Islamica, Turcica and Pseudo-Islamica in the North Eastern European Libraries, Archives, Museums and Private Collections

Ataullah Bogdan Kopanski,


Hundreds of rare Muslim manuscripts written in Arabic, Turkic, Farsi and Slavonic languages are preserved in the Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Belorussian, Lithuanian, and Scandinavian state or private collections. Such collections are still arca incognita for the absolute majority of Muslim scholars from non-European countries. The purpose of this survey is to give elementary information on the location of these Islamic manuscripts in the Baltic and Central European collections and their general contents for historians, archivists and librarians of the Islamic civilisation. This survey is focused on two genres of Muslim literature—the unique kitab and khamails or manuscripts written in the Polish or Belorussian languages using Arabic script, and the diplomatic correspondences between the Islamic states (the Osmanli Sultanate, the Golden Horde and the Crimean Khanate) and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on the problem of translations of the QurʾĀn into the vernacular languages of the Baltic peoples. This survey has cited useful secondary literature as well as catalagoues of discussed Islamic manuscripts written in the Polish, Byelorussian, Lithuanian, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, German, French, and Swedish languages which guide precisely to the primary sources of Islamic culture in the Baltic lands.


Islamic manuscript; Poland; Czech Republic; Slovakia; Belarus; Lithuania; Scandinavian; Kipchak; Central Europe; Archives; Libraries; Orientalism; Muslim literature; Osmanli; Turkey; Tatar

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