THE GHAZI HUSRAV BEY LIBRARY
1537 yılında yapılan, Gazi Hüsrev Bey Kütüphanesi, Boşnakça, Arapça, Farsça ve diğer dillerde yazılmış değerli elyazmalarına sahip. 800 yıldan daha eski ender eserler bulunmakta. Bunlar paha biçilmez olarak değerlendiriliyorlar.
Kurucusu Sultan 2. Beyazıt`ın torunu Gazi Hüsrev Bey olan kütüphanede bulunan 80.000 kitap ve dokümanın 10.000 tanesi eski doküman ve el yazması, 5.000 doküman ise Osmanlı Halifeliği dönemine ait.
Vrhbosna, today’s Sarajevo, was the seat of the duke of the western regions after 1436. The qadi’s his seat was in Sarajevo after Bosnia was finally conquered by the Turks in 1463. The mufti also had his seat in Sarajevo after 1519. From the time of the Turkish conquest until the coming of Gazi Husrev Bey, Vrhbosna grew into a town with seventeen micro regions (mahalla) and as many mosques.
There was also a public bath ( hammam), a caravan-saray, three dervish lodges (tekke) and one secondary school (Firus Bey Medresa). It was usual for each mosque, or mahalla, to have an elementary school (maktab). Gazi Husrev Bey was appointed Governor of Bosnia in 1521, and remained there, with small interruptions, until 1541, when he died. Gazi Husrev Bey was born about 1480 in Serez (Greece), where his father Ferhad Bey, born near Trebinje in Herzegovina, was Governor. His mother was the sister of Sultan Beyazid II, and he grew up and was educated at the Imperial Court. Before coming to Bosnia he was Governor of the Smederevo Sandjak, and he also carried out several diplomatic missions for the Ottoman Sultan at European courts. His great building activity in Sarajevo started as soon as he got there in 1521, in spite of the constant wars he fought in Dalmatia, Croatia and Hungary. Thanks to the buildings he built in Sarajevo and some other towns in Bosnia, and his foundations (waqf), Gazi Husrev Bey is the greatest and most important legator in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He died in Sarajevo in 1541 and was buried in the mausoleum (turba) beside his mosque, which he built during his lifetime.
The Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, the largest and one of the most beautiful in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was built in 1530-31 (937 according to the Hidjra). One year later an elementary school (maktab) was built in the Mosque’s harem (walled-in courtyard), and across the street a khaneqa h (dervish monastery). In 1537 a foundation (waqfna ma) was established for a secondary school (madrasa), for which construction Husrev Bey endowed seven hundred thousand drachmas. Husrev Bey named his madrasa, which was the most important educational institution in Bosna and Herzegovina during Turkish rule, after his mother Seldjuka. Thus its name was Seldjukia, but it was also known as Kuršumlija, because of its lead roof (kurºunlu- mixed, covered or lined with lead.) With the occasional small interruption, it has worked since its foundation until the present.
Besides the already mentioned institutions, Husrev Bey also built a public kitchen (`ima rat), a public guest house for travelers (musa firkhane), a public bath (chifte-h ammam), a covered market (bezistan), two inns (khan), a water system, a ceremonial fountain (shadirwan) in the mosque courtyard and a public washroom. Husrev’s endowment also includes a clock-tower, but it is not known whether it was built during his lifetime or later, and a muwaqqitkhane (clock room of the time-keeper) in the mosque courtyard, built in 1859. An endowed hospital was also built in Sarajevo in 1866 from the money Husrev Bey left in trust, and it worked until the building of the state Hospital in Sarajevo in 1882.
For the upkeep of all those institutions Husrev Bey founded about two hundred shops in the Sarajevo bazaar, large complexes of land around the city of Jajce and forests in Tešanj. He also left foundations in Serez and some money for investment (ribh); income from the market, baths and inns was also used for the upkeep of the endowed institutions.
In the waqfname concerning his secondary school Husrev Bey said: “Let what is left from the costs of building be used to buy some good books for the mentioned madrasa, to be read and for scholars to copy.” Thus the Husrev Bey Library is as old as his madrasa, i.e. it was founded in 1537.
It was the custom in Islamic lands for founders of mosques to donate several copies of the Qur’an written on pages (mushaf), or parts of it, to their endowments. They also used to leave some other books from which the lecturer (dersi-am) held public lectures in the mosque. Besides mushafs, elementary schools also had other books that served as textbooks for teaching children. This can be learned from waqfnames themselves, which listed the books left to mosque or maktab.
The Gazi Husrev Bey Library in Sarajevo is the first library whose year of foundation is known. However, no madrasa could have worked without a library, because its pupils had to copy the necessary textbooks for themselves, and they could do that in the first place from the books in the school. Thus, it may be presumed that Sarajevo had an older library in the Firuz Bey Medresa. It has also been said that there must have been books for scholars to use in mosques and maktabs.
