As is known, the mediaeval Ottoman education system relied upon scholars committing vast areas of knowledge to memory. Books were often merely a physical record of knowledge which was firmly held in the mind of the scholar. Gradually cupboards in mosques and colleges acquired more and more volumes, but these were seen as adjuncts to education and not as its basic. As the Ottoman court moved from Bursa to Edirne the State could still be considered nomadic to a certain extent; essentially it lacked a sense of permanent occupation which woirld have encouraged the educational infrastructure which we associate with the later period. This nomadism served the Ottomans well, for it allowed them to survive the catastrophe of the Battle of Ankara (1402), when the State was all but wiped out. When Murad II came to the throne in 1421 the Ottoman State was once more acquiring a sense of permanency and we begin to see the reestablishment of an educational infrastructrrre and the establishment of small libraries, be they only a collection of thirty or fifty volumes.
With the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror acquired a city which truly befitted a world empire and this spurred him on to establish institutions which would be appropriate for the capital of this reinvigorated expanding Ottoman State. The city which Mehmed the Conqueror acquired was in a ruinous state.  He set about rebuilding the city by adoptng various strategies. The first of these was the repopulation of the ith Muslim settlers.  The existing Greek and Armenian population were organized into distinct minorities with their own laws under the leadership of their patriarch. As for the Muslim population, Mehmed the Conqueror had to create a complete infrastructure of institutions where none had existed before. He did dris by taking o١’er existing churches and monasteries and turning them into mosques and colleges.  For example, the monastic cells in the Pantocrator Monastery became the Zeyrek College, with Molla Zeyrek appointed as its first teacher with a salary of 50 aspers per diem. Shortly afterward teaching began at Aya Sofya.  Naturally books were donated to these institutions for the use of teachers and students.
There also began a vast programme of mosque and college building throughout the city. The most ambitious of drese projects was the building of Mehmed the Conqueror's own complex of a mosque and associated colleges and institutions. In the foundation deeds of this complex we see that while the capture of the city was termed the minor holy war (cihad-i asgar ), the rebuilding of the City was referred to as the major holy war (cihad-i ekber ). 
The historian, Kritovolous, tells US that it was not only Mehmed the Conqueror who endowed religious institutions. He encouraged his statesmen to do likewise.
"Then he called together all tire wealthy and most able persorrs into his presence, those who enjoyed great wealth and prosperity, and ordered them to build grand houses in the city, wherever eaclr chose to build. He also commanded them to build baths and inns and marketplaces, arrd very marry and very beautiful workshops, to erect places of worship, and to adorn and embellish the City with many other such buildings, sparing no expenses as each man had the means and the ability".
With the new sense of permanency that the conquest of Istanbul afforded the Ottoman State, it was natural that the palace, the administrative center of the Empire, should be built in the center of the city in what is called now Beyazit. It was very shordy afterwards relocated to the site of the present Topkapi Palace. The palace library was established there and books were brought from Edirne, the previous capital, to the new palace.  To this library was appointed the leading scholar of the age, Molla Liitfi, who was charged with looking after the books. An interesting anecdote in the biographer Sehi's Tezkire records an exchange between Molla Liitfi and Mehmed the Conqueror:
"It is related that one day Sultan Mehmed came to the library for he wanted to read a book. To Molla Liitfi he said "bring down that book". The book was in a high place beyond the reach of Molla Liitfi. But there happened to be a block of marble stone on the library floor upon which Molla Liitfi attempted to stand in order to reach the book. The late Sultan Mehmed prevented him from stepping on the stone, maintaining that this was the very block of stone upon which Jesus the Prophet had been born. Molla Liitfi kept his peace and somehow produced die book for die Sultan. Later on he found in a corner of the library a dust cloth, moth-eaten, threadbare and extremely dirty. This cloth he took with great care and respect and placed on the Sultan's lap as he was reading. The Sultan was annoyed and asked the reason for Molla's behavior to which Molla replied: "why do you get angry, your Majesty, why, this is the very cloth in which Jesus the prophet was swaddled after his birth".
It is accepted that the first Islamic library to be established in Istanbul after its conquest was the palace library, but there are a number of differing opinions as to which was the first foundation library. The foundation libraries in Mahmud Pasha College (1474) and in the Eyub Complex (1459) are both claimed to be the first foundation library in Istanbul However, a foundation deed indicates that a sufi sheyh by the name of Visali founded a tekke(dervish lodge) by the walls of the city at At iskelesi and donated to this institution a library of 20 books in 1451, mainly on mysticism, but naturally it was not felt necessary to appoint a librarian for such a small collection. 
The library in the Eyub Complex is however one of the earliest. Iir the foundation deeds of this complex there is provision for a librarian with a salary of one asper per diem.  In an account book for the years 1489-1491 we find a scholar, by the name of Fakih, holding the post of librarian and receiving one asper per diem.  The grand vizier of the period, Mehmed Pasha, donated two books in February of 1480 and made it a condition that they should be carefirlly checked on return to prevent fraud by substitution. He fiirther stipulated that the books should not be transferred to another institution and that the books were not to be lent out for more than three months and never to the same person a second time.
When Mehmed the Conqueror completed his own complex in 1470 after eight years of intensive building, he namrally endowed his colleges with books.H Scholars have been misled by the scanty source material into believing that there were a number of libraries in the complex. Süheyl Unver has written that there were several libraries, the first in the mosque itself, tire second in a separate building attached to the Sahn-1 Seman colleges, while others were situated in the colleges themselves.  Müjgan
Cunbur and other scholars have adopted Unver's view with minor changes. This misunderstanding arises from the fact that in various documents dating from ١'arious periods mention is made of a library which is situated in different places. Scholars have wrongly presumed that dtese are different libraries under discussion. However, more recent research would indicate that the documents refer to the same collection, which was housed in different places in the early history of the complex.
