Historical Aspects of Printing and Publishing in Languages of the Middle East

Papers from the Symposium at the University of Leipzig, September 2008


Editor: Geoffrey Roper
Print culture, in both its material and cognitive aspects, has been a somewhat neglected field of Middle Eastern intellectual and social history. The essays in this volume aim to make significant contributions to remedying this neglect, by advancing our knowledge and understanding of how and why the development of printing both affected, and was affected by, historical, social and intellectual currents in the areas considered. These range geographically from Iran to Latin America, via Kurdistan, Turkey, Egypt, the Maghrib and Germany, temporally from the 10th to the 20th centuries CE, and linguistically through Arabic, Judæo-Arabic, Syriac, Ottoman Turkish, Kurdish and Persian.
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Biographical Note

Geoffrey Roper was head of the Islamic Bibliography Unit at Cambridge University Library, and has written and lectured extensively on Middle Eastern printing and publishing history. He was an Associate Editor of the Oxford Companion to the Book (2010).

Review Quotes

“…scientifically elaborate and richly illustrated volume.”
Nikos Nikoloudis in Journal of Oriental and African Studies 24 (2015) 471-474.

Table of contents



Mediæval Arabic Block Printing: State of the Field
Karl Schaefer

Früher Druck mit arabischen Typen in Leipzig, 17.-18. Jahrhundert
Boris Liebrenz

Enlightenment in the Ottoman Context: İbrahim Müteferrika and His Intellectual Landscape
Vefa Erginbaş

Waiting for Godot: The Formation of Ottoman Print Culture
Orlin Sabev (Orhan Salih)

Printing and the Abuse of Texts in al-Ǧabartī’s History of Egypt
Sarah Mirza

Judæo-Arabic Printing in North Africa, 1850-1950
Yosef Tobi

Marginal Miniatures: The Tehran Edition of al-Damīrī’s Ḥayāt al-ḥayawān (1285/1868)
Ulrich Marzolph

The Establishment of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate Press
Ahmet Taşğın and Robert Langer

L’Imprimerie Ebüzziya et l’art d’imprimer dans l’Empire ottoman à la fin du XIXe siècle
Özgür Türesay

A Champion of Printing Quality in the Ottoman Turkish Press of the Second Constitutional Period: Şehbal Journal
Bora Ataman and Cem Pekman

Arabic and Bilingual Newspapers and Magazines in Latin America and the Caribbean
Philipp Bruckmayr

A Short History of Kurdish Publishing and Prospects for its Future
Blair Kuntz

The Bulaq Press Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Ahmed Mansour


All interested in the history of printing and print culture, and everyone concerned with the interactions between intellectual and socio-economic aspects of Middle Eastern history.