As far as it known, the Library remained part of the Kuršumlija Medresa until 1863. In that year, at the suggestion of Topal Osman Pasha, the governor of Bosnia, the administration of Husrev Bey’s waqf built a large room next to the Bey’s Mosque under the minaret. The Library was moved there from the madrasa, and it remained there until 1935, when it was moved to the ground floor of the offices of the Sarajevo mufti in front of the Imperial Mosque, on the left side of Miljacka river. That was done because the earlier premises became too small as the Library got more and more books, and as the number of visitors increased. Several years after the Liberation the Library spread to the first floor of the mufti’s building, while its administrative and business offices moved to the building of the former Ulema Mosque, also in front of the Imperial Mosque. Thus, the whole building of the former mufti’s offices was used to keep the books.
The manuscripts in this Library were originally written or transcribed in various parts of the Islamic world, especially in great and important centers like Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Baghdad, and especially Istanbul. Some of them are unique or very rare copies, and they came to Sarajevo in different ways: some were brought by traders, some by pilgrims who went for the hadjdj (pilgrimage) from Bosnia, and still others by those who went to the East to study. There are also manuscripts from Eastern towns written and transcribed by people from Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, most of the manuscripts are from various parts of former Yugoslavia, both from towns and remote villages, because their inhabitants, thirsty for knowledge, wrote a lot, and also copied manuscripts from all the fields of knowledge known at that time. There are many manuscripts by Bosnian authors, both autographic and transcribed. The usual copying centers were madrasas, and there were also scriptoria for copying and promoting books in some towns.
It is difficult to discover today what the first books of this Library were, because all the misfortunes that befell Sarajevo during four centuries (floods, fires and wars) also affected the Library. The Gazi Husrev Bey Foundation was looted especially badly during the invasion of Eugene of Savoy in 1697, when a large number of books were destroyed or taken from the Library. Nevertheless, there are still several books that bear the note and stamp that they were endowed by Gazi Husfev Bey himself, and there are many works on which is written that they were copied in the Gazi Husrfev Bey Medresa or Khaneqah. We thus know that both the madrasa and the khaneqah were also schools for transcription.
The number of books in the Gazi Husrev Bey’s Library grew because many people donated their books or complete libraries. The collection was also increased by the addition of books from other public libraries and madrasas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Hasan Nazir Library (founded in 1550), the Hadži Mehmed Karađoz Bey (Hadjdji Mehmed Karadjoz) Library in Mostar (1570), the Memi Šah Bey (Memi Shah) Library in Foča (1675), the Derviš Paša Bajazidagić (Dervish Pasha Bayazidagich) Library in Mostar (1611), the Elči Ibrahim Paša (Elchi Ibrahim Pasha) Library in Travnik (1704), the Mustafa efendi Ejubović (Eyubovich) – Šejh Jujo (Shaykh Yuyo) Library (1707), the Hadži Halil Efendi (Hajji Halil Efendi) Library in Gračanica (mid-17th century), the Osman Šehdi Bjeolopoljac (Osman Shehdi Byelopolyats) Library in Sarajevo (1759-60), the Abdulah efendi Kantamirija (`Abdullah Efendi Kantamiri) Library in Sarajevo (1774), and others.
More recently, the Administration of the Library and of the Gazi Husrev Bey’s waqf, i.e. the Seniority of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Hercegovina, purchased several important private collections. These include the collections of Professor Hadži Mehmed Handžić (Hadjdji Mehmed Handjich) (died 1944), a part of the collection of the Supreme Judge of Islamic Law Hilmi efendi Hatibović (Hilmi Efendi Hatibovich) (died 1944), Osman Asaf Sokolović (Osman Asaf Sokolovich) (died in 1971), and of Dr. Muhamed Hadžijahić (Muhamed Hadjiyahich). The Handžić Collection is one of the most complete Islamic collections in Bosnia; the Hatibović Collection contains several works from Oriental studies, and the Sokolović Collection is one of the most complete works of Bosnian and Herzegovinan writers printed in both Cyrillic and Roman scripts, and also by Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The remainder of the Hatibović Collection was donated to the Gazi Husrev Bey Library.
The Gazi Husrev Bey Library has about eighty thousand volumes of books, titles, periodicals and documents in Oriental, Bosnian and other European languages. That number includes about 10,000 codices with over 20,000 greater or minor works in Islamic studies and Oriental languages and literature. In addition, there are about 25,000 volumes in Bosnian and other European languages. These periodicals include the oldest printed newspapers and periodicals printed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as current editions. The Library also has a valuable collection of periodicals and papers in Oriental languages.
There are about 4,000 documents on the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of these, 1,000 originate from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and are either original or certified copies. There are 86 records (sijills) of the Sarajevo Sharī`a Court. Their archive documentation also includes the Collection of Muhamed Enveri efendi Kadić (Kadich), which has 28 volumes with about 400 pages each.