Ottoman works in the digital age

The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) develops a new system, the first of its kind, which allows researchers around the world to easily work on Ottoman documents The Ottoman Optical Character Recognition (OCR) project, which enables rare Ottoman works to be transferred to the electronic world, has been launched by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA).

"You scan an Ottoman text first, upload it to a computer and the convert it into a word document; finally you can search this document," said IRCICA General Director Halit Eren, explaining the process the ORC uses to bring old Ottoman documents into the digital age. 

He said the IRCICA library at the historic Y?ld?z Palace was home to hundreds of thousands of documents, more than 70,000 photographs and more than 6,000 calligraphies. 

"We established the Farabi Library in 2006. We scanned all of the Ottoman works and uploaded them to the library. Official Ottoman gazettes between 1821 and 1921, excluding the 18th issue of Takvim-i Vekayi that we failed to find, have been uploaded here. This collection does not exist in any other parts of the world," he said. 

Eren said they also documented yearbooks, in which annual events were documented in the Ottoman era, and said the following about the new OCR application: 

"We have initiated a new work in this library. This work was prepared in five-six months by a technical team collaborating with our librarians who developed the OCR. You can scan an Ottoman document, upload it to a computer and work on this document after converting it to a Word document." 

Eren said the application had previously been made for the Latin alphabet and was used for Turkish...

Continue reading on: