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The Svoboda Diaries Project (SDP) is a historical preservation project affiliated with the UW Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. The project digitizes and transcribes diaries from 19th century Ottoman Iraq, which provide us a glimpse of important political, social and economic events of the time.

The SDP is holding an online contest focused on the diaries of Joseph Svoboda, who traveled up and down the Tigris River while working as a steamship purser for a British trading company.

This week, May 10-14, the theme is about epidemics and quarantines. Participate to learn more about quarantine practices in the Ottoman Empire and reflect on our present-day practices.

Participating is simple. Here’s a few easy steps to follow:

  1. Check out the weekly topics that will be posted on our website.
  2. Read the weekly theme, complete the tasks and then answer the questions.

When you participate, you increase your chances of winning a gift card!

Join the contest now at to participate in Week 4 about epidemics.

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