a) One of the sources for the inscription texts on this website are “chronograms”, i.e. poems composed to commemorate the construction of a building. The numerical value of the last line of these poems typically gives the date of construction. The poets usually compiled their chronograms into divans, or poem collections. Still, it is important to know that a chronogram may not have been actually carved onto a stone and placed on the building. For one thing, there was sometimes more than one chronogram composed for a building (each sponsored by an eminent person, for example), and only one could become the actual inscription. On the other hand, the chronograms are an important resource for those inscriptions that were in fact placed on a building, but disappeared in the following centuries. The DOI researchers are currently in the process of systematically going through these all the poem collections and other sources in search of these chronograms.
b) In order to incorporate the substantial amount of previously published inscriptions, the project assistants have been meticulously entering that data into the database. Some of these inscriptions were already published in the nineteenth-century, appearing in works such as the Hadikatü’l-Cevami by Ayvansarayi, a guide to the mosques in Istanbul. Others are from a multitude of recent studies compiling either the inscriptions of one type of building in a city, such as the fountains, or the inscriptions of one particular city. Since the editors decided to incorporate all the previously published inscription texts, these entries may cover inscriptions from any Ottoman city, not just Istanbul. The incorporation of published data will continue for some time. A list of all the studies on inscriptions that have been incorporated into the database can be found here.
c) Another team from our group is touring Istanbul and taking pictures of the inscriptions. Some of these inscriptions have been published before and some are being recorded for the first time, in this database. Our team is also determining the exact GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates of the inscriptions, and these coordinates are also entered into the DOI. As long as the Google Maps system is running, viewers will be able to see the exact position of the inscriptions on a Google map on our webpage. This will helpresearchers to easily locate the inscriptions or the buildings containing them. The pictures on the DOI websites are strictly copyrighted and third parties are NOT allowed to reproduce them in any form without written permission from the executive board.