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The Pasha’s New Clothes: The History Section of an 18th-Century Library from Acre – Lecture by Prof. Dana Sajdi (Boston College)
April 17 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
This is an exploration of the history booklist found in a recently discovered ‘library catalogue’ from a college in 18th-century Acre. Endowed by the notorious Ottoman governor of the region Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar (d. 1804), the library seems to have been one of the largest in the Ottoman Levant. In addition to introducing the larger ‘al-Jazzar Library Project’, I will argue that the eclectic nature of the history collection exceeds the purposes of a college curriculum or the needs of local readers. Despite their variety, the books were carefully chosen and cUrated to reflect the colorful career of the patron himself and to construct a heroic and royal image of him resembling that of imperial rulers. This is a vanity collection that the Pasha used to display his new clothes.
This event is organized by the King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Chair in Islamic Studies.