Skip to Main Content

Ottoman Turkish Collections in the Library of Congress

Reference Works

A good starting point for research on the Ottoman Empire is with the major events highlighted in the  "Ottoman Empire at a Glance," section and the reference works listed below that are available in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building Room LJ-229.

Ottoman Empire at a Glance

Osman I (r. ca. 1284-1324), emerged as the military head (gazi) of the Turkoman tribes in Anatolia after 1291 by leading successful campaigns in Byzantine lands. By 1299, he consolidated his power and founded the Ottoman State, assuming the title of Sultan.1

This empire, one of the world’s longest, continued for six centuries through the reigns of thirty-six sultans. In 1453, Mehmed II (1432-1481) led the Ottoman Turks in seizing the ancient city of Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire’s capital. This put an end to 1,000-year reign of the Byzantine Empire. 2

During the reign of Suleyman I (1494-1566), called the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire reached its zenith and he ruled over lands from Hungary in Europe to Iran in the East through the Middle East to Egypt and Algeria.3

The Ottoman Empire officially ended in 1922 when the title of Ottoman Sultan was eliminated. Under the Treaty of Lausanne signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 24, 1923, the boundaries of the modern state of Turkey were recognized and Turkey was declared a republic on October 29, 1923.4

"Overview of the Ottoman Empire" Reference Works in the Reading Room


  1. Halil Inalcık and Günsel Renda, Osmanlı Uygarlığ, Ottoman Civilization, trans. Ellen Yazar and Priscilla Mary Işın (Istanbul : Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 2009), 7-9. Back to text
  2. Inalcik and Renda, Osmanlı Uygarlığ, Ottoman Civilization, 93. Back to text
  3. Inalcik and Renda, Osmanlı Uygarlığ, Ottoman Civilization, 94 .Back to text
  4. Encyclopedia Britannica Online, s.v. "Treaty of Lausanne," accessed July 17, 2021, to text