Advocates of the thesis that there was more than one library have noted that in the earliest extant foundation deed, written in Arabic and dated 1470, mention is made of four libraries with stipends of 5 aspers per diem, appointed to the colleges.  The list of the books donated to these four colleges can be found appended to another copy of the same foundation deed now located in the Ottoman (Ba$bakanhk) Archive.  According to this deed we see that four libraries were founded in four colleges by Mehmed the Conqueror at the beginning. The next extant foundation deed used by Siiheyl Unver is from die period of Bayezid II, copied in 1496 and also in Arabic, in which no mention of the college libraries is made, but reference is made to books being located on the west side of the mosque an 1 a 6 aspers per diem librarian and a 4 aspers per diem assistant libr ،rian being appointed to look after them.  In a further foundation deed which is a Turkish translation of the above-mentioned second Arabic deed, dating from the end of the 16th century, we find the same information remaining unaltered. 
Howe١’er, another interpretation of these references to the library is possible. It seems probable that in 1470 the books belonging to the complex were located in the four colleges and required four librarians to look after them. By 1496 the books had been brought togedier into the mosque where they were cared for by a single librarian and an assistant librarian. There remains the problem of establishing when the change took place. We are lucky enough to have a third version of this second deed, which precedes
the other two copies, having been written in 1482. This copy was recently donated to the Suleymaniye Library by Nuri Arlases and has up to now not been available to scholars. This deed was written in the 2nd year of Bayezid Il's reign and it was drawn up at his command when he was reorganizing his father's foundation.  There it is mentioned that the books were to be found in one location, namely on the west side of the mosque, so it is clear that an amalgamation of the college libraries had taken place by that time. If we are to speculate, we could suggest that the libraries were amalgamated by Bayezid II on his accession for it was the customary for the sultan to reorganize and recatalogue the existing imperial foundations on his accession. Yet this can only remain surmise.
What is certain is that the collection referred to as being in the colleges in the first deed and in the Mosque in all three copies of the second deed, is one and the same collection. The evidence for this assertion lies in the list of books belonging to the library appended to the first deed and in a separate library catalogue prepared for the books lodged in the Mosque. In these two catalogues most of the titles belonging to the college libraries appear in the catalogue of the Mosque library. This proves at least that the same titles were to be found in both libraries, however it does not prove that they are the self same copy of the title. As many of the books were standard text books it is not unlikely that they could have been further copies of the same title. Fortunately it is the practice in the Ottoman cataloguing system to describe, often in some detail, the characteristics of the manuscripts in the library. A comparison of the books which had enough peculiarities to establish them as the self same manuscript showed that in several cases the peculiarities were too many to be accounted for as coincidence:
List of the College libraries: "The Kitabu '1-etraf, five volumes, only three exist".
Catalogue of the Mosque Library: "The Kitâbü 1-etrâfbut only volumes List of the College libraries: "Commentary on the Kor'an by Zemah؛eri, incomplete".
Catalogue of the Mosque Library: "Commentary on the Kor'an by Zemah^eri, incomplete(f. 4a)
List of the College libraries:"Camiii'l-usul, but only first volume".
Catalogue of the Mosque Library: "Camiii'l-usul, first volume (f. 9b)".
The list of the College libraries has a very rare book entitled the History of Jenghiz Khan which can also be found on folio 39b of the Catalogue of the Mosque Library.
In the Catalogue of the Mosque Library we also find a few books which have been transferred from Ayasofya and the Zeyrek College. This would seem to indicate that the Mosque Library was an amalgamation of books from various sources.
Hoca Sa'deddin, the author of the famous history Tacu't-tevarih, writing about a hundred years later noted that the Conqueror's Mosque library had the peculiarity of containing many duplicate copies of the most popular text books. He came to the conclusion that Mehmed the Conqueror had provided for duplicate copies, so as not to keep students waiting for the popular books.  We however know that the reason that there were many duplicates is that the library situated in the Mosque was an amalgamation of books from the four colleges in the complex and books from Ayasofya and the Zeyrek College.
Finally, we have to accept the fact that in the many account books dealing with Mehmed the Conqueror's complex there is no mention of librarians in the colleges among the list of personnel, which would suggest that in the following centuries there were no books in the colleges. For 300 manuscripts, many of them valuable, to disappear ,without comment in these account books is hardly possible.
Having established his own Palace library and having endowed a library in his complex, Mehmed the Conqueror naturally looked to establishing a larger library network for a city the size of Istanbul. This he did by
encouraging the richest and most powerful of his entourage to endow and build mosques and colleges and even to complete complexes to which books would eventually be endowed. One of Mehmed the Conqueror's grand viziers, Mahmud Pasha, founded a complex in Istanbul and endowed other cities in tire empire with institutions and buildings. Both in his complex in Istanbul and in his college in Haskoy there existed libraries. The resume of the foundation deeds for each of these institutions, dated 1474, indicate that he endowed the complex in Istanbul with 195 books and the College in Haskoy with 84 books. Unfortunately, the titles of these books were not recorded but classification headings are given with the number of books in each category,. A librarian was appointed to his Istanbul complex with a stipend of 5 aspers per diem, but to the Haskoy College library there is no mention of a librarian. 
From a survey of pious foundations in Istanbrrl we learn tlrat Muslihiddin Mustafa, known as Şeyh Vefa, founded a library, in his tekkein which there were a number of "bound and unbound books" and a librarian at a stipend of one asper per diem.  This survey was carried out 65 years after the death of Mehmed the Conqueror and leaves US in some doubt as to whetlrer the library had been founded in his reign. Fortunately, an earlier document recently came to light in which we discover that in 1485, only four years after Mehmed the Conqueror's death, an inspector named Ala'addin was appointed to provide the endowment with a new foundation deed.  The inspector repeat records from the former foundation deed that a library, existed and that the books had been endowed by Şeyh Vefa. Irr the list prepared by the inspector the number of books in each category was given. It was further noted that there was a catalogue of the books, bearing the seal of the Kazasker of Rumili, the second highest ranking religious fimcuonary. The library was a lending library and the report gives interesting details about the conditions underwhich the books were to be lent.  Unfortunately, the collection of books in the library seems to have disappeared, the last
reference to it being in a survey of pious foundations in Istanbul, carried out at the end of the 16th century, in which mention is made of the library and librarian.  Tire sole surviving book to have been identified was discovered by Abdülkadir Erdogan in the Köprülü library. 
