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About the Svoboda Diaries
The Joseph Mathia Svoboda Diaries
Joseph Mathia Svoboda was born in Baghdad, Iraq to a prominent family of Central European descent. During the period of his employment with the Lynch Brothers' Tigris and Euphrates Steam Navigation Company he began, in 1862, to keep daily diaries and continued until his death in 1908. The Svoboda Diaries Newbook Project, an activity of the University of Washington Ottoman Texts Archive Project (OTAP), is engaged in the web-based publication, in both web and print-on-demand formats (the "newbook formats"), of 45 Svoboda diaries and transcriptions of Svoboda diaries that have been digitized by the Digital Initiatives Program at the University of Washington Libraries.
The Alexander Richard Svoboda Travel Journal
Our first publishing project has been the Alexander Svoboda Travel Journal. On the 15th of April, 1897, a 19 year-old European resident of Baghdad, named Alexander Richard Svoboda, set out on a long journey to Europe by caravan, boat and train. From a large and influential family of merchants, artists, and explorers settled in Ottoman Iraq since the end of the 18th century, Alexander traveled in the company of his parents and a departing British diplomat accompanied by his retinue. They followed a circuitous route through the Middle East to Cairo and thence to Europe on a three and a half month journey which Alexander described day-by-day in a journal written in the Iraqi Arabic of his time.
The Ottoman Texts Archive Project (OTAP) at the University of Washington is assisting Iraqi researcher, Ms. Nowf Allawi, in preparing this text, with an Arabic transcription and English translation in digital format, for eventual print-on-demand and electronic publication. As part of the project, OTAP researchers are exploring web-based technologies that will support and enhance the publication of the diary.
History of the Project