Cover image for Possessors and possessed : museums, archaeology, and the visualization of history in the late Ottoman Empire.
Possessors and possessed : museums, archaeology, and the visualization of history in the late Ottoman Empire.
Shaw, Wendy M. K., 1970-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2003.
Physical Description:
xi, 269 p. : ill., maps.
Moving toward the museum : the collection of antique spolia -- Parallel collections of weapons and antiquities -- The rise of the imperial museum -- The dialectic of law and infringement -- Technologies of collection : railroads and cameras -- Antiquities collections in the imperial museum -- Islamic arts in imperial collections -- Military collections in the late empire -- Islamic and archaeological antiquities after the Young Turk Revolution.


Material Type
Item Barcode
Call Number
Shelf Location
Item Holds
Book BILKUTUP0283726 AM79.T8 S53 2003 Central Campus Library

On Order



Possessors and Possessed analyzes how and why museums--characteristically Western institutions--emerged in the late-nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Shaw argues that, rather than directly emulating post-Enlightenment museums of Western Europe, Ottoman elites produced categories of collection and modes of display appropriate to framing a new identity for the empire in the modern era. In contrast to late-nineteenth-century Euro-American museums, which utilized organizational schema based on positivist notions of progress to organize exhibits of fine arts, Ottoman museums featured military spoils and antiquities long before they turned to the "Islamic" collections with which they might have been more readily associated. The development of these various modes of collection reflected shifting moments in Ottoman identity production. Shaw shows how Ottoman museums were able to use collection and exhibition as devices with which to weave counter-colonial narratives of identity for the Ottoman Empire. Impressive for both the scope and the depth of its research, Possessors and Possessed lays the groundwork for future inquiries into the development of museums outside of the Euro-American milieu.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Note on Orthographyp. xi
Introductionp. 1
1 The Collection of Antique Spoliap. 31
2 Parallel Collections of Weapons and Antiquitiesp. 45
3 The Rise of the Imperial Museump. 83
4 The Dialectic of Law and Infringementp. 108
5 Railroads and Camerasp. 131
6 Antiquities Collections in the Imperial Museump. 149
7 Islamic Arts in Imperial Collectionsp. 172
8 Military Collections in the Late Empirep. 185
9 Islamic and Archaeological Antiquities After the Young Turk Revolutionp. 208
Conclusionp. 217
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 261