It was not only in Istanbul that libraries were built, but in fact throughout the whole empire. Edirne, Ire former capital, was particularly fortunate irr its endowments at this period, ؟andarhzade Ibrahim Pasha, a vizier of Mehmed tire Conqueror, endowed 99 books to a complex he had built in this city, and it has been noted that tlrese consisted of texts on Kor'anic commentary, tradition, jurisprudence, mysticism, a book on medicine and a book which could not be identified.  In a later survey from tire period of Selim II (15661574) we see tlrat a librarian continued to be employed to look after this collection. 
In 1480 Mesut Halife, a teacher and sheyh, esablished a library in Iris tekke in Edirne. Among tire conditions it was stated that the books were not to be restricted to the use of tire members of the dervish order but were to be made available also to 0utsiders.  In the same survey, carried out in tire reign of Selim II, we see that only 19 books Irad survived three of which were on mysticism, wlrile the others were on standard Islamic sciences. 
Another library in Edirne can truly be described as a local libraty. In 1470 Ali Fakih, the muezzin of Cami-i Cedid, or the New Mosque, established a library in Iris own Irouse for die benefit of "himself. Iris family, students and scholars". Tire library was to be in Iris care during his lifetime, and tlrereafter in tire care of die imam of the New Mosque. In tile same survey from tile period of Selim II (15661574) we discover tliat most of tlie books had disappeared and only 15 had survived. 
In Bursa, the first Ottoman Capital, Molla Yegan, one of tlie most famous scholars of Melimed the Conqueror's reign, founded a libraty which
had an extraordinarily rich collection for that period. According to the foundation deed the library had 2,900 books the names of which were recorded in an appendix to a Kor'anic commentary, in the hand of Molla Yegan himself.  Unfortunately this huge collection seems to have been broken up and most of the books have found their way into other collections.
Other provincial towns also acquired libraries in this period. In Amasya, Hızır Pasha endowed a library in a building next to his college. In Üsküp, Isa Bey endowed 300 books to a college he founded in 1469, and appointed a librarian with a stipend of 2 aspers per diem.  Another grand vizier of Mehmed the Conqueror, Gedik Ahmed Pasha, founded two complexes, one in Istanbul, no doubt at the behest of the Conqueror himself, and one in Afyon, his hometown. It was to the Afyon complex that he endowed a library. 
With the expansion of the Ottoman state southwards into Anatolia existing libraries in beylicats became part of the Ottoman library network. With the conquest of Konya, the former capital of the Karamanoğulları beylicate, the library of the dervish lodge of the famous sufi, Sadreddin Konevi,  the library of the Sü Başı mosque in the district of Beyşehir and the library of the Hoca Ferruh Mosque can be considered to have become Ottoman libraries.
Libraries founded in the reign of
Bayezid II (1481-1512) and Selim I (1512-1520)
After the period of expansion that the empire witnessed in the reign of Mehmed the Conqueror, the reign of Bayezid II can be characterized as a period of consolidation, in which he avoided conflict with external forces and attempted to win over tlrose members of society who had been alienated by the harsh measures of Mehmed the Conqueror. يThe period of peace allowed Bayezid II to promote Iris interests in patronizing scholarship and literature. Latifi, the biographer of the poets, praised Bayezid H's patronage of the arts and noted that he would invite any scholar, even from as far as India and China, to come to Istanbul, using all necessary persuasion and inducements. 
The Palace library, founded by Mehmed the Conqueror, was expanded greatly by Bayezid II. In a record book from this period we see many entries ghing tire name of persons who presented books to the Sultan and received in return several giftsThis indicates that Bayezid II most appreciated the books. It is related that from time to time Bayezid II himself would go through his collection and apply his seal to the front and back fly pages and would in his own hand inscribe Iris name as owner  Art account book from this period mentions that there was a librarian employed in this library and he was called hafiz-i kiitiithi hassa(keeper of the privy books) In the Palace in Galata there was a school in which the palace staff were trained. It is related that in this school Bayezid II founded another library. 
In 1488 when Bayezid II founded a complex in Edirne, the foundation deed notes that the library was an integral part of the complex. Among the For the cotnent of this record, book called in'âmât Defteri, see: Ismail E. Erunsal, "Turk Edebiyau Tarihine Kaynak Olarak Arşivlerin Değeri", Türkiyat Mecmuası XIX (1980). pp. 213 222.
usual text-books donated to this library there were medical books, probably for the use of staff of the hospital which was a part of the complex. Bayezid H's keen interest in books was demonstrated in the following condition placed in the foundation deed, where he tried to eradicate some of the sloppy practices which had endangered previous collections:
"Whenever a student in the college wishes a book he should present himself to the librarian, who should summon ,witnesses and in front of them count the fascicles and the pages and record them together with the size of the book and the quality of binding, as well as recording the nature of borrower and the witnesses, all this so that fraud by substitution be avoided"
Bayezid H's interest in libraries can be seen even before he ascended the throne. While governor of Amasya, Prince Bayezid founded a complex to which he donated a collection of books and appointed a librarian with a stipend of 2 aspers per diem. 
Bayezid II built his complex in Istanbul between 1500 and 1505. However it is not clear that he endowed it with a library. The historian, Ata, claims in his history that Bayezid II founded a library in his mosque in Istanbul, but as he wrote in the 17th century we cannot rely on him. However, in an account book for the foundation covering the period 1583- 1595 we observe that a librarian was working for a stipend of 3 aspers per diem. 
Many prominent people of this period emulated the Sultan by founding their own libraries: Alâiyelü Muhyiddin donated 71 books to an unnamed institution and these were later transferred to the Mosque of Mehmed II. Atik Ali Pasha founded a college at Çenberlitaş in the centre of Istanbul and donated 119 books and appointed a librarian at a stipend of 3 aspers per diem.  Efdalzade Ahmed Çelebi founded a college near the Mosque of Mehmed II to which he donated 42 books and appointed a librarian with a stipend of one asper per diem.  A scholar, Muslihiddin Çelebi Yegani, donated 100 books with the provision that he should care for them in his own lifetime and thereafter his family should look after them. When this was no longer possible the books should be deposited in Ulu Cami in Bursa. According to the famous biographical work Şakaik,Ahi Yusuf, a scholar of this period, donated many books to a mosque he had built close to his house. 
