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Robert Moritz Friedrich Anhegger archive and collection

Identifier: ubl154

Scope and Contents

The Anhegger collection consists of 1) six Oriental manuscripts, mostly textbooks and collections of jurisprudence; 2) his private papers, reflecting his activities as a scholar and as director of German cultural centres in foreign countries; and 3) printed books on varied subjects, among which c. 35 Karamanlidika imprints.


  • Creation: 1707-2001
  • Creation: Bulk 1930-1970


Language of Materials

German, (Ottoman) Turkish, other Oriental and European languages.

Conditions Governing Use

Currently, only the six manuscripts in Or. 26.615 - 26.620 and the 27 archival files in Or. 26.621 are available to the public.

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found in the user guide of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Moritz Friedrich Anhegger was born of German/Swiss parents in Vienna in 1911. He spent part of his childhood in the Netherlands. As a student of southern Slavonic philology and the history of economy at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, he developed an interest in the history of the Turkish domination of the Balkans, which encouraged him to learn Turkish. In 1932 he moved to Vienna, where he met the Turcologist Andreas Tietze, like Anhegger a member of the German Communist Party (KPD). Together they travelled through Anatolia in 1936-1937. While studying in Vienna he met a Jewish girl from Upper Silesia, Suria Gitla Lisie ('Chupi'). In the winter semester of 1932-33 they went to Berlin, where they witnessed – and escaped – the Nazi takeover. He fled to Zurich, where he obtained his doctoral degree in 1939 with a dissertation on the history of mining in the Ottoman Empire, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Bergbaus im Osmanischen Reich: Europäische Türkei = Osmanlı imperatorluğunda madenler ve madencilik, published Istanbul 1943-1945.

In 1940 the couple moved to Istanbul, where Robert joined the German Archaeological Institute. Refusing to enlist in the German army in 1942, he lost both his German citizenship and his position at the institute. In the following years he held various teaching positions in Istanbul. After Wold War II, in 1951, he regained his German citizenship. In 1952 he married his girlfriend; but they obtained a divorce the following year. In 1958 he married the architect and restorer Muallâ Eyüpoğlu (1919-2009), sister of the writer Sabahattin and the painter Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoğlu. It was she who made him intimately familiar with the language and (popular) culture of Turkey. In 1957 he privately founded a Turkish-German cultural centre in Istanbul, which served as a popular salon for Turkish and German (left-wing) intellectuals. In 1961 it was taken over by the Goethe Institut, the semi-official worldwide network of German cultural institutes.

In 1968 Anhegger became director of the Goethe Institut at Amsterdam. With his impeccable anti-Nazi credentials he played an important role in re-establishing German culture in a country that had suffered heavily under the German occupation in World War II. In addition, he was active in his support of Turkish culture in a time when the Turkish immigrant population in the Netherlands was growing at a rapid pace. Though returning to Istanbul on his retirement in 1973, he maintained a pied-à-terre in Amsterdam. In 1985 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Cross of Merit) of the German Federal Republic. He died on 27 March 2001. His Festschrift of 1987, Türkische Miszellen, contains his portrait.

Apart from his doctoral dissertation, his publications include Das islamische Iznik (together with Katharina Otto-Dorn, Istanbul 1941), Kannunname-i Sultani ber muceb-i Örf-i Osmani (Ankara 1956), the bibliography and catalogue raisonné Kinder- und Jugendbücher der Türkei (with Meral Alpay, Istanbul 1977), and an edition of Evangelinos Misailidis’ novel in Karamanli script Seyreyle dünyayı: Temaşa-ı dünya ve cefakâr u cefakeş (with Vedat Günyol, [Istanbul] 1986).


6 oriental manuscripts, 60 archival files, 2 boxes of audiotapes, c. 12 meter of printed books

Abstract in Dutch

Oosterse handschriften, gedrukte boeken en persoonlijk archief van Robert Anhegger (1911-2001), turcoloog, oprichter van het Duits-Turks cultureel centrum in Istanbul, directeur van het Goethe Instituut in Amsterdam. De collectie is een weerspiegeling van zijn wetenschappelijke interesses: geschiedenis en economie van Turkije, moderne Turkse literatuur en kunst, Turkse diaspora in West-Europa.

