The Series of Main Registers in the Ottoman Divan

Among the various register series of the Ottoman bureaucracy, Mühimme registers, undoubtedly have a leading position. These registers compile the copies of the orders of the Ottoman Divan, functioning as a supreme court. Since they include orders related to a very wide range of issues discussed at the Divan, it is possible to find relevant information on almost all aspects of Ottoman history in these registers. Due to their unique position, Mühimme registers have been of intensive use from the very beginning of modern studies dedicated to Ottoman history and they soon gained a predominant position among the basic sources of Ottoman history. In addition, Mühimme registers are of special importance for the researchers dealing with Ottoman law of history. This article concerns itself with, after a brief introduction to the properties of the registers under discussion, the time and the conditions under which these registers first emerged, their developmental stages both in form and content, their various types, the studies constructed on Mühimme registers and the true nature of the data preserved in the registers.


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