Koca Mustafa Pasha, the grand vizier of Bayezid II, founded a mosque in Istanbul. By 1606 there is mention of a library in some archival documents, but we can not be sure that it was established during the lifetime of the founder. 
A library was founded by Ishak Pasha, another grand vizier of Bayezid II in the complex he built in 1489 in İnegöl. To this complex a librarian was appointed with a stipend of 1.5 aspers per diem.  In 1492 in Edime Şeyh Mehmed b. Yusuf, donated 37 books, mainly on the subject of mysticism, to his tekke. In 1485 another sheyh, Abdurrahim Karahisari, mentioned in the foundation deeds for his complex at Afyon that he had donated 159 books. 
The most interesting library to be found in this period, in terms of the founder and the books making up the collection, is certainly the library that Kissahan Muslihiddin founded in die village of Çavlı Hacı Köy in the vicinity of İzmit. Kissahan Muslihiddin was story-teller to Bayezid II and when he retired after a long life, covering the reigns of three Sultans, he retired to his village and there founded two mosques and rooms for students. He donated 210 books to these mosques and set conditions for their use and protection. The collection includes the usual standard college textbooks in Arabic, but what is far more interesting, it includes books by Muhyiddin ibni Arabi, the famous mystic philosopher. Feriduddin-i Attar, the poet and author of many works on ethics, Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, the mystical poet and Kuçeyri, the great mystic. There are also common Turkish works and 5 books on mathematics and astronomy and 9 books on medicine.  This library is not the library of a college teacher, but the collection of a widely-read person who was obviously collecting books as an aid to his profession as story-teller to the Sultan. It would seem that he retired with his books to the peace and quite of his village, where he donated them to the mosque so that others could benefit from tlrem.
One of Bayezid H's wives. Hüsnü §ah, built a mosque in Manisa in 1490, while her son, §ehin؛ah, was the governor of the city. Şehinşah donated 140 books to the library which his mother had established in the mosque. 
Libraries were also established in the Balkans in this period. In 1506, Abdullalr Yakup Pasha, one of Bayezid H's viziers, donated 135 books to an institution he built in Salonica.  However, no mention is made in the foundation deed of a librarian. In the same year, the judge of Salonica and Manasur, a certain Ishak (elebi, established a library in the college which he had previously founded.  This is the earliest Ottoman library to be establislred in Manastrr. Another library was established by SÛZÎ Çelebi, a Turkish poet, in tire mosqtre which he had built in Prizren. 
Quite apart from foundation libraries which were in the public domain, there were also examples of private libraries. One of Mehmed Il's viziers, Sinan Pasha, a famous author and an esteemed scholar, died, having apparently willed his very rich collection of books to a foundation. Another equally esteemed scholar, Molla Lutfi had the responsibility of ensuring that the books reached the foundation to which they had been endowed. Whether or not Molla Lutfi delayed the process so as to allow himself exclusive use of the collection is not certain, but he was accused of doing so by Sinan Pasha's brother, Ahmed Pasha, in two letters addressed to the Sultan. Ahmed Pasha even went as far as to accuse Molla Lutfi of selling some of the books.  Bayezid H’s son, Prince Korkud, a renowned poet and scholar, also had a very rich collection which required a camel caravan to move it from one location to another.  The Prince's ؛arabdar, that is the chief taster of drinks, a certain Piyale Bey, had a private collection and left the books to an elementary school which he had founded in Manisa.  One of the books from this collection can now be found in the Auf Efendi Library (no. 1835) and it bears the seal of Piyale Bey which consists of the following Persian couplet:
Piyale, the slave of Prince Korkud
Had nothing in this world save his chosen friends
An extremely important private library was that belonging to a famous scholar, Miieyyed-zade Abdurrahman Efendi, who if the author of the $akaik is to be believed, had a library of over 7,000 books, quite apart from duplicates. The author of the $akaik goes on to note that not only had he not read many of these works, he had not even heard of their names. The famous historian, Hoca Sadeddin, wrote that this collection consisted of "precious and rare books, and apart from the duplicates it is well known that there are more than 7,000 works" in the collection. 
We do not know if this reputed 7,000 book collection was an exaggeration or the literal truth. However it seems that the collection was extraordinarily rich, even if it did not amount to 7,000 works. Mueyyed-zade during his lifetime had apparently encurred enormous debts in building up this collection and upon his death in 1516 the books went to his family, who apparendy sold some of them. The Sultan, Selim I, decided to confiscate this library and he appointed one of his servants, a certain Aydrn, to appropriate as many of the books as he could lay his hands on. Ayd n duly did so and noted the names of the books which he could find; these amounted to 2,112. The tides of these books are noted in an account book now housed in the Topkapi Palace Archive. The Sultan took the rarest of the books into his own palace collection and had the remainder sold in order to clear Mueyyed-zade's debts. 
We have from Bayezid H's reign two proper independent catalogues which have survived. Up to this period there were inventories appended to dre foundation deeds which functioned as catalogues. The first is not dated, but from external evidence we can say that it was prepared at the begimring of the XVIth century.  It belongs to the library of the mosque of Mehmed the Conqueror. This catalogue, which consists of 56 folios, has an introduction covering two pages the first of which has unfortunately been torn and the bottom half lost. In the remaining part of the page the cataloguer advises the reader that dre catalogue has been drawn up on the order of the reigning Sultan, whose specific orders were to inspect the library whiclr tire late Sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror, had endowed. After this missing section, page two begins with a discussion of how the books were to be shelved. We know that Mehmed the Conqueror endowed books to four of the seven colleges (Semaniye) that surrounded the mosque he built. His successor, Bayezid II, relocated the books to a single location in the mosque, probably for ease of administration and better protection. It would seem that the compiler of the catalogue may have been involved in physically allocating space to the books, and that this preoccupation was foremost in his mind when he drew up the catalogue. 
