Collection of printed books in Arabic, Turkish and Persian

This collection contains Oriental printed books in Arabic, Turkish (Arabic script - Ottoman and Latin) and Persian, and books printed in Arabic script in general, such as, for example, the Bosnian Arebica. This collection has approximately 20,000 monographs of which 19,000 units have been cataloged and are available to users via the registry 19,000 units. Among them are extremely valuable, old and rare books. Of particular significance are the first examples of books printed in Arabic script on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This collection also includes books printed in Cairo, Istanbul, Riyadh, Kuwait, Kom, London, Paris, Leiden, Herendonu (USA), Moscow and many other places. The collection keeps Oriental and first editions of printed books from the first printing house of the Ottoman Empire owned by Ibrahim Muteferrik which was founded in 1726. There are also first editions of books from the Vilayet printing house, the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, established in 1866, so together with the books of the modern printing press of the world, they represent documents of their time and people as well as their literacy and intellectual thought.

Of the first 17 printed copies of the  Ibrahim Muteferrike’s printing house,  in Gazi Husrev-bey’s Library, there are 10 of them and some of the titles are:

1.Kitāb-ı Lügāt-ı Wanqulu (Dictionary Vankulu lugati, printed in 1728) by Mehmed son of Mustafa el-Vani (died in 1592); 

2.Tārīḫ-i Miṣr-i ḡadīd (History of Egypt, printed in 1729) by Suhejli-effendi 

3.Ahvâl-i gazevât der diyar-i Bosna (Ahval-i Gazevati der diyar Bosna, better known as Tarihi Bosna, printed in  1741) by Omer Novljanin (lived in XVIII century). These are the oldest printed books in GHB Library.

Among the books of the collection are the works of classical Islamic Studies (aqa'id, ahlak, hadith, tafsir, fiqh, history of Islam, Islamic culture and civilization) and the works that deal with social sciences (philosophy, ethics, history, sociology, politics). In addition, there are works in linguistics, literature (Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Bosnian), as well as technical and natural sciences (architecture, mathematics, medicine).

This collection has been enriched by endowment and purchase from private libraries of Bosnian leaders and intellectuals such as: : Mehmed Handžić, hafiz Asim Sirćo, Abdullah Bušatlić, Salim Muftić, Osman A. Sokolović, Sinanuddin Sokolović, Šaban Hodžić, Džemal Čehajić and others.

These books are available to all interested users within the Library, with the expert assistance of librarians in selecting titles and the ability to copy and scan selected content. The expert processing of this collection is conducted by Fatima Tinjak.

Telephone: +387 33 238 152, +387 33 264 960 (lok. 119)
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Collections & Departments

The Gazi Husrev-bey Library collection currently consists of around one hundred thousand codes of manuscripts, printed books, magazine and documents in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Bosnian and many other European languages. Out of these, more than 10.500 library units consist of manuscript codex with around 20.000 bigger or smaller works from Islamic studies, oriental languages, fiction, philosophy, logic, history, medicine, veterinary, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences.

The Library collection includes:

The Library has also two specialized departments:

Collection of printed books in European languages

Collection of printed books in European languages currently contains over 32,000 printed monographs written in Bosnian and other European languages. This collection is recent compared to manuscripts and archives kept in the Library. It was formed in late 19th and early 20th century, after the Austro-Hungarian Empire came to Bosnia and Herzegovina, when the local Muslim population begun to educate themselves and write in native language using the Latin script in a greater degree. Over time, this collection was extensively filled and developed so that the number of library units quickly surpassed other collections of the Library. Particularly significant contribution to the enrichment of the collection comes from some Bosniak intellectuals, or their descendants, who donated their private collections to the Gazi Husrev-bey Library.

The main parts of this collection are works of Bosnian authors and books written about Bosniaks and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As for the subjects concerned, the collection contains works from general and national history, oriental studies, Islamic studies, philosophy, art, and other similar areas. Particularly noteworthy is a rich collection of fiction as well as a valuable reference collection which contains various dictionaries, encyclopaedias, bibliographies, lexicons, statistical manuals, etc. In addition to these areas, this collection contains a number of specialized books from medicine, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, etc., because they were an integral part of the donated collections. In a broader sense, all valuable and important works of local and world heritage written in European languages are represented in this collection, although the core of the collection is still made of works related to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Particularly important and valuable works that are in this collection are first printed books in Bosnia and Herzegovina, books in Bosnian language written in Arabic script, war editions (1992-1995) and books about Bosnia and Herzegovina from Austro-Hungarian period. From the first Muslim book printed in Latin alphabet in Bosnia and Herzegovina Risalei ahlak, written by Mehmed-beg Kapetanović-Ljubušak and printed 1883 in Sarajevo, until today, library owns almost all published books whose authors are Bosniaks. Among these, particularly important is a collection of works in Bosnian language written in Arabic script, so-called alhamiado literature which contains about 40 titles. The collection contains mainly works with religious content, didactic works and, to a lesser extent, fiction or love lyric.

All books of the Collection are catalogued and can be used in the Library.

Sabiha Kantardžić works on catalogue processing of this collection.

Phone: +387 33238152, +387 33264960 (local 118)
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In the total collection of the Gazi Husrev-bey Library manuscript and literary heritage, journals take an important position. And here diverse linguistic representation is an important library asset. However, among those old journals,  oriental languages dominate: Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and  European languages: journals written in native language (Bosnian) and Bosančica or Arebica alphabets, Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, and the German language as the Austro-Hungarian monarchy ruled Bosnia and Herzegovina after the withdrawal of the Ottomans.

The oldest newspapers in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was printed in old Ottoman language was Kalendar Salname-i vilajet-i Bosna (Yearbook of the Bosnian Vilayet), as the official journal of the Vilayet Administration, which was launched in 1866, and shut down in  1878. It was relaunched in  1882, less than four years after the occupation, this time named Bosna ve Hersek vilajeti salanmesi which was printed until 1892 under the auspices of the Provincial Government, and were printed in the State printing house in Sarajevo. The newspaper in this period represented a kind of official yearbook, given that it dealt with the official theme monarchical government. In the period from mid-1881 to the 1892, this yearbook was tranformed into a newspaper named Sarajevski list.

As engaged associates of the newspaper, who published texts, each in their  area of  interest, were representatives of the first constellation of Bosniak Intellectuals, among which the following  names: Ibrahim-beg Bašagić, Mehmed Teufik Azapagić, Salih Safvet Bašić, Mustafa Hilmi Muhibić, Salih Sidki Hadžihusejnović-Muvekkit.

Mehmed Šakir Kurtćehajić ( died in 1872 in Vienna),  one of the first journalists Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1868 started the newspaper Gülşeni Saray (Sarajevo cvjetnik), which was published until 1872, until the death of its founder.

From 1884 until the end of the 1897, the printed newspaper Vatan, whose publisher and editor in chief was  Mehmed Hulusi, the previous editor of the official Gazette of the Vilayet of Herzegovina Neretva (1876) in Mostar. Vatan was printed in Turkish and was intended primarily for religious officials in whose "political tendencies and loyalty there is no doubt'', as stated in the explanation of the Provincial Government in authorising its launch. As one of the reasons the newspaper initiators highlight their intention for it to be a substitute for the newspaper Bosna, which was published in the native language, in Latin and Cyrillic script, and therefore could not used by  the wider Muslim masses, for their educational purposes.

The most prominent associates of the newspaper were Esad Kulović, Muhamed Emin Hadžijahić i Ibrahim-beg Bašagić. Then in 1897, the newspaper Rehber is published and lasts until 1902,  when it is shut down.

Several larger newspapers followed mainly with Turkish titles, like: Gajret (Mostar-Sarajevo, 1907-1914; 1921-1922; 1924-1941.), Behar (Sarajevo, 1900-1911.),  Musavat (Mostar, 1906-1909.), Tarik (Sarajevo, 1908-1910.), Mu’allim (Sarajevo, 1910-1913.), Yeni Musavat, (Sarajevo, 1909-1911.) Zeman (Sarajevo, 1911-1912.), Misbah (Sarajevo, 1912-1913.), Yeni Misbah (Sarajevo, 1913-1914.), and there were several with Bosnian titles: Novi vakat, Bošnjak (1891-1910.), Rehber (1884-1918.), Muslimanska svijest (Sarajevo, 1908-1910.), Muslimanska sloga (Sarajevo, 1910-1912.), Vakat/Novi vakat (Sarajevo, 1913-1914.) and so on.

