Series HR-DADU-07.2 - Acta Turcarum (Ottoman Turkish documents)

HR-DADU-7.2.4, vol. 4, no. 474

Identity area

Reference code



Acta Turcarum (Ottoman Turkish documents)


  • 15th century - 19th century (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

161 boxes; 17 linear metres; textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

The Turkish Chancellery in the Rector's Palace was managed by dragomans (Tur. tercüman), or translators for the Ottoman Turkish language. Ottoman documents were classified, translated, archived, and compiled in inventories. Some of these inventories have been preserved but are no longer usable because the files in the inventories have been given different designations over time. In addition to the Turkish Chancellery, which originated from the Slavic Chancellery, the central offices located in the Rector's Palace were: The Public Notary (legal private affairs), the State Chancellery (legal public affairs), the Judicial Chancellery (criminal justice affairs), and the Office of the State Secretary (legal state affairs).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The series has been linked to the archive since its inception, and consists of ca. 15,000 Ottoman documents, originals, transcripts, and translations into Italian and Croatian. During the period of the Dubrovnik Republic, Ottoman documents were stored in the Turkish chancellery at the Rector's Palace. After the fall of the Republic, during the Austrian administration in the first half of the 19th century, the Austrian government had the sultans’ documents taken to the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv in Vienna. Immediately after the end of World War II, the documents were restored to Dubrovnik. The part of the series that had not been taken to Vienna was merged in 1891 with other archival material. The archive in the Rector's Palace has been operating as an independent institution since 1920 and it was moved to the Sponza Palace in 1952, where it is still located today.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The series contains many letters and official documents. Letters to the Republic were written by various Ottoman dignitaries, from the grand vizier to local authorities of the towns and places near the Dubrovnik border. Official documents are orders and charters of sultans, orders of the governors of the Ottoman provinces and various documents of kadis. The documents in the series Acta Turcarum provide an excellent insight into all aspects of relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Dubrovnik, from interstate to personal. The series contains a small number of documents in other languages: Armenian, Arabic and Judeo-Spanish.

The series also contains a small number of documents in Judeo-Spanish, written in Latin alphabet and Hebrew (vol. E17b, E18a, E18b, D, XXIII). It also contains inventories of main figures of Jewish families and of the houses in which they lived (1756, 1808), as well as an inventory of Jews who immigrated to Dubrovnik in the period from 1730 to 1756. In addition, there are two letters in Italian: a letter written by Abram Bussara, the consul of the Dubrovnik Republic in Algeria (1790), and a letter written by Sabato Valenzin to the Austrian authorities of Dubrovnik district (1873) (vol. D, XXIII).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

One part of the series is divided in subseries: Documents issued by the Ottoman sultans (HR-DADU-7.2.1), Naređenja namjesnika Bosanskog ejaleta i sandžakbega Hercegovačkog sandžaka (HR-DADU-7.2.2), Pisma namjesnika Bosanskog ejaleta i sandžakbega Hercegovačkog sandžaka (HR-DADU-7.2.3) and Službeni spisi kadija (7.2.4)

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Italian
  • Croatian
  • Ladino
  • Ottoman Turkish

Script of material

  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Hebrew
  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Inventory (partly summary, partly analytical) Acta Turcarum, State Archives in Dubrovnik, Fehim Efendić and Jovica Perović, 1930s.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Consilium Rogatorum (HR-DADU-3), Consilium Minus (HR-DADU-4), Diplomata et acta, 16th century (HR-DADU-7.3.6), Diplomata et acta, 17th century (HR-DADU-7.3.7), Diplomata et acta, 18th century (HR-DADU-7.3.8), Diplomata et acta, 19th century (HR-DADU-7.3.9), Litterae et commissiones Levantis (HR-DADU-8.1)

Related descriptions

Publication note

Baruh Kalmi, »Dokumenti o Jevrejima u dubrovačkoj državnoj arhivi.« Židov no. 50, 11.12.1931. Haim Kamhi, »Novopronađeni dokumenti dubrovačkog arhiva.« Jevrejski almanah (1954): 68-76. Lovro Kunčević, »Janus-faced Sovereignity: The International Status of the Ragusan Republic in the Early Modern Period.«, in: The European Tributary States of the Ottoman Empire in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. Gábor Kármán and Lovro Kunčević. Leiden - Boston: Brill, 2013: 91-121. Vesna Miović, »Diplomatic Relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Dubrovnik.«, in: The European Tributary States of the Ottoman Empire in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. Gábor Kármán and Lovro Kunčević. Leiden - Boston: Brill, 2013: 187-208. Vesna Miović, Nikša Selmani, »Turska kancelarija i Acta Turcarum od vremena Dubrovačke Republike do danas.« (summary: Turkish Chancellery and Acta Turcarum from the period of the Dubrovnik Republic until the Present) Anali Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku 45 (2007): 235-284.

Notes area


The series is in the process of being classified. So far, four types of documents have been singled out from the series: sultans’ documents, orders of the governors of the Bosnian eyalet and Herzegovinian sancakbeys, letters of the governors of the Bosnian Eyalet and of Herzegovinian sancakbeys to Ragusan authorities and official documents of the kadis. These four groups of documents are classified as the subseries of the Acta Turcarum series while the remaining, currently unclassified documents belong to the Acta Turcarum series.

Alternative identifier(s)

Old reference code

Fonds of the Dubrovnik Republic and the territory of the former Republic under the French Administration, series 75

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  • English



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