The second catalogue, which is dated 1502, belongs to the Palace library and consists of 340 folios.  The first two folios contain a list of contents, followed by five folios containing a Turkish introduction, which lays down the principles by which the catalogue was set out and the rules of classification. This is followed by a single folio containing a preface in Arabic, which says that this catalogue has been prepared on the orders of Sultan Bayezid II. In the Turkish introduction, the problems confronting all librarians of the time in classification are dealt with in some detail as, for example, how to deal with several books bound together and how to classify a book in which two distinct categories overlap. In this catalogue classification is the over-riding priority; no importance is given to the physical description of the books. It would seem that the reason for classification needs being so important was that the Palace library was built to house a collection which was intended for the court. If information was needed it was important that the necessary book could be found quickly. In order to ensure this, an efficient system of classification was needed.
Selim I's reign is extraordinary in that, despite lasting only 8 years, 1513- 1521, it witnessed the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Syria, Egypt and the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. This allowed Selim I to buy and confiscate books whenever the opportunity arose. By the end of his short reign the palace had become much richer, and these books were, in later reigns, to become the core of foundation libraries. Selim I's reign was too short to allow him to found institutions bearing his name, but we do have e١idence for his love of books and reading. Hoca Sadeddin recounts in his history, that while on the Egyptian campaign (1516) he took many books with. One night in the desert some camels carrying equipment became detached from the main column and were stolen by Bedouins. Among the equipment was a chest of books among which was Vassaf s History, which the
Sultan was reading at the time. When he arrived in Egypt he had one of the palace teachers, M evlana Semseddin, famous for the speed at which he could copy (he could copy, it was claimed, a whole Koran in 10 days), write another copy of the History of Vassaf for him.  There are some documents which show his keen interest in books. A document dated 1517 takes the form of a report on the books housed in the citadel of Aleppo, the first part of which is a list of books which the anonymous author believes should be sent to the Palace Library. The second part of the report deals with those books which although not very valuable may be ac٩uired by the Palace, while the third section gives the titles of books which are of no interest to the Palace and should be disposed of on the open market. The report requests that the Sultan should make his decision clear
Another document is a letter from the governor of Egypt, who had found some books which Selim I had lost while in Damascus. The governor mentions that he had sent one book already, and now he had found another four, but as the letter was going by sea he was not sending the books with it, lest they become damp, but would await the first opportunity to send them byland. 
Selim I's short reign witnessed some foundation libraries, but comparatively few. One of these was founded by Mevlana Bali in his mosque in Istanbul. Attached to the mosque were rooms for scholars and students, for the benefit of who he endowed, in 1519, a library of 620 books to be kept by the imam of the mosque.  The author of Şakaiktells US that Ahmed Pasha, who has been seen complaining to the Sultan about the disposal of his brother's library, donated some books to his college in Bursa and thus established a library.  In a survey of the foundations of Edirne it has been noted that a certain Hasan Halife left 19 books, his house and some money with the provision that after his death his descendants should look after the books, and thereafter they should be entrusted to the judge of the city. On no account were the books to leave the house. Trustees were appointed to manage the foundation.
Ismet Parmaksrzoglu, in his article entitled "The Libraries of Manisa"reports that Suleyman the Magnificient's mother built a mosque and dispensar-y in Manisa and founded a library in both institutions.
Libraries founded in the Reign of Suleyman the Magnificent and from his Death Until the End of 16th Century
In the first years of Suleyman I's reign, as in the whole reign of his father, Selim I, there was a recession in the development of libraries. This may perhaps be attributed to tire enormous social and economic dislocation witnessed in the reign of Selim 1.  Althoirgh we see several libraries established in Edirne during the early years of Süleyman I's reign, there is no erdence of such activities in the capital, Istanbul. Most of the libraries founded by statesmen and scholars of the period happened in the latter part of Iris reign, due mainly to political and economic stability, which in turn encouraged development in ctrlture and scholarship.
In Edirne, the tradition of establishing small collections for the use of the local inhabitants, which began in the reign of Murat II, continued. This is demonstrated in the case of a collection of 114 books, mainly to do with religion, donated by Hajr Hasan b. Ali to the schoolhotrse he founded, by means of an endowment deed dated 1521. In the deed Hajr Hasan b. Ali includes the condition that "the books should be lent ft'eely to the teacher of tire school horrse and to anyone who is able to read them, but tliey should not be given to anyone from outside the mentioned locality".
Again in Edirne, a library, was founded by Kasim b. Abdullah in January 1528, similar to that of Hajr Hasan b. Ali's library, but containing in the foundation deed the firrther stipulation that the teacher should not lend a book without first obtaining a pledge from the borrower. In both foundation deeds, we can observe that, as in previous periods, the teacher is responsible for conserving and administering the collection, there being no specific post of librarian.
At the beginning of Suleyman I's reign a library was founded in Gebze, near Istanbul, by ؟oban Mustafa Pasha, the governor of Egypt, in a complex which he completed in 1522.  The collection, consisting of 165 books mainly on religion, with some works on medicine,  was to be cared for by a librarian, who was to receive a daily stipend of three aspers.  In the complex founded by ؟oban Mustafa Pasha, as in most complexes and colleges of this period, a library was considered a necessary constituent of the educational organization. For this reason, throughout Suleyman I's reign, we see a library established in each of the following colleges: Hayreddin Pasha College in Istanbul (founded 1534) , Abdulvasi b. Hizrr's college in Edirne (before 1538) , Kasrm Pasha's colleges in Istanbul (1544) and in Bursa (1553) , Riistem Pasha's colleges in Istanbul (1547) and in Tekirdag (1553),  Sofu Mehmed Pasha's college in Sofia (1547),  Sultan Suleyman I's college in Rhodes,  Ibrahim Pasha's college in Istanbul (1549),  Sekban Kara Ali's college in Istanbul Huseyin Aga's college in Amasya,  Sehzade Mehmed's college in Istanbul and Semiz Ali Pasha's college in Istanbul (1556). 
Records indicate that books were not only donated to the colleges but also to mosques. Thus we see Makbul Ibrahim Pasha, one of Sultan Sfileyman I's grand viziers, donating some books and appointing a librarian to his mosque in Hezargrad, as did Husrev Pasha in Diyarbakır Kiremitçizade Sinan Bey in Bursa and Tercüman Yunus, Ferruh Kethüda and Cihan Beyin Istanbul. According to a foundation record. Çadırcı Hayreddin established a position of librarian with a daily stipend of one asper at the Bezzaz-I Cedid Mosque at Mercan in Istanbul. 
