Making Tools for Transmission: Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo’s Papermakers, Copyists and Booksellers

in Eurasian Studies
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Abstract

A growing body of scholarship regarding the nature of book production and ownership has greatly aided in advancing understandings of the intellectual and cultural history of the Middle East. The majority of these studies, however, focuses on the technical and art historical aspects of book production. This article seeks to take such scholarship a step further and explore the nature of the actual places where books were obtained in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo. Using chronicles and annalistic sources, it will show that the traditionally understood paper markets had a far more extensive role in book production. Furthermore, the article will show that multiple centers in medieval Cairo were engaged in various tasks related to the creation of texts. A discussion of the extant corpus of secondary literature will be offered on the basis of these conclusions.

Making Tools for Transmission: Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo’s Papermakers, Copyists and Booksellers

in Eurasian Studies

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