There are over 275 Ottoman Turkish and Çaĝatay manuscripts in Canada, including more than 200 in the collection of Professor Eleazar Birnbaum. These are remarkable in terms of age (mostly 15th to 17th century) and subject range. The descriptions in this catalogue are unusually detailed: they include author, title, subject, contents, first and last words, date of manuscript, calligraphy, foliation, dimensions, and the location of similar manuscripts elsewhere. Among other special features are details of watermark designs in the paper (useful for dating undated manuscripts), descriptions of seals and notes of previous owners, and many colour illustrations. The catalogue also describes all Turkish manuscripts in the three other small Canadian collections: at the University of Toronto, McGill University (Montreal), and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Eleazar Birnbaum is Professor (now Emeritus) of Turkish Studies at the University of Toronto since 1964. He is the author of many articles on Ottoman Turkish and Çaĝatay literature and manuscripts and several books, including
The Book of Advice. The oldest Turkish version (Cambridge, MA, 1981).
Table of contents
Bibliography and Sigla
Birnbaum Collection: Turkish manuscripts
University of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library
McGill University, Montréal
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
a. Running number in Catalogue/number in Collection (Birnbaum; University of Toronto; McGill University; Royal Ontario Museum)
b. Number in Collection/Running number in Catalogue
c. List of Illustrations