the years 1979-2011.

The TSP has transformed a large private collection of Taliban documents into an enduring and usable intellectual resource for scholars of Afghanistan, Taliban and Asian history.

Compiled between 2006 and 2011 by researchers based in southern Afghanistan, the TSP collection is one of only a few such private documentation projects in existence, and is the only collection to include Taliban’s cultural, social and legal output for the years 1979-2011.

Original documents and English translations
Researchers can now search and view English translations as well as the original Pashto, Dari and (in some cases) Arabic. The material includes:

Full runs of dozens of official newspapers and magazines
Works of poetry
Night letters
Press releases
Transcripts of radio broadcasts
Government publications
Government publications include the Taliban’s own foreign press monitor and multiple volumes of Taliban laws and edicts.

The TSP was initially started by Thesigers, which processed and translated the materials presented on this website over a two-year period (2013-2015), in order to ensure the survival and public accessibility of this unique corpus of primary sources.

The Taliban Sources Project (TSP) was launched online in 2020 by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in cooperation with the University of Oslo.

The TSP is a non-profit venture and access to the collection is free of charge. Please sign up in order to access the materials.

If you use any of the material in the collection, please include a reference to the Taliban Sources Project at FFI/UiO.


Mohammad Omar, “Eulogy of Martyr of the Islamic Umma Mujahed Abu Mosaab Zarqawi,” 1 June 2006, Al-Somood 1, no. 1 (June 2006), accessed via Taliban Sources Project at FFI/UiO,

If you have questions or feedback regarding the TSP, please send us a mail at

Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI)
PO Box 25
N-2027 Kjeller

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS)
University of Oslo
The Faculty of Humanities
PO Box 1010 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Open Access Journal: Anthropology of the Middle East

Anthropology of the Middle East
Online ISSN: 1746-0727
Print ISSN: 1746-0719

Recent political events have shown an alarming lack of awareness in western countries of life in the Middle East. Anthropologists, trained in analysing local discourses and social actions and their socio-political and historical contexts, play an important role in making social and cultural developments in the Middle East more comprehensible to a wider world.

This peer-reviewed journal provides a forum for scholarly exchange between anthropologists and other social scientists working in and on the Middle East. The journal's aim is to disseminate, on the basis of informed analysis and insight, a better understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and thereby to achieve a greater appreciation of Middle Eastern contributions to our culturally diverse world.

Anthropology of the Middle East (AME) is published twice a year, in the spring and autumn. Issues are often themed and on occasion guest edited. Each issue contains articles on specific research projects and outcomes on Middle Eastern topics. A section titled "Notes from the Field" features research in progress. Book reviews and shorter reports on books, films and conferences are also included.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Islamkundliche Untersuchungen Digital at MENADoc

[First posted in AMIR 5 January 2011. Updated 24 May 2013, 22 June 2020]
UPDATE 6/22/2020 MENAdoc has thus far digitized (with open access) 412 out-of-print titles of Schwarz Verlag’s Islamkundliche Untersuchungen.

List of digitized titles

The series Islamkundliche Untersuchungen which is published by the Klaus Schwarz Verlag since 1970 is one of the outstanding publications of Islamic studies in Germany. Klaus Schwarz Verlag and Universitaets- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle plan to publish digital versions of titles that are no longer available in print in the electronic fulltext repository MENAdoc of the Middle East Virtual Library MENALIB in the future. 10 titles have been digitised in April 2009 and are being made available in a first step towards a more comprehensive presentation of Islamkundliche Untersuchungen on the WWW.
 196 volumes of the series are currently available

Thesaurus d'Epigraphie Islamique

New release and new website:
Thesaurus d'Epigraphie Islamique, Edition 2020

Conceived and directed by L. KALUS, co-directed by F. BAUDEN, developed by F. SOUDAN

"This project aims to bring together all the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish (or even in other languages) inscriptions of the Muslim world until the year 1000 AH, that is to say, the period usually identified as the Middle Ages.
The collection and computerization of the inscriptions began in the late 1980s, the whole Muslim world now being covered. Currently, the database contains some 49,500 cards that critically present the text of the inscriptions already published, while certain texts are presented for the first time. Inscriptions known to exist because they are mentioned in publications of all kinds are also taken into consideration. Many of the inscriptions are illustrated with photographs from the Max van Berchem Foundation Photo Library as well as from other collections. It is also now possible to consult the website in English (however the contents of the cards remain in French)."

Registration required.