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Near & Middle East Titles:
Records of the Kurds: Territory, Revolt and Nationalism, 1831-1979
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ISBN: (13) 978-1-84097-325-9
Extent: 13 volumes, 9,800 pages, 1 map box



Editor: A. L. P. Burdett
Author:N/A
ISBN: (10)

Published: 2015
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings
See sample pages: not available




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Resumé

These nine thousand pages of facsimile documents trace early insurgencies directed bythe Kurdish people against regional and metropolitan powers, and their interrelations with neighbouring tribes and other ethnic groups at historical flash points, from the origins of nationalist sentiments through a series of disparate revolts in the nineteenth century, and then on to a larger, more cohesive and discernible nationalist movement launched in the aftermath of World War I. They concomitantly depict the extent of territories pertaining to the Kurdish 'homeland', the use of the term 'Kurdistan' generally refers to an agreed geographical area, not to a legal or political entity.

 

Kurdish populated territory evolved over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with some regions becoming entrenched, others subject to constant flux. The map box provides illustrations of the changing territory, or those sections subject to alterations and contestation.


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Historical Overview

In this case an historical overview has been provided by guest contributors in their Historical Introduction, below.


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Documentary Importance

Records of the Kurds: Territory, Revolt and Nationalism,1831–1979 offers an exhaustive account of Kurdistan’s geography in one of the most extensive documentary collections published to date. The collection includes extensive information on Kurdistan’s mountain passes and pastures; its forts, hamlets,villages, and small and large towns; its natural resources, such as water, oil,and items of trade; its roads, gorges, peaks, ridges, defiles, bridges, valleys, plains, deserts, marshes, and the like. Even the region’s geological, botanical, and zoological specimen are painstakingly catalogued.

 

This collection provides many highly valuable documents from the period, including those written by prominent Kurdish personalities and organizations, showing inparticular detail how the war and post-war world affected the identity and political allegiance of the people of Kurdistan. One of the other key aspects of the set is the insight it provides into the social and political developments in Kurdistan over an extended historical period. It charts the tensions amongst the Kurdish community as well as their interactions with neighbouring communities and their often-uneasy relationships with various states and their representatives. The collection also constitutes an extremely important record of the gradual growth and development of the Kurdish movement over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

 

The Kurdish ‘problem’, as it has often been labelled, has been a historiographical issue as well. The limited study of the area, often prevented by the pressures of regional states, however, is fast changing, and The Records of the Kurds,as the most extensive documentary source to be published so far, will only strengthen this trend and provide scholars from around the world with direct access to these extremely informative British documents.

 

All relevant documents which could betraced from the surviving records of the Government of India at the British Library, as well as the records of the Foreign Office, War Office, IndiaOffice, Colonial Office and Cabinet at the National Archives pertaining to Kurds or to Kurdistan as a regional entity for the period have been sourced and included, with the exception of duplicates and draft documents.


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Arrangement of volumes

 


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Contents Outline

          Volume 1 (1831-1855)


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Key documents



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Maps

M.325.01. “Sketch of the Countrybetween Erzeroom and the River Jorookh”. 1847.

M.325.02.  “Sketch of the Province of Zohab.” c. 1852.

M.325.03.  Map showing delimitation lines for theTurkey–Russia boundary. 1857.

M.325.04 “Map illustrative of the Administrative sub-divisions in the Vilayetof Trebizond”. c.1884.

M.325.05 “Map illustrative of the question of the junction of the Kerassondand Karahissar Roads.” c.1884.

M.325.06.  “A Map illustrative of the Ordoo–Sivas Route,1884.”

M.325.07.  “Map Communicated to the Erzeroum Commission by the Ottoman Commissioner in 1843”.

M.325.08.  “Map of part of the Turko-Persian Frontier. Reduced from the Anglo-Russian ‘Identic Map’ completed in 1869.

M.325.09. “General map showing approximately the Turco-Persian frontier, c.1885.”  

M.325.10. “Road sketch map of Charbahur to Akhlat, 1906.”

M.325.11. “Road sketch map of Erzerum to Charbahur, 1906.”

M.325.12. “Mesopotamia. Administrative Divisions & Chief Towns”. 1916.

M.325.13. “Mesopotamia. Racial Divisions”. 1916.

M.325.14. “Map to illustrate the Agreement of 1916 in regard to Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, &c.”.

M.325.15. “Central Kurdistan  Tribal & Communication Map”. 1921.

M.325.16. “Rough sketch map of Nerva and Raikan districts”. 1921.  

M.325.17. “Sketch Situation Map of 7th Turkish Army Corps”. 1925.   

M.325.18. “Tribal map of Central Kurdistan (Area 9.).” 1929.

M.325.19. “Political Adviser’s sketch map of Main Tribes West and North-West, Kermanshah.” 1945.

M.325.20. Map entitled “Kurdish Tribes of Persian Kurdistan”. 1945.  

M.325.21. “Map to accompany memoranda on ‘Armenian & Georgian claims to Turkish Territory’ & ‘The Kurds of Turkey’”. 1946.

M.325.22. “Map showing distribution of Kurds”. 1946.