The Gazi Husrev-bey Library, except old magazines, collects contemporary magazines that are published in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the languages and scripts of its peoples, and those published in the Balkans, Europe and Western countries in European languages, and journals from the Islamic world printed in Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Urdo language. Acquisition of modern journals is conducted through exchanges, subscription and donations.

The librarian processing this collection is Amela Lepir.

Telephone: +387 33 238 152, +387 33 264 960 (lok. 115)
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The archive collection

The archive collection consists of two collections:

1.A collection of documents in Ottoman Turkish

2. A collection of documents in Bosnian language

1. The collection of documents in Ottoman Turkish language are documents issued by various local, provincial and central authorities of the Ottoman rule. This collection currently consists of a collection of 88 sijils (protocols)  of the Sarajevo Shariah Court, which covers the period from  1552 to 1565, and from 1725 up to 1852.  These sijils are especially important in the study of the political, cultural and economic history of Sarajevo and often Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole. The sijils contain significant information about Sarajevo families, their material status and occupations in the Sarajevo population. Due to the fact that in this sijils, information about books which are  possessed by some families in Sarajevo, on the basis of this data, the cultural level of the individual Sarajevo families can be researched.

In this collection, there is a particularly valuable collection of some 1,500 vakufnamas. Of this number, 554 are original, while others are certified copies transcribed in three books (sijil vakufnama). In these books, except vakufnamas, there are other documents, such as: vasijetname, ilami, ilani, hudžeta and other documents relating to waqf. Vakufnamas are first-rate sources to explore the history of the origin and development of certain places, and  certain buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A significant portion of the collection consists of archival collections idžazetnama (diplomas), based on which one can explore and study the history of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, by studying idžazetnamas, one can determine who all finished school, that sciences that they studied, who were their muderis (teachers) and where all Bosniaks went for their education. Idžazetnamas have remarkable visual and artistic value. A small part of this corpus is processed in the Ottoman archives collection, while most of the manuscripts found in this collection.

Much of the collection consists of a collection of various documents from 4882 archival units registered with around 7000 various Ottoman documents, such as fermani, berati, hudžeta, fetve, senedi, bujuruldije, arzuhali, murasele, vasijetname, various letters and the like. The collection also possesses of a large number of defters from Gazi Husrev-bey waqf. All of these documents are an important source for researching the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The archive collection also possesses a collection of translations by kadi Abdullah Polimac consisting of his translations of archives.

2. In the collection of scattered documents in Bosnian language,  most are documents relating to the period of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the end of the Second World War. A smaller part of the individual documents relate to the recent period.

In this collection is currently 961 registered archival units in which there is a much larger number of individual documents. This collection contains a variety of official documents and private materials of some prominent personalities from the cultural history of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as some institutions such as the offices of El-Hidaje.

We will single out the archive collection of Osman Asaf Sokolović, in whose collection are nine collections of archival units with a large number of manuscript processings of individual documents (published and unpublished), a collection of Dr. Muhamed Hadžijahić consisting of a large number of thematically organized notes and an extensive collection of materials and work archival materials of Fejzullah ef. Hadžibajrić which include his notes, thoughts, texts, translations, newspaper clippings, and the like.

Archival and manuscript materials represent a kind of "living" material, regardless of whether these manuscripts are printed or not, and they enable closer contact with some personality, his ideas and understanding of things and phenomena.

Within these collections are processed inventory books which date from the time of  Salih Sidki Hadžihusejnović-Muvekit and represent the historical cross section of the work process in Gazi Husrev-bey Library; from inventory of books written by hand to modern digitizing.

We have to emphasize an important role of  Muhammad Enveri Kadić, and  of Osman Asaf Sokolović who collected and delivered to the library  extremely important documents in both Bosnian and Ottoman language.

Azra Kasumović and Hamza Lavić  work on the archival processing of this collection.

Telephone: +387 33 238 152, +387 33 264 960 (lok. 117, 116)
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.