Ottoman documents collection, 1881-1978

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Collection includes documents written in Ottoman-Turkish covering a variety of places, including Istanbul, Thessaloniki and Crete from the late 19th to early 20th century. The documents are written in Rika and Divani scripts and include fiscal and revenue stamps. Collection also includes documents related to the Mübadele population exchange.
0.5 Linear Feet
Materials in Ottoman-Turkish (Rika and Divani scripts), Greek, French, German, Albanian.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

There are four sets of distinctive documents in this collection:

1) 5 land deeds (tapu senedi or sened-i hâkanî), dated between 1881 – 1908. 2 of the documents pertain to Selanik (Thessaloniki), 1 pertains to Konstantiniyye (Istanbul), 1 pertains to Hüdavendigar (Western Anatolia), and another with multiple geographic names.

2) 20 court and revenue documents, mostly pertaining to Girit (Crete), e.g. Resmo (Rethymno), Kandiye (Heraklion), Hanya (Chania), but also 2 pertaining to Istanbul and 2 pertaining to Dardanelles region. The documents are from the late 19th century, prior to Crete becoming an autonomous island in 1898.

3) 15 documents related to a house transfer in Bakırkoy neighbourhood in Istanbul to Fatima Hanım. These documents date between 1926 – 1929 and are related to the events of the Population Exchange (Mübadele / Ανταλλαγή) in 1923.

4) Documents related to the Mübadele population exchange, including undertakings, petitions, and material from the Gayri Mübadiller Komisyonu.

Biographical / historical:

The documents cover a wide variety of topics and lands. One set of documents from Istanbul relates to the Population Exchange of 1923, known in Turkish as Mübadele and Greek as Ανταλλαγή was the forced removal of ethnic Turks and ethnic Greeks from Greece and Turkey, after the end of the Ottoman Empire. Another set of documents relates to land deeds in a former Ottoman city, Selanik (Thessaloniki) as well as Istanbul and Hüdavendigar. The final set of documents relates to court and revenue documents, again from former Ottoman land of Girit (Crete).

Acquisition information:
The Ottoman Documents Collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase from Kevin Jackson in 2019 and from M.C. Ekber And in 2022.
Processing information:

Processed by Sean Swanick, Meghan Lyon, March 2021.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2019-0186, 2022-0004.

Updated by Leah Tams, April 2022.


The collection is arranged into folders associated with the location or format of the item. This stems from the dealer's original arrangement upon acquisition.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Ottoman Documents Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.