Besides local and college libraries, there are particular libraries which are worthy of note: the library in the mausoleum complex of Caliph Ali and Musa Kazim in Baghdad, the library of Yorgani Dede in his tekke(1564) near the Gül Mosque in Istanbul and Feridun Bey's library located in tire primary school bearing Iris name, also in Istanbul. 
The libraries we have come across so far all fit within the established classification of libraries: libraries found in colleges, mosques, schools, tekkes and mausoleums.  However, there is a further type of library, examples of which can only be seen in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, one instance in Mehmed the Conqueror's reign, and one in Selim's, and several in Sultan Süleyman I's reign. These are the libraries founded by members of the ulema (clergy) in their own houses or in small buildings, the deeds for which stipirlate that the founder will have priority in the use of the books, thereafter his family, scholars of the locality, righteous persons and, finally, anyone able to profit from the books.
One example of suchlibraries is the one donated by Mevlana Emir Hüseyin b. Mehmed, a teacher at the Dariilhadis college in Edirne, who, by means of an endownrent deed, dated February 1535, stipulated that his 77books should be available not only to himself but to scholars, students and any person able to profit from them. Although the deeds do not stipulate where the books are to be housed, when the extant copy of the deeds was made it was noted that the books were currently in the hands of Muslihiddin Dede in the district of Sevfindfik Fakih. A clause in the deeds shows that the founder expressly wished the books to be used as widely as possible:
"The books are not to be lent without a deposit or pledge and it is a condition that they must not remain in the hands of a person for an extended period. Indeed when a person has finished with a book, the librarian should take it from him and give it to another person so that the books do not go out of use and do not become lost." 
Similarly, Mevlana Alaaddin b. Hact Sinan donated 25 books in 1545 and placed similar conditions in his deed, but also added that upon his death the imam of the Haseki district Mosque was to look after the books and that the congregation of the mosque was to act as supervisor. 
Another example appears in the foundation deeds, dated November 1562, in which Kadr Alaaddin b. Abdurrahman donated his house in the district of Balat in Istanbul, together with his books and a sum of money. Here it is stipulated that the local imam or someone appointed by him would live in die house, read every day one ctiz (a thirtieth) of the Koran for the soul of the founder and maintain the books. 
In a document, dated 1536, we see a certain Sinan Bey and a Mehmed b. Sinan, coowners of a collection of books, donating their books in a similar way: that the books be for the use of their sons and the scholars of the district and those who may profit from them. However what is different in this document is that the price of every book is entered after each tide. This is explained thus:
"As for the one who has need of a book, it shall not be given to him without taking the full value of the book or a pledge wliich shotrld not be worth less than the value of the
book. Books should thus be lent and should a book be lost then
it should be replaced ١vith the money or pledge taken. 
When Sheyh İshak b. Abdürrezzak endowed 41 of his books, mainly on mathematics, medicine and astronomy, for the use of himself, his sons and his friends who could benefit from them, he stipulated that the books should not leave the confines of Istanbul. 
Despite the fact that many a locality could boast a library, no matter how small, and that the libraries were established in the complexes Sultan Süleyman I built for his son Şehzade Mehmed and his daughter Mihrimah Sultan, it is ironic that no collection was endowed when his own vast complex was built at the Süleymaniye. However, according to the Süleymaniye foundation deed, probably drawn up in 1557, it was planned that a library should exist at some future date:
"Thus it is stipulated that when the books are provided for the above-mentioned colleges a librarian and assistant librarian are to be appointed by the grand vizier and their duties to be determined by him. 
We do not know when the library was founded in the Süleymaniye complex nor when the staff were appointed. Miijgan Cunbur has claimed that a library was operating soon after the completion of the complex, relying on a list of books appended to the foundation deeds, but it is apparent that this list was appended at a later date. It is not therefore possible, on the basis of this document, to claim categorically that the library was functioning shortly after the deeds were drawn up. However, in a document found in the Topkapi Palace Archive, dated 1561, it is recorded that some books were sent from the Palace to the college of the Sultan, i.e. to the Süleymaniye. In anodter document in the same archive, dated 1565, there is a list of the tides of 55 books under the heading: "The list of books given to the teachers, which were needed by the colleges of Süleymaniye, by order of the Sultan". With these documents we can presume that within a few years of the completion of the Suleymaniye complex, books began to come to the library from the Palace.
The oldest reference so far noted for the appointment of a librarian and assistant librarian to this library is dated 1583. In an account book of the Suleymaniye foundation, it is found that among the staff there was a librarian by the name of Sheyh Şemseddin Mahmud, with a daily stipend of 6 aspers and an assistant librarian at 4 aspers. In the same account book, a record, dated 1589, shows that the above mentioned şemseddin had resigned and on the petition of the Judge of Istanbul a certain Osman b. Hfrdaverdi was appointed. From the account books of later years it is seen that these salaries remained static until 1649, when the librarian started to receive ten aspers and the assistant librarian seven.  Apart from the daily stipend, the staff of the Suleymaniye library were entitled to receive one meal a day from the kitchen of the complex. 
Similarly, when Gazi Hfrsrev, the son of Selçuk Sultan and grandson of Sultan Bayezid II, founded a complex in Sarajevo he stipulated in an endowment dated 1537 that a library was to be established at a future date with the moneys remaining after the building was completed. We are informed that another library, was established in 1550 in the town of Fo؟a on the river Drina. 
A library built in 1559 in Kayseri by a scliolar, Bedreddin Mahmud b. Mevlana Suleyman b. Alaaddin Ali, has attracted the attention of researchers because of its peculiar location. It has been claimed that this was the prototype of a new category of library, namely the "bedesten"or "bazaar
library"However we should examine the establishment of this library more closely before accepting this new category of "bazaar library". In the foundation deeds, dated 1559, Bedreddin Mahmud stipulated that the books were to remain in his possession until his death and, thereafter, in the possession of his children and brother's children, to be used both for their benefit and that of students, and thus they were to remain in the hands of his descendants until they died out, whereupon the books were to be placed in a place in a bazaar called the Bezzazistan, or cloth bazaar. Furthermore, it is clearly stipulated that this collection, which comprised 400 volumes mainly in Arabic and dealing with religious sciences or the Arabic language, was to be used by "seekers of knowledge", in other words, students.  It is therefore a collection appropriate to a college library, although it is located in the bazaar. A “bazaar library”, we would assume, would be for die benefit of the merchants, and would be a completely different type of collection.
