The “Historiography in Ottoman Europe (1500-1800)” Project (HOE) – Providing More through Metadata

Background and Genesis

Though the Ottoman empire controlled a significant portion of the Balkan region in the early modern era, the historiographical traditions established by historical texts created in the region during that period has received comparatively little attention as a research topic.[1] To fill this gap in research and to make the resulting data publicly available, the Historiography in Ottoman Europe project was developed with the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) to create a database that would include metadata for several hundred primary sources from the years 1500 to 1800 and over 3,600 secondary works on the history of Ottoman Europe. The project’s funding is coming to an end this year, but the site will remain active and invites feedback, partnerships and additional submissions of relevant data.[2]

Historiography of Ottoman Europe project logo
project logo by André Hagenbruch (†)

The project is a collaboration between the office of the Chair for the History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Lehrstuhl für Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches und der Türkei, ORT) of Ruhr University Bochum and Bochum University Library. Both institutions brought their specific expertise to the project and worked in synergy to create fresh research data and conceptualize a customized, optimized way of presenting these findings for added utility. The team members from the ORT office conducted research in libraries and archives worldwide to locate, examine and describe neglected sources and to compile relevant secondary material on these documents. Team members from the library oversaw the project’s web presence and entered data collected by the research team members into the jointly conceptualized system. They validated the information and complemented it with links, filters and further metadata to create the specific data sets that characterize the HOE corpus.