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The Paper Trade Of Egypt And The Sudan In The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries And Its Re-export To The Bilād as-Sūdān

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows the use of European paper in Egyptian Islamic court documentation and in manuscripts, the varieties of papers used, the dominance of paper manufactured by certain European countries, specifically France and Italy, and how the local Egyptian economy failed to produce paper in sufficient quantities to maintain its age-old paper industry. Then, it turns to the re-export of paper to the Bilād al-Sūdān, where there was an increasing demand for paper. The chapter examines paper used in manuscripts in Nigeria as a way of gauging the trans-Saharan paper trade and showing similarities of the papers used in Egypt. A "paper chronology" established for Egypt may be useful to historians interested in the types of paper circulating in the eastern and western Sudan. The Italians and the French dominated the imported paper trade in fairly well demarcated periods as evidenced in a survey of Egyptian manuscripts and archives.

Keywords: Bilād al-Sūdān; Egyptian economy; trans-Saharan paper trade; western Sudan



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