The University of Michigan Library's Turkish collection contains materials in Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, and various Turkic languages. The collection also includes many volumes in English and other Western languages on or related to Türkiye, Turks and Turkic peoples.
Our collection covers the geographic area made up by Türkiye, Southeastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, the Aegean Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, the Caucasus, the Volga-Ural Region (Russia), the Crimea (Ukraine), South Siberia (Russia), Central Asia and Xinjiang (China).
The Turkish collection is primarily housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library, but can be found in other libraries on campus: the Fine Arts Library, the Clements Library, the Askwith Media Library, the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library, the Law Library, and Buhr Shelving Facility.
Some Turkish and Turkic reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, etc.) are located in room 110 of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, but many can be found in the general stacks of the Graduate Library. Some reference titles related to Türkiye and Turks can also be found in the Government Documents Collection. The Clark Library Maps Collection includes many unique items relating to the geographic area. The Special Collections Library holds part of the personal library of Sultan Abdülhamit the Second (34th Ottoman Sultan who reigned from 1876 to 1909) , with more than 500 books and manuscripts.
Our modern Turkish collection contains more than 39,000 volumes and is especially strong in the subject categories of history, politics and government, literature and language, dictionaries and reference works, economics, folklore, sociology, and fine arts. The materials in the collection are in many different formats: monographs, periodicals, newspapers, maps and microforms holdings, audio and video tapes, CD-ROM databases and texts. The collection also includes a growing number of web-based online electronic resources.
The Ottoman Turkish collection contains manuscripts, lithographs, and about 1,500 printed volumes, including several of the earliest printed books and a large collection of Ottoman salnames in both original printed format and on microform. Microform and CD copies of newspapers, periodicals, and manuscripts are also available in the collection.
Ottoman Turkish is an older form of Turkish that was used as a writing medium within the existence of the Ottoman Empire. Its vocabulary and grammar are based on Altaic Turkish, Semitic Arabic, and Indo-European Persian. It is written in Arabic script.
The Turkic collection includes more than 5,000 volumes in Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Kazan Tatar, Crimean Tatar, Uighur, Yakut, etc. languages (in Cyrillic, Arabic, and Roman scripts). Newspapers in printed format or on microform, periodicals, audio and video tapes are also available in the collection.
Many of the Turkic languages are mutually intelligible. They exhibit the same grammatical structure of agglutination and vowel harmony.
The Turkic languages, belonging to the Altaic language family, may be classified into four groupings linguistically and geographically:
Old Turkic (Kök-Türk): Including the Yenesei and Orkhon inscriptions.
The Turkic languages spoken farthest west are Turkish in Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus; Gagauz in Moldova, Bulgaria; Crimean Tatar in Romania (Crimean Tatars no longer live in the Crimea, but only a small number of them was able to return to their homeland within recent years); Karaim and Krymchak in southeastern Lithuania, West-Ukraine, and the Crimea. The area of Turkish proper, which is spoken in the Republic of Turkey, stretches from the Balkan Peninsula to Iran. Azerbaijani is spoken in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran. Afshar, Qashqai, Shahseven-Khamse, Qajar, Bayat, Pishakchi, Quchani, Inanli, Karagozlu, Tekke, Yomut, Salir are some of the Turkic-speaking peoples in Iran. Khalaj is another Turkic language spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. Some Azerbaijani and Turkmen dialects are also spoken in northern Iraq, especially in Irbil, Mosul, Kirkuk. Other Turkic peoples in the northern Caucasus are the Karachays, Balkars, Kumyks, Nogais, Karapapaks, and the Turkmens of Stavropol. The Meskhetian (Ahiska) Turks of the northern Caucasus do not live there any longer (They have still not been able to return to their homeland). The Kazan Tatars, Bashkirs, Teptiars, and the Mishars are found in scattered settlements in the Middle Volga-Ural area. The Chuvashes are the second largest Turkic-speaking unit in the Middle Volga-Ural area. East of the Caspian Sea begins the most homogeneous area of Turkic languages: Kazakh, Karakalpak, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Uzbek, and Uighur. Uighur, Yellow Uighur and Salar are spoken in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region(China) and some other Chinese provinces. The Yakuts are the most remote Turkic group in northeastern Siberia. The Altais, Tuvanians, Khakasses, Shors, Tofas, and the Teleuts are Turkic-speaking peoples of south Siberia.
The Turkish Conversation Group meets weekly on Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Graduate Library, Room 310. Everyone is invited to join this informal conversation group.