Library of Congress Lecture

Posted on Nov 5, 2017

Lecture: The Provenance of Printing in Afghanistan

Reading Room, Library of Congress

Reading Room, Library of Congress

Thursday, November 16, 11:00 am
Jefferson Building, Whittall Pavilion on the Ground Floor

The Provenance of Printing in Afghanistan
Speaker: Elham Bakhtary, 2016-2017 CLIR/Mellon Fellow, Library of Congress Preservation Research and Testing Division.

The Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division holds some of the earliest lithographs produced by Afghanistan’s first printing press. A material analysis of the lithographs conducted in conjunction with the Library’s Preservation Research and Testing Division using multispectral imaging and x-ray fluorescence revealed watermarks and major and trace elements in the printing papers. In addition, Bakhtary investigates the lithographs’ literary influences and argues that the lithographs espoused a unique ethno-Islamic ideology that challenged the substance of Islamic revivalism in India, but also employed the latter’s technological and discursive methods in doing so. The lecture concludes with how this similarity suggests that ideas and print technology in South Asia traveled along similar itineraries in the nineteenth century.


For more information, please visit: