The puzzle continues II: al-Muqtaṭaf’s “Egyptian” and “Lebanese” editions

In addition to al-kabīr and al-ṣaghīr, al-Muqtaṭaf published slightly different editions in Beirut and Kairo I am just about to fix the references in my thesis, and found a possible reason for differences between available copies of al-Muqtaṭaf, which I had briefly mentioned in my first post on the issue of differences between copies of […]

The puzzle continues: al-Muqtaṭaf was printed in two different and unmarked editions

As I noted at the end of last year, Ottoman and Arabic periodicals of the late nineteenth and early twentieh century appeared in different editions. Print-runs differed in spelling, pagination, lay-out, and content. However, I was not aware of the extend of this phenomenon. I just discovered that the journal al-Muqtaṭaf, published by Yaʿqūb Ṣarrūf and […]

XSLT 2.0 functions for calendar conversion

Recently I came across the necessity of converting Hijri dates to Gregorian dates in order to automativally harvest data from the Baṣbakanlik Osmanli Arṣivi’s catalogue into my research database. Unfortunately the database I use is proprietary software that can only deal with Gregorian dates. Thus, I needed to translate a certain string through XSLT  to […]

Historical Currency Converter

Conducting historical research, one often encounters odd currencies, measures, and calendars, all of which are bound to space and time. Calender conversion tools can be readily found on the internet (a good example is CalendarHome‘s adaptation of Fourmilab‘s code), but converters for non-metric currencies and weights are a bit trickier to come by. As I […]

The historian’s puzzle: various differences between copies of printed periodicals that ought to be similar.

Over the course of the recent days I discovered that contrary to my expectations libraries around the world hold numerous unmarked editions and print-runs of the first series Düstur (tertib-i evvel). Copies vary in pagination, spelling, and content. Yet, neither the people I asked nor the scholarly works citing copies of Düstur, seem to be […]

Thoughts on a crowdsourced online library of Arabic newspapers

Crowd-sourced, net-based, and library-hosted archive of Arabic newspapers Aims: hosting digitized images and marked up (full-)texts of Arabic speaking newspapers of the Middle East prior to 1920 (why such a limitation?) producing semantic markup of the images, i.e. searchable and query-able data and metadata, through crowdsourcing efforts. Value/ Incentives newspapers gain their value through the […]

Digitized German newspapers

After the relaunch of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin’s website, I stumbled over the ZEFYS project or Zeitschrifteninformationssystem, a very long and technically sounding German composite term. Newspaper Information System is, at least to me, a bad choice, when it comes to a digital humanities project and possible search strings needed to be found on the internet. Despite […]