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Economie Rurale. اقتصاد زراعى [İktisad-ı Ziraai / Agricultural Economy]



An exceedingly rare mimeographed illustrated book on the economy in agriculture, made for an Ottoman school with a stunning multicolour title page showcasing a well-managed farm


8°: 422 pp., [2 pp.] index, mimeographed text with illustrations, charts and vignettes, illustrated title page, old corrections and annotations in pencil and blue ink, original blue cloth with debossed ornaments (minor foxing, binding slightly stained and scuffed on the corners, missing frond loose endpaper, but otherwise in a good condition).


1 in stock


The book includes various chapters on modern economy for agriculture, charts and charming mimeographed vignettes such as a landscape of a property by the sea, representative building (prob. the school), a country house, a bird and ornaments.

The book was possibly made for the Halkalı School of Agriculture (Halkalı Ziraat ve Baytar Mekteb-i Alisi), a building probably depicted below the text on p. 342. The school opened in 1892 with Mehmed Ali Bey (1853-1923), a famous veterinarian of the time, appointed the first director. Two years later he became a director of a newly founded veterinary school, before retiring in 1911.

After 1908, several students of the agriculture school were sent to study in Europe. The school closed its doors in 1914 at the beginning of WWI, as the students were drafted to fight on the front.

Ottoman agriculture schools were founded all over the county at the time of the agricultural reforms between 1888-1908. They were partly funded by the Agricultural Bank (Ziraat Bankasi), which was the heart of the large new infrastructure, connecting the people and economy through the newly founded transportation routes, most important being the new railroad connections, which suddenly enabled a rapid contact between the rural areas and big cities.

These agricultural schools contributed to the decentralization of the country, helped educating people from the provinces and introduced to the countryside the latest scientific discoveries on the field of botany, chemistry and land survey.

The books made for educational purposes at the provincial Ottoman agriculture schools were produced in small numbers, usually in forms of manuscripts or mimeographed manuscripts and based on the lecturer’s speeches. With their charming improvised illustrations, which accompany countless new information, mostly based on the western knowledge, they offer a valuable insight into the educational methods of such institutions and show the dedication of the educators.

References: Seemingly unrecorded. NOT IN: Volkan Çeşme, Halkali Ziraat Mektebi: Eğitimi, Eğitimci Kadrosu, Örnek Çiftliği ve Yayinlari, Osmanlı Bilimi Araştırmaları, XVI/1,2014, pp.73-99.

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