Kayhan Orbay

Publication Date



The history of accounting in the Eastern Mediterranean has not been adequately studied through its primary sources, despite the fact that the Turkish archives house an enormous amount of material for exploring accounting practices in the Ottoman Empire. Ottomanists used the account books as sources for Ottoman socioeconomic and institutional history. They analyzed, fully transliterated and published the account registers of the central treasury, the Istanbul shipyard and the waqf institutions. Nevertheless, accounting historians did not even show interest into published archival sources up until recent years. Owing to a few recent works that were based on the primary sources, nowadays accounting historians are more and more aware of the richness and significance ofOttomanarchives for accounting history and for comparative accounting research as well. This study introduces the account books kept in the Ottoman waqf institutions between the 15th and 19th centuries in order to raise awareness of the Eastern Mediterranean accounting tradition and to spark further in-depth and comparative works focused on the history, functioning, role and change of accounting in the Eastern Mediterranean.



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