M.325.23. “Kurdistan.”

M.325.24 “Map showing Distribution of Kurds.” 1946.   

M.325.25. “Distribution of Kurds”. 1962.

M.325.26. “OR5395, Iraq”. c. 1974.

M.325.27. “Distribution of Kurds.” 1979.  

M.325.28. “The Kurdish area.” 1979.

M.325.29. Section depicting “Kordestan”. 1979.

 

Mapswithout an accompanying document in the volumes

M.325.30. “Map of the Ottoman Dominions in Asia with the adjacent frontiers of Russian and Persian Empires.”1828.

M.325.31. “Outline Map of Central and Southern Kurdistan. To accompany report of my travels in Kurdistan 1881-2.”

M.325.32. “(Part 2) Central Kurdistan.”1894.

M.325.33. Section of “Map of Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria, Western Persia.” 1910. 

M.325.34. “Map to illustrate boundaries proposed for Armenia and Kurdistan…”. Hand dated 4-2-18. 

M.325.35. Hydrographical Section, General Staff, No. 2555. 1916,  (1918).

M.325.36. “Armenian & Kurdish Area Map.” Baghdad 11-8-19.

M.325.37. “Map showing the boundaries of the Liwas and Qadhas of the Mosul Vilayet together with the composition of the estimated population of each Qadha.”1925.



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Editor's Introduction

This collection of documentary sources, totalling 8000 pages, provides an extensive and highly structured collection of records for use by scholars, academics and intellectuals to create the historiographical context to support the study of Kurdish history for the period under review. The documents relate the early insurgencies by the Kurdish people directed against both regional and metropolitan powers, Kurdish inter-relations with neighbouring tribes and other ethnic groups at historical flash-points, and concomitantly depict the extent of territories pertaining to the Kurdish homeland, from the origins of nationalist sentiments through a series of disparate revolts in the nineteenth century and then on to a larger, more cohesive and discernible movement launched in the aftermath of World War I.

 

Although the principal and sustained debate about the future of “Kurdistan” per se may be said to date from c. 1919-20 as an issue of broader international concern and contention, significant material from the early nineteenth century can nevertheless be found within  British official archives and thus a case based on long historical standing is traced. The observations around aspects of Kurdish nationalism and territoriality are made within the context of British interests in the region, reflecting both contemporary biases and those of individual writers. They focus chiefly on the overarching perspective of the British Government’s broader diplomatic relations with Persia, Russia and Turkey, firstly through the monitoring of international boundary disputes and frontier issues; secondly via assessments of strategic defence issues against any possible incursion towards the British Indian Empire, and thirdly on a commercial level, with a view to establishing channels for local trade. Great Britain was not directly seeking to establish its own regional hegemony and it could therefore be argued that these documents reveal Kurdish history with a degree of neutrality, without a bias on the outcome beyond British imperial interests; with individual officials at times revealing a degree of sympathy for the Kurdish position.

 

The use of the term “Kurdistan” generally refers to an agreed concept of a geographicalarea, not to a legal or political entity. Kurdish populations constitute part of Iran to its east, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the south and west, Syria tothe northwest. Kurdish-populated territory evolved over the nineteenth and twentieth century, with some regions becoming entrenched, while others were subject to constant flux. All relevant documents which could be traced from the surviving records of the Government of India at the British Library, and the records of the Foreign Office, War Office, India Office, Colonial Office and Cabinet at the National Archives, pertaining to Kurds or to Kurdistan as a regional constructfor the period, have been traced and included with the exception of duplicates and draft documents.


While the earlier period from 1806–1829 witnessed Kurdish uprisings such as the Baban Revolt in 1806 and a wave of insurrection in 1815, with an additionally significant revolt during 1828–1829, reference to these was not located in official records, perhaps because British representatives were not yet in situ observing events first-hand. Private papers outside the main two British Government archives, where perhaps further coverage might be found, have not been drawn on at this time.

 

I have not included some of the earliest nineteenth century documents in which the ink has faded and which are illegible even in the original format. Additionally, because copies of routine letters or drafts of war-time documents were typed on recycled paper or poor quality rough paper, the text often appears feint – also the case with military messages and copied correspondence in violet coloured ink.


The documents are arranged in approximate chronological order, with due regard to geographical sectors, and described in detail in a separate contents list. However, surviving post-war materials tend to be arranged by the originating Whitehall department or overseas post in subject files, and wherethis occurs it is respected, and documents are placed within an annual chronological order only. While papers may relate mainly to Iraq or originate from Baghdad or Kirkuk, they frequently concern Persian Kurds, or the nationalist movement in general, therefore contents divisions are not rigid but a narrative develops over time.




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Related Titles:
Arabian Boundaries 1853–1960
Arabian Boundaries 1961–1965
Arabian Boundaries 1966—1975
Armenia: Political And Ethnic Boundaries 1878–1948
Iran: Political Diaries 1881–1965
Iran–Iraq Border 1840–1958, The
Minorities in the Middle East: Kurdish Communities 1918–1974
Records of Iraq 1914–1966
Records of Syria 1918–1973


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