We know that another collection was endowed during the period of Sultan Süleyman I’s reign. According to the famous biographer of Ottoman scholars, Atâî, a certain Şah Ali (d. 1553) was reputed to have performed his morning prayers for forty years in the first line in Ayasofya mosque. He is said to have left his books for the benefit of students. Where he donated them is not mentioned and therefore we do not know if he donated diem to Ayasofya mosque or to some other institution.  From a record in Şer'i Siciller we learn that a teacher called Kasım b. Habil donated 65 books to the library of Mehmed the Conqueror and stated in his foundation deed that his books might be lent out in return for a pledge. 
The period from the death of Süleyman I till the end of XVIth century saw the spread of libraries throughout the Empire, as the reigning sultans and their statesmen endowed libraries to institutions they had founded in large cities, or in places to which they had been appointed, or to their place of birth. With the exception of the Selimiye Mosque Library, the libraries were comparatively small and had just a single librarian, but these were to become the core collection of libraries, which were to expand in the following century as the numbers of students increased, creating a necessity for more books.
ismihan Sultan, the daughter of Selim II and wife of the grand rizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, founded a college at Eyüp in Istanbul to which she donated some books with the provision that they be kept in a cupboard in lier mausoleum.  As in the case of Bedreddin Mahmud's library in Kayseri, the books were placed in the mausoleum purely for convenience. Some scholars have, in an attempt to classify libraries according to the location of the books, invented the phrase "mausoleum library", analogous to mosque libraries or tekkelibraries. It must be emphasized that in the absence of a purpose-built library, books were placed in a convenient and secure location. The mausoleum was as secure as any building in a complex. The catalogue of this library is a particularly good example from this period, giving a deailed physical description of each book in the collection.
The grand vizier, Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, established three libraries, one in his college in Istanbul another in a tekkeIre had established, also in Istairbul, and a third in his college in Bergos.  As in the case of his wife's endowment, the catalogue of these libraries is very detailed in the physical description of the books. He makes a further provision for necessary precautions to be taken to prevent fraud by substitution, and provides money in order to replace any book which becomes worn out through overuse. 
Selim II established a library in the college which he built in Izmir, a few years after ascending the throne.  When he completed his complex irr Edirne in 1575, he naturally endowed it widi a library and we see from the foundation deed (dated 1579) that not only is the catalogue and the richness of the collection of great interest, but so are the provisions for staffing the library.  He prorides for three librarians, two of whom were to be trained calligraphers and omamentors and whenever necessary they were to repair the books and replace missing text and ornamentation.  We learn from the introduction to the catalogue, which is appended to the foundation deed, that unlike the Süleymaniye, where the books were donated to the complex some years after its completion, in the case of Selimiye the books were collected beforehand and were ready to be used as soon as the complex opened. 
Nurbanu Sultan, the senior wife of Selim II and mother of Murad III, built a complex in Üsküdar. From an account book we see that a library was located there in the mosque with a librarian at a stipend of 2 aspers per diem. 
Koca Sinan Pasha, the grand vizier responsible for the conquest of Yemen, used much of his wealth in building numerous pious foundations, four of which were endowed with libraries. An endowment deed dated 1586 tells us that he endowed books to four separate institutions, a college in Ishak Pasha Mahalllesi in Istanbul, a college in Aydın and a college in Malkara where he had been exiled on several occasions, and a tekkein Kulaksız in Istanbul. The college in Istanbul provided for the head reciter of Koran to be given the responsibility for looking after the books with an extra salary of one aspers per diem, while the others had not particular provisions in terms of a librarian. 
As for Sinan Pasha’s personal library, that was housed after his death in his mausoleum in Divan Yolu in Istanbul. An account book notes that a librarian there received a salary of 8 aspers per diem which suggests that the collection may have been quite sizable.  As his mausoleum is located in the vicinity of several colleges we may also presume that the library was for the use of students there.
Towards die end of the century three prominent men, the Sheyhtlislam Zekeriyya Efendi,  the chief eunuch Gazanfer Ağa and Hadrm Hafrz Ahmed Pasha,  founded colleges each endowed with a library. Zekeriyya Efendi's library was located in his mausoleum and his son Sheyhulislam Yahya Efendi augmented the librarian's salary by 3 aspers per diem in 1638. 
Besides college libraries, there were a number of mosque libraries founded for the benefit of teachers and students and the congregation. In 1568 Ali b. Recep founded a library in his mosque in Yenice Vardar, in the deeds of wliich he placed an interesting stipulation for lending: the librarian should obtain from the reader a deposit twice the value of the book, and refuse to lend to inhabitants of other cities or the surrounding villages.  Hemnzade donated some books to Ulu Cami in Bursa in 1585 and provided that books might be lent on deposit of a pledge and with a known person standing as guarantor.  Pertev Pasha drew up an endowment deed providing money for a mosque to be built in the town of izmit wherever it was felt necessary and endowed 21 books for the use of congregation. The mosque was completed in 1579 and a librarian with a stipend 1 asper per diem appointed In 1584 Mehmed Efendi b. Abdullah Molla Celebi endowed a library to the mosque in Fındıklı in Istanbul. The purpose was to serve the needs of the students of a college which he intended to build nearby.  Another library was endowed in 1591 by Mehmed Ağa for his mosque in Canba in Istanbul. The books were exclusively for the use of college teachers, a condition clearly stated not only in the endowment deed, but also on the seal attached to each book. 
One of the most interesting mosque libraries was endowed in 1593 by a certain Mahmud Bey whose 39 book library was given to the Cihangir Mosque in Istanbul. With a few exceptions all the books are in Turkish and most of a non-religious nature, consisting of anthologies of folk tales, famous love epics. The books were to be lent, but the loan was restricted to a period of a month. Although !roused in a mosque, it is clear that this is a public library intended for the use of the local people. 
