The personal archive of historian Taha Toros, including written, published and visual materials, is featured on an online portal titled 'Istanbul Memory through Personal Archives.' The digital program has been visited 1.2 million times
With support from Istanbul Şehir University and Istanbul Development Agency, "Istanbul Memory through Personal Archives" is collecting personal archives of important figures in Turkey to create a collective recollection.
As a part of the project, the personal archive of well-known researcher, biographer and historian Taha Toros, who passed away in 2012, has been brought to Istanbul Şehir University. The archive features more than 7,000 files, including 400,000 written, published and visual materials that Toros collected during his visits to Venice, Paris and the Vatican, photographs; postcards; drawings; documents related to national security; books in Turkish and Ottoman; letters and manuscripts. The archive is considered very important as it contains never-before-seen information about the city.
"Istanbul Memory through Personal Archives" projects have digitized nearly 25,000 documents and 60,000 pages of books. Istanbul Şehir University plans to use the same digital infrastructure to open the archives of Mehmed Fuad Köprülü and Kemal Karpat. Those who want their archives to be digitized can turn in their documents to Şehir University, and they will be returned once the process is over.
Istanbul Şehir University Library Director Ayhan Kaygusuz said that Toros's archive, which features 400,000 documents, is an important source to have further information of some of the most important figures of Turkish history as well as Istanbul. He said that their digital archive is the third-largest archive in Turkey, and continued: "We achieved this success in five years. As long as we continue digitizing these archives, we will continue to help researchers around the world." Istanbul Şehir University's digital archive includes documents on people such as Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan, Yahya Kemal, Nazım Hikmet, İbnülemin Mahmut Kemal, Refik Halit and Mithat Cemal as well as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's photos during his visit to Istanbul Univeristy Law School. The digital archive can be accessed on bellek.sehir.edu.tr and has been clicked 1,200,000 times, drawing visitors from Turkey, the U.S., Germany and the U.K.