From Byzantium to Bibliotheca


Hello! I am Defne. A trained archivist with a keen interest in Byzantium, currently serving as the new branch librarian of ANAMED.

Before sharing my experiences during my first months at ANAMED, I would like to briefly narrate my path of transition from Byzantium to Bibliotheca. As for many history students, libraries served as a second home to me and archives have always been a treasure that I enjoyed to dig for. Upon entering the world of Byzantium and Byzantinists, one is immediately confronted with the striking realization of how scarce the available resources actually are. For women, this difficulty is further aggravated by their not having direct access to monasteries and their manuscript collections. In this light I have always been interested in making resources more accessible to others. With the growth of “digitalization” and the need for making resources in various formats available to a global audience has emerged as a top priority of research institutions. I therefore discovered in the field of Information Studies a fascinating new angle from which I could contribute to the study of the past.

If there was such a thing as a Venn diagram for history, archives/libraries and technology in Turkey, the intersection point would be the ANAMED Library. It has been two months since I started working at ANAMED. A very busy two months that is, during which I made many new acquaintances and got to learn my way around ANAMED’s magnificent working space. The first three weeks of my new journey at Koç University started with an orientation at Suna Kıraç Library (SKL), which I also call ‘the headquarters’. All branch libraries (ANAMED, AKMED, VEKAM and Health Sciences Libraries) are attached to SKL and if you know the structure of SKL then you can have a healthy, fully-functioning work process at your branch library. With İlknur Erkin – our new branch librarian at the Health Sciences Library – we had a busy three weeks, with each of our days carefully planned so that we could be introduced to all the steps of the resource circulation process within and beyond the Koç University’s libraries.

After an intense three-week period, I arrived to my ‘final destination’, the ANAMED Library itself. There I had the pleasure to work with Naz Baydar, who was extremely kind and efficient in managing the transition phase. Getting to know the ANAMED team, fellows, members, being able to recognize the faces of regular library users and thinking about new projects are all part of the excitement this post has to offer! And amidst all these new experiences, an additional pleasant surprise as Vasia entered our lives! Consisting of Vasia Mole, our new Head Librarian, İrem Ünal, our experienced NIT Branch Librarian and myself, the ANAMED Library team is now revitalized and ready for future challenges!

Nathalie Defne Gier

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