Priceless feminist archive goes digital


Turkey's only women's library is marking its 25th anniversary with an ambitious plan: Expand and digitize its archive. Click through to read more about the vision behind preserving this priceless academic resource. - ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency

Turkey’s only women’s library celebrates its 25th anniversary with ambitious plans to expand and digitize

It is a quiet afternoon in Turkey’s only women’s library and Professor Fatmagül Berktay, a renowned feminist academic and activist, is, as usual, hunched over a pile of books.

However, she is not grading papers or doing research; she is signing books from her personal archive to donate to this unique and venerable institution, while also drafting plans to fully digitalize the center’s archive.

Berktay, a professor of political science at Istanbul University and the writer of many books on women’s issues in Turkey, is chair of the executive board of Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi ve Bilgi Merkezi Vakfı (Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation).

A renovated Byzantine-era building closely linked to the Fener district’s Greek community, the library was once a female school connected to a nearby monastery on the banks of Istanbul’s Golden Horn.

After going into decline, the building is now home to this special library founded in 1990 by five Turkish women.

Read more here.