Original copies of historical newspapers damaged by visitors
Nearly 200-year-old newspaper copies in Istanbul’s Atatürk Library, a complex known as one of the first libraries of the Republican era, have been damaged by visitors and researchers.
The carefully preserved newspapers in the library, which is usually visited by university students, researchers and history buffs, were cut with blade razors, scissors and utility knives, although the complex offers them the opportunity to get copies.
Güray Erbil, who came to Atatürk Library’s newspaper archives area to do research, noticed that some pages of the historical newspapers were torn off and damaged by sharp tools.
“Visitors coming here cannot reach the pages they are looking for because of the selfish people who came before them,” Erbil said.
Ali Şafak Özdemir, director of the Istanbul Municipality Library and Museums, said that sensitivity from visitors is expected, noting that these newspapers are a common heritage and should be protected.
“If this rude behavior of our visitors continues, we will be reluctantly making a decision not to present these copies,” he added.
Atatürk Library’s collection includes 228,000 books, 20,000 magazines, 10,000 newspaper volumes and hundreds of thousands of written materials.