HĀJJĪ KHALĪFA [in full Muṣṭafā ibn ʽAbdallāh Kātib Chelebī Hājjī Khalīfa] (ca. 1599–1658), Arabic and Turkish author, was born at Constantinople. He became secretary to the commissariat department of the Turkish army in Anatolia, was with the army in Bagdad in 1625, was present at the siege of Erzerum, and returned to Constantinople in 1628. In the following year he was again in Bagdad and Hamadān, and in 1633 at Aleppo, whence he made the pilgrimage to Mecca (hence his title Hājjī). The following year he was in Erivān and then returned to Constantinople. Here he obtained a post in the head office of the commissariat department, which afforded him time for study. He seems to have attended the lectures of great teachers up to the time of his death, and made a practice of visiting bookshops and noting the titles and contents of all books he found there. His largest work is the Bibliographical Encyclopaedia written in Arabic. In this work, after five chapters dealing with the sciences generally, the titles of Arabian, Persian and Turkish books written up to his own time are arranged in alphabetical order. With the titles are given, where possible, short notes on the author, his date, and sometimes the introductory words of his work. It was edited by G. Flügel with Latin translation and a useful appendix (7 vols. Leipzig, 1835–1858). The text alone of this edition has been reproduced at Constantinople (1893).
Hājjī Khalīfa also wrote in Turkish: a chronological conspectus of general history (translated into Italian by G. R. Carli, Venice, 1697); a history of the Turkish empire from 1594 to 1655 (Constantinople, 1870); a history of the naval wars of the Turks (Constantinople, 1729; chapters 1-4 translated by J. Mitchell, London, 1831); a general geography published at Constantinople, 1732 (Latin trans. by M. Norberg, London and Gotha, 1818; German trans. of part by J. von Hammer, Vienna, 1812; French trans. of part by V. de St Martin in his Geography of Asia Minor, vol. 1).
For his life see the preface to Flügel’s edition; list of his works in C. Brockelmann’s Gesch. d. arabischen Literatur (Berlin, 1902), vol. ii., pp. 428-429. (G. W. T.)