The unique and comprehensive research of historian and novelist Reşad Ekrem Koçu (1905-1975) on Istanbul was opened at Forum, the entrance space of SALT Beyoğlu, as the exhibition Station: The Encyclopedia of Istanbul on Jan. 15.
The content of the 11 volumes of the encyclopedia, printed up until the letter of G till Koçu was alive, will be discussed with presentations, talks and workshops at Forum and Open Cinema. Participants can contribute to the colophon writing of the articles, analyzing the volumes from A to G. Selected works about the history of Istanbul will be given space along with Koçu's other works on the city.
Koçu received the support of his historian, academic, artist and literary friends for his work in 1944 to write the register of Istanbul in "The Encyclopedia of Istanbul." The volumes, which were printed in 1944-1948 and 1958-1973, gathered many aspects of information of the city, such as people, places, buildings, events, customs, idioms and legends. Shaped around the personal interests of Koçu, the encyclopedia is a distinguished example in terms of history writing. The volumes A to G offer an opportunity to view various sources, subjects, writers and illustrators.
Reﬂad Ekrem Koçu's encyclopedia series, which were printed in 1944-1948 and 1958-1973, gathered many aspects of information of the city, such as people, places, buildings, events, customs, idioms and legends.
Moreover, the effects of separated articles in terms of content, changing times and conditions are seen in Koçu's methods. The content, which provides basic information about Istanbul and is full of registers of uncertain quality, is waiting to be scrutinized in terms of its repetition, diversions and validity of its data.
A documentary group of 20,000 elements on the next volumes of the encyclopedia, which were planned to be completed by the novelist and 1,460 works from his personal library, were taken over by Kadir Has University in 2018.
The Station exhibit is an extension of the three-year work conducted in partnership with SALT in order to open the printed volumes and the archive in question for access through online software, transferring them to a digital environment. It is aimed that the relationship of the article's colophons that will be prepared with the contribution of the participants along with the points and opinions of guest experts and researchers, texts and visuals that were collected for the encyclopedia, and the archive, will be made clear.
Station, which is prepared with the contribution of Kadir Has University, will start at the Open Cinema at 3.00 p.m. on Feb. 9 with presentations by SALT Research and Programs Director Meriç Öner and Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the Art and Design Faculty, professor Arzu Erdem. The details will be announced at the SALT Online website and social media accounts.