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Virtual: ‘Take Another Look: Revisiting the British Library’s Turkish and Turkic Collections’

April 6, 2021 at 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Join Micahel Erdman on April 6 at 12:00 p.m. for a Kitab Talk, a program series of the University Libraries and the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Register here for this event.

The British Library’s Turkish and Turkic Collections contain some 4000 manuscript texts and more than 26,000 printed texts. Despite their value to understanding the history and culture of Turkic peoples across time and space, many of these works remain woefully underutilized by researchers. In this presentation, Erdman will explore a few of the collection’s unique aspects, from diversity in language and genre, to holdings relating to underrepresented groups, and ending with unexpected variation in artistic expression. In doing so, Erdman will provide listeners with inspiration for further study of these materials, and practical information on how to access them. 

Michael Erdman is the Curator of Turkish and Turkic Collections at the British Library. He received his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London for his dissertation which compared historical narratives of ethnogenesis in Turkey and Soviet Central Asia. Prior to returning to academia in 2013, Erdman worked for Global Affairs Canada as a management consular officer. His areas of expertise include Turkic periodical history, Kurdish publishing, and historiography.