Our Library’s Two Century Journey
Mar 30, 2017

We have witnessed the journey of our library from Mühendishane (Engineering School in Ottoman times) to an Engineering School in the event organized by the ITU Library and Documentation Department within the 53rd Library Week activities. At the conference titled “From Mühendishane to Engineering School, the Istanbul Technical University Library in Archival Documents", the development of our library has been examined over a period of time ranging from the founding years of the Engineering School to the first years of the Republic.

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At the event, ITU Mustafa İnan Library Expert Duygu Aysal Cin gave her talk titled "From Mühendishane to Engineering School, the Istanbul Technical University Library in Archival Documents” and Expert Erdal Işık addressed the participants with his talk "ITU Library's Digital Collections".

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In the presentations made at the conference, the audience watched through official documents, photographs and information, the works of the important figures who share this development, how the library has progressed from its foundation process 244 years ago to the early period of the Republic, to how the archive has gradually expanded and how the book collection has diversified. Participants witnessed how important bureaucrats of the period, and statesmen, donated books to the library along with scientists who transferred written sources from abroad. Further, they learned from first hand documentation, the structural changes that the library underwent on its long journey, its transformation from a private collection that didn’t lend out books, to the distance it has gained under the Republic since its inheritance from the Ottoman Empire.

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The library's functional changes were presented including written sources from the Hamidiye Library and Topkapi Palace, books on technical issues ordered from Europe, specifications signed by the library's state institutions in the period and special maps that were procured. How our university library’s resources affected the accumulation of projects used in public works projects in our country as well as many efforts of librarians such as Mimar Kemaleddin, Ali Ziya Kocainan, Mademoiselle Kalema and Nazlı Hanım were also presented to the audience.

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With this event, it was once again emphasized how the ITU Rare Collection, inherited from the Engineering School, is an invaluable treasure from an academic and cultural point of view, carrying on the technological modernization process of the first years of the Ottoman Empire and our Republic while at the same time hosting texts of history, literature, sociology and art produced in the Ottoman Empire.