The Fondo Paul Kahle is made up of the books and papers produced by the activities of Paul Ernst Kahle (1875-1964). The fonds was purchased by the University of Turin in 1966. Above all, thanks to the vast range of sectors of research touched upon, the fonds constitutes a point of reference for orientalists worldwide.
A considerable part of the Archive ("Archive" section of the database) is made up of papers, manuscripts and typescripts concerning all the research activities undertaken by Paul Kahle. Among the key items, we may cite Kahle's studies dedicated to the Hebrew Bible, as well as his study of literary, historic and geographic sources in Arabic, Turkish and Persian. The preparatory materials have been preserved (notes, studies, copies and/or reproductions of manuscripts), as has all the documentation produced during the various stages of work on publications (manuscript and typescript drafts, intermediary stages of elaboration and revision of texts, through to final publication). This is the author's true archive in which we find, layer upon layer, the scientific works of a major twentieth–century orientalist.
The structure of the Turin archive has been designed in such a manner as to reflect the articulation of Paul Kahle's studies. Practically all the sectors in which Kahle conducted his studies and/or published have left traces in the archive or library. Readers may refer to the introductions for the series and sub–series of the archive for more in–depth information on these sectors of scholarly research.
Together with the documentation relative to the various stages of scholarly production, and as a logical supplement to that documentation, we may note the large section dedicated to correspondence. Here, we find the letters received by Paul Kahle from more than 2,500 correspondents, and, in many cases, the drafts of the letters which he sent to these correspondents. Among his correspondents, we also find many leading scholars and personages from the world of oriental studies, such as the orientalist, Helmut Ritter, the Bible scholar, Matthew Black, and the Coptologist, Aziz Atiya.
The "Correspondence" section of the database thus presents a web or network of intellectual exchanges which formed around Kahle and which bolstered his scholarly efforts. The correspondence reveals that the wealth of data represented by this archive, and Kahle’s standing as a scholar, are the fruit not only of private, individual commitment but also of exchanges within the milieu of the intellectuals of his times.
The archive also preserves graphic materials and other materials in the form of photographs, microfilm and photographic plates. We also note the presence of the corporate fonds of Georg Jacob, of four of Paul Kahle’s five sons (Wilhelm, Hans, Theodor, Paul jr), and of Paul’s wife, Marie Gisevius Kahle.
The library consists in about 11,000 printed works (monographs, excerpts and periodicals) and 300 manuscripts. The collection of Islamic manuscripts (280 manuscripts: "Manuscripts" section of the database) includes an analytic presentation in the hard copy catalogue produced by Roberto Tottoli, Maria Luisa Russo and Michele Bernardini; the database provides the essential information on each manuscript.
Stock-taking of the collection of printed volumes is currently under way. In any case, the many documents left by Paul Kahle inside the books have already been examined and described as part of the work on the archive. These papers – which have been physically left inside the volumes in order to maintain the ties, characterising this private archive, between books and documents – have been assigned to the "Documents preserved inside books" section of the database.