Abstract in English

Oriental manuscripts, printed books and private papers of Robert Anhegger (1911-2001), turcologist, founder of the German-Turkish cultural centre in Istanbul and director of the Goethe Institut at Amsterdam. The collection reflects his scholarly interests: history and economy of Turkey, modern Turkish literature and art, and the Turkish diaspora in Western Europe.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

See the preliminary inventory and the catalogue by Schmidt (forthcoming).

Custodial History

The manuscripts, printed books and audiotapes were mostly collected or made during Robert Anhegger’s years in Turkey.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

During his life, Robert Anhegger had left his library and papers in Amsterdam in the care of the executor of his will, Mrs Lili Couvée-Jampolle, and Dr Barbara Flemming, emerita professor of Turkish at Leiden University. Shortly after Anhegger’s death, the papers and printed books were donated to Leiden University Library at the instigation of Dr Jan Schmidt, assistant professor of Turkish. The manuscripts were purchased from Anhegger’s widow in 2003. In May/June 2001 the first 27 files of his papers, six manuscripts and c. 12 metres of printed books were removed from Anheggers apartment at Stadionlaan 271, Amsterdam.

In the summer of 2003 two more boxes of archival materials, mostly audiotapes, were removed from Anhegger’s home in Istanbul by Prof. Gudrun Schubert of Lörrach, Germany. From there they were taken to Leiden by Dr Jan Schmidt.

In January 2009, Jan Schmidt and Gudrun Schubert arranged for the 33 remaining files to be removed from the flat of Mrs Mualla Anhegger-Eyüpoğlu in Istanbul. They were shipped to Leiden with the generous assistance of NIT, the Netherlands Institute in Turkey.


No future additions are expected.


  • Schuber, G., Robert Anhegger. Notizen zu seinem Lebenslauf, in: J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont, Barbara Flemming [et al.] (eds.), Türkische Miszellen. Robert Anhegger Festschrift – armağanı – mélanges (Istanbul 1987), p. 1-4.
  • Gökberk, M., Dr. Robert Anhegger ve Istanbul Türk-Alman Kültür Merkezi, in Türkische Miszellen, p. 5-7.
  • Mooij, M., Pendler zwischen Bosporus und Amstel. Robert Anhegger in den Niederlanden, in Türkische Miszellen, p. 9-17.
  • Zürcher, E.J., Two young Ottomanists discover Kemalist Turkey. The travel diaries of Robert Anhegger and Andreas Tietze, in: Journal of Turkish Studies, 26/1 (2002), p. 359-369.


The material can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room ( see also the restrictions on use).

Processing Information

A description of his six manuscripts and first 27 files of his papers , carrying shelfmarks Or. 26.615 – Or. 26.621, is forthcoming in Jan Schmidt, Catalogue of the Turkish manuscripts in the Library of Leiden University, vol. 4. [A preliminary online inventory is available in this guide]. The files are currently being cleaned and repacked.

The more recent acquisitions (the boxes of archival materials, mostly audiotapes, which were acquired in 2003, and the remaining 33 files acquired in 2009) have not yet been assigned shelfmarks and are not accessible to the public.

The Karamanli imprints are stored in the Special Collection vaults. In 2008-9 they were provisionally catalogued by Mr Stylios Irakleous. These records are now being uploaded to the online public catalogue and they will be added to the online inventory in due course. No shelfmarks are as yet available.

The rest of the printed books are stored in the closed stacks; they remain uncatalogued so far.

Collection guide of the Robert Moritz Friedrich Anhegger archive and collection (1707-2001)
Archief en collectie Robert Moritz Friedrich Anhegger
Dr Arnoud Vrolijk – Dr Jan Schmidt (2010)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857