Digital Cobham

Digital Cobham is a bibliography of material about Cyprus published before 1910 based on Claude Delaval Cobham’s pioneering scholarship. It lists over 2000 fully searchable bibliographic entries for books and articles that contain information about Cyprus.

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Basic bibliographic information is provided for each entry including the title, authors, publisher, publication location, year published and a short physical description. Information about editions, revisions, translations of the work is also provided, particularly for earlier works. Most entries provide a link to a digital copy of the work available for immediate reading.

Each entry includes links to holdings of the work in major libraries in Britain, America, France, Germany, Greece and Cyprus. Links to the catalog entries for Cobham’s own copies of the works (once held by the Royal Commonwealth Society, now at Cambridge University) are also provided. Entries provide links to bibliographies appropriate to the type of entry where you can examine other ways the works have been catalogued.

Cobham is among the most widely-known names in Cypriot historiography. “Cobham” was Claude Delaval Cobham, a British colonial official who served in Cyprus from 1878 until his retirement in 1908, from 1879 on as the District Commissioner of Larnaca. But he was also an indefatigable, pioneering scholar of Cypriot documentary history. One of the leading antiquarians on the island, he built an extensive library of works dealing with Cyprus (now at the University of Cambridge), and acted as a nexus for scholars interested in Cypriot history. His publications are among the first modern efforts to systematize the study of the island’s history.

His most famous book is Excerpta Cypria. Materials for a History of Cyprus. The Excerpta assembles and translates documentary accounts of Cyprus by 81 authors from Strabo in about 23 CE through the last Berat issued by the Sublime Porte to an Archbishop of Cyprus in AH 1282 (1866 CE). Yet more compendious, and in its way even more important, was An attempt at a bibliography of Cyprus, published in 1886. This is the first effort to provide a bibliography of printed works that deal with the history of the island of Cyprus.

Cobham wasn’t the only bibliographer working to provide an historigraphic overview of Cyprus. Notably Eugen Oberhummer published an extensive bibliography, Bericht über Geographie von Griechenland. III Kypros (Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft Volume 77) in 1893. And Νεοκλής Κυριαζής edited Κυπριακή βιβλιογραφία, published in 1935, which included Cobham’s work as well as a nearly complete list of works published in Cyprus up to that point.