About Us

The Dragoman Renaissance Research Platform began as a set of haphazard databases and text files created by Natalie Rothman as part of her doctoral dissertation work at the University of Michigan (1999-2006), and has continued to the present in various permutations. Over the years, it has involved many, many individuals in a range of capacities, from casual interlocutors and commentators on oral presentations and written papers to long-term research assistants and full-fledged partners. This page can only begin to acknowledge the profoundly collaborative nature of this project, and the many debts it has incurred along the way. 

Gülay Yilmaz, Murat Yaşar, Sarah Loose, Mehmet Kuru, Giovanna Licata, and Ted Adamo, former and current doctoral students at the University of Toronto, have transcribed/transliterated and translated archival materials, databased them and otherwise helped the curation and analysis of research materials in Italian and Ottoman Turkish. 

Sanja Ljaskevic and Oleg Lavriv, now alumni of the University of Toronto, translated from Serbo-Croatian relevant printed research aids and secondary literature. Bindya Jairam, Matthew Kurtcu, Grant Waynmouth, and Ibrahim Ibrahimov, also alumni of the University of Toronto Scarborough, helped with data manipulation as work-study students.

Kirsta Stapelfeldt, Kim Pham, and Lingling Jiang of the Digital Scholarship Unit at the UTSC library are responsible for the magnificent technical infrastructure for this platform. Sara Allain provided additional support with image processing and work-study supervision. Travis McCauley and Geoff Piersol consulted on early draft models for the project's architecture.

Tijana Krstić has accompanied the project from its inception, providing much-needed grounding in Ottoman historiography, and both practical, linguistic, and intellectual support during an archival research trip through Croatia (Dubrovnik, Zadar), Slovenia (Koper), and Italy (Venice) in 2010 which resulted in the digitization of much of the corpus presented and analyzed here. Günhan Börekçi, Ahmet Arslantürk, Kathryn Taylor, and Vera Costantini have all provided additional assistance with accessing and digitizing archival materials in the Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives) and the Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivleri (Office of the Prime Minister Ottoman Archives) in Istanbul in the years since then.

Less tangible but immensely pertinent movement on the project was facilitated through various forms of oral and written scholarly communication. Not all interlocutors can be acknowledged here, but a special debt of gratitude goes to the following individuals for their insights and words of advice: Megan Armstrong, Ben Brumfield, Palmira Brummett, Natalie Zemon Davis, Bruno De Nicola, Eric Dursteler, Elisabeth Fraser, Antoine Gautier, Maartje Van Gelder, John Paul Ghobrial, Mathieu Grenet, Gottfried Hagen, Will Hanley, Jens Hanssen, Mariusz Kaczka, Cristian Luca, Mark McDayter, Vesna Miović, Serap Mumcu, Victor Ostapchuk, David Do Paço, Maria-Pia Pedani, Leslie Peirce, Giorgio Rota, Federica Ruspio, Oliver Jens Schmitt, Baki Tezcan, Marko Trogrlić , Josh White, and Selma Zecevic.

At UTSC, Bill Bowen, Leslie Chan, Chris Berkowitz and Donna Gabaccia have been wonderful co-conspirators in broadening the conversation about digital scholarship, as have been Matt Price and Frances Garrett in the wider UofT community.

Laurel Wheeler, Monica Hretsina, and Minda Nessia, former and current Business Officers of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at UTSC have provided invaluable administrative support for this project. Keti Dzamova and Jennifer Niu of the University of Toronto's Research Services Office have offered further timely assistance with grant administration.

This project would not have been possible without substantial and ongoing institutional support. A Connaught Summer Institute grant allowed several team members to gain valuable training in digital scholarship methods, while a Jackman Humanities Institute fellowship provided teaching release time at an earlier phase of the project. Research funds were also generously provided by a SSHRC Standard Research Grant, a year-long Mellon fellowship at the Newberry Library, a UTSC VPR Research Competitiveness Fund, and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Government.