Cerrah Mehmed Paslra founded a library in his mosque in 1594,  and it may be guessed from the nature of the books that the library was intended for the two colleges. Gevher Sultan and Haseki, situated near at hand.
Although tlrere is no archival record, recent research indicates that the following mosques and colleges had libraries endowed towards the end of the 16th century. These endowments were made by the following benefactors: Zal Mahmud Pasha in Eyüp (1570), Karagöz Bey in Mostar (1570) , Abdurrahman Pasha in Tosya (1584) , Mesih Pasha in Istanbul in Eski Ali Pasha's mosque (1586) , , Murad III in Muradiye mosque in Manisa (1586) , Lala Mustafa Pasha in Ilgin (1591) , and Derviş Pasha in Mostar (1593). 
Two specialist collections are noted in this period. The first is the collection of the chief plrysician to the palace. In a document of 1576 we
have list of the books given to the chief physician Molla Kasim and in 1580 we see the same books passed onto Molla Kasim's successor on his retirement.  While not a library in the strict sense of the word, it is a collection for the use of the Chief Physician. A second specialist collection was that attached to the observatory built by Takiyiiddin (died 1585) in Istanbul while he was the Sultan's chief astronomer.  We see that the Sultan took special interest in the collection and augmented it whenever an opportunity arose. A certain Lutfullah left some books on astronomy to be cared for by the muezzin and imam of the mosque in the Mimar Sinan district in Istanbul. Sultan Murad III ordered that these books be placed in the observatory for the benefit of the chief astronomer.  Another decree commanded that the books of the astronomer, Kurd, should be sent with all due haste by the Governor of Saruhan and Judge of Manisa to Istanbul, presumably again to be added to the collection at the observatory. 
The Expansion of the Ottoman library system
From the beginning of the seventeenth century all the major cities of the empire were well-endowed with mosques, colleges and institutions associated with religious and cultural institutions, among which we include libraries. It was now the turn of the smaller cities and towns to develop libraries. At a first glance, this expansion of the libraries throughout the Balkans and Anatolia may suggest an increase in literacy , but the contents of these library are mainly college texts, Arabic books and commentaries and translations into Turkish which would suggest that the expansion of the library system merely reflects the expansion of the college system. The libraries were established to meet the needs of the students. Some of these small town libraries were established by the following benefactors: Mustafa Dede in his tekke the island of Midilli (1602) , Miieyyed-zade Pin ٢elebi in Amasya in the vicinity of Hatuniye Mosque (1609) , Ka؟anikli Mehmed Pasha in his mausoleum in Uskup (1608) , the chief eunucli Ali Ağa b. Yahya in his college in Mostar , Tavlasunlu Halil Pasha in the village of Tavlasun in Kayseri (1617) , Sheikh Husameddin in his tekkein Bursa (1612) , the chief eunuch Bosnali Ahmed Ağa in his college in Mostar (1653) , Köprülü Mehmed Pasha in his mosque in Bozcaada (1660) , Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha in his mosques in Merzifon (1668)  and incesu (1670) , Mehmed IV in his mosque in Girid! and the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha in his complex in Erkilet in Kayseri (1671) .
In the seventeenth century established institutions also began to receive collections through gifts and endowments which were usually documented in an endowment deed.  When a small endowment of, for example a single book or two-three books, was made it was more usual to record the endowment on the fly leaf of the book.
In Istanbul until the establishment of independent libraries, beginning with the Köprülü Library in 1678, it was the rule that all major colleges would have their own libraries. Indeed the founders of new colleges did not, as in previous times, found a college in the hope that a library would be donated at a later date, or that the students of the college would benefit from the collections of other institutions nearby, but ensured that the college was provided with its own library from the outset. Thus we see new colleges being founded with a library : Kuyucu Murad Pasha (1610) , Sultan Ahmed I (1617) , Kazasker Hasan Efendi (1630) , Sheikhülislam Abdurrahim Efendi (1650) , Yeni Cami (1663, 1666) , Mimarbaşı Kasım Ağa , Abbas Ağa b. Abdüsselam (1670) , Mustafa Efendi b. Abdü's-selam (1677)  and Bayram Pasha (1636). 
In the middle of the seventeenth century two libraries were established in existing mosques. These collections were not endowed by means of an endowment deed, but were gifted in the will of the deceased donator. The conditions attached to the administration of these collections are extremely unusual and worth mentioning. The first of these was a donation of 71 books made to Üsküp. mosque in Cibali in Istanbul by Mehmet Pasha on behalf of a certain Mustafa Efendi. The will, dated 1667, stipulates that the books should only be lent out to poor scholars and that the supervision of the endowment should be in the hands of the whole congregation of the mosque acting as a committee. Another library ١vas established in Iplikçi Mosque in Konya by a teacher Ali Efendi, acting as the executor of Mahmud Efendi's will. The will, dated 1672, provided for 78 books to be donated on condition that they be lent out to poor students and scholars of Iplikçi college for a period not exceeding six months on the deposit of a pledge , and should the book be lost the pledge was to be sold and a "reliable version" of the book should be bought. Again the supervision of the collection is in the hands of the congregation, who were not to receive payment for their efforts. 
The attitude of the religious authorities to the donation of books is well exemplified in the following, rather unusual, case. A certain Abdülkadir Efendi died intestate with a pri١'ate collection of books. Two persons appeared in front of the judge in Istanbul responsible for dealing with the estates of deceased persons and claimed that Abdülkadir Efendi had orally pledged his collection in front of witnesses to the dervish lodge which he founded in Karagümrük in Istanbul. This oral testament had apparently been made in a remote town while he had been traveling to Istanbul. The judge found in favor of the dervish lodge rather than the other beneficiaries of his estate , and the books were sent to his tekke. 
From its humble beginnings the Ottoman library system had by the end of the seventeenth century developed into a large sophisticated entity which pro١٩ded for libraries not only in the major cities of the empire but also in many small towns. With d٦e establishment of the independent library the Ottoman library system was to take a new direction.