ICMH Congress military archives

Istanbul 2023, the Turkish archives

the visit to the Turkish National Archives in Istanbul

by Lt. Col. Flavio Carbone, president of the CAM

On 8 September 2023, thanks to the full support of the Turkish Commission of Military History and specifically thanks to our colleague colonel (r) Bülent Durgun who accompanied us during the visit, a delegation of the Committee of Military Archives visited the National Archives in Istanbul.

Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (The Ottoman Archives of the Prime Minister’s Office, we can quote as the “Ottoman archives”) represents the principal repository for state archival documents related to the Ottoman Empire. 

8th September 2023, the visit to the National Archives in Istanbul. the CAM representative during the meeting with the Deputy Director, Dr. Sebahattin BAYRAM.

The Deputy Director of the Turkish National Archives in Istanbul, Dr. Sebahattin Bayram, welcomed the representative and the CAM had a very fruitful conversation regarding the Archives in Istanbul and the archival funds stored in one of the most important cities of Türkiye.

After the welcome and a first general presentation of the archives, we had the opportunity to continue the visit moving to the restoration area where the specialised personnel works on the documents.

Then we visited the storage rooms where all the documents are stored, showing us the characteristics of the rooms (according the International standards) and some type of documents.

In the archival storage, the archivist presented some documents related to the military life during the Ottoman Empire with some explanations by Professor Durgun.

The archivist showed the documents presented to the sultan for his final decision on daily basis. Our colleague Dulent Burgun explained the importance of those documents from the historical point of view.

Then the visit continued to the reading room, showing the area and the use of the tools for researchers available.

In the reading room, there is the possibility to have full access to the digitalised documents stored in the archives. It is possible to launch a research both with keywords or using the so called “tree”, following the structure of the archival funds.

The research can be done online as well and after the findings the researcher can buy a digital copy of the documents

Finally we finished our trip in the exhibition area where the archives have their permanent exhibition and it is possible to present temporary exhibitions related to special dates or specific themes.

At the end of the visit we thanked the Turkish colleagues who accompanied us, together with the Deputy Director of the Archives and our colleague Bulent Durgun.

It was a very interesting experience, confronting the members of the Committee with the all-around-the-world challenges that every archives lives on daily basis.

the model of the building (picture by Iulian Botoghina)
CAM meeting ICMH Congress military archives visit to archives

Poland 2022

New activities in the Committee of Military Archives meetings

28th August-2nd September 2022, Wrocław-Opole, Poland

From 28 August to 2 September 2022, the Polish Commission of Military Hystory hosted the XLVII congress of the International Commission of Military History in Wroclaw and Opole. The CAM agreed with the Polish Commission point of contact, Professor Tomasz Ciesielski, the draft of our activities. So, on 29 August, the Committee, its delegates and other participants visited the Wroclaw State Archive.

29 August 2022, Professor Tomasz Ciesielski introduces the CAM members and other ICMH congress participants to the Wroclaw State Archive

On 30 August the Committee of Military Archives had its first meeting in the morning at the Wroclaw University – Institute of History.

29 August 2022, the CAM Secretary-General introduces her paper on “Sources dans les archives: types et expériences”

The session was suspended because some delegates had other obligations on the same day presenting their papers. So the Committee convened again in the late afternoon in the hotel where the session continued.

29 August 2022, in the afternoon Col Marius Croitoru, Romanian delegate to the CAM, presents the Romanian Military Archive to the Committee.

Initially, with a first tour of the table the delegates and the attendees presented themselves. The first part of the meeting has been reserved to the approval of the minutes of the meeting held in Athens in 2021 (see the post published here). The presentation moved to the Committee of Military Archives blog, providing some facts and figures of the job done along the year September 2021 / August 2022. The steering committee asked for a strong support by the delegates and the friends of the CAM in order to launch the Military Archives Online Guide harvesting campaign during the year September 2022 / August 2023. Finally, the presentation ended with some conclusions agreed by the delegates.

Because of the lack of time, the Committee decided to meet again in the late afternoon thanks to the availability of the meeting rooms booked in the hotel. During the second phase of the meeting the delegates received the presentation of the Romanian Military Archives (see the post published in our blog) by their director, Colonel Marius Croitoru, and the archives of the Belgian War Heritage Institute by Dr. Patrick Nefors.

On 1 September, the congress moved to Opole, hosting one of the session at the Opole State Archive. Thanks to the full support of the Opole Archive Director, Professor Miroslav Lenart, the CAM members and other participants to the congress had the opportunity to visit the archives briefly.

Opole 1st September 2022, the CAM steering committee together with Marius Croitoru, Romanian delegate to the Committee, and other participants to the congress in front of the Opole State Archive main entrance.

In other posts, the steering committee will present the visits to the State Archives in Poland.

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