Turkey, Culture

Turkish library preserving manuscripts for 223 years

- Historic library in Kayseri contains manuscripts in special storage units to avoid moisture, corrosion

18.02.2019
Turkish library preserving manuscripts for 223 years "Rasit Efendi Manuscript Library" -- since its foundation in 1790s in central province of Kayseri -- has been preserving unique manuscript work of arts with special compact storage units. (Photo by Esma Küçükşahin - Anadolu Agency)

Kayseri

By Esma Kucuksahin

KAYSERI, Turkey

A Turkish manuscript library has been holding historic written works in authentic storages for 223 years.

The "Rasit Efendi Manuscript Library", since its foundation in 1790s in central province of Kayseri, has been preserving unique manuscript work of arts with special compact storage units.

According to Anadolu Agency compiled data, the historic library currently preserves 8,520 works including 2,052 manuscripts.

The library contains written works about religion, literature, history and geography in Arabic and Persian. Because of its unique manuscripts, the library is a valuable resource for university students, academics and researchers.

Historic manuscripts are held in special storage units to avoid moisture and corrosion.

Additionally these cupboards -- produced by a special turpentine tree in late 1790s -- are still steady to avoid beetles.

This building's temperature and moisture are controlled by precision air conditioners.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a retired history teacher who has been a regular, talked about the importance of the library.

"Rasit Efendi was a well known bureaucrat in Ottoman history. He wanted to have a library in his hometown Kayseri," Mehmet Karaarslan said.

"The original manuscript that includes his wish is also in his library, which makes it special."

Karaarslan also talked about the library containing works that came after the foundation of Ibrahim Muteferrika printing house.

Ibrahim Muteferrika is a prominent figure in Ottoman history, he was a Hungarian-born Ottoman diplomat and the first Muslim to run a printing press with Arabic-type letters.

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