The Centre for Kitab Studies is a specialized, interdisciplinary research unit. Its tasks include: initiating, conducting and coordinating interdisciplinary and international scientific and research, editing and popularizing activities in the field of kitabistics – a sub-discipline combining Slavic philology (Polish and Belarusian) with Oriental studies (Arabic and turkology) as well as cultural studies and religious studies. The subject of kitab studies is the material and immaterial cultural heritage of Tatars of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania (today: Polish, Belarusian and Lithuanian Tatars).
- Introducing into the social awareness and the scientific circulation an original philological source, which is the religious writing of Muslims of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, together with the first translation of the Qu’ran into Polish in the world, already in the 16th century.
- Initiating and conducting long-term documentation, editorial and research works of fundamental importance for the heritage and culture not only national, but also European.
- Collecting, developing and sharing of source texts for interdisciplinary research, not only philological, but also historical, sociological, religious, literature, cultural, theological, etc., especially since system similarities between Tatar manuscripts can be identified and Polish medieval and Renaissance texts, as well as the Muslim translation tradition.
- Participating as an expert in initiatives of other national and foreign centres dealing with the issues of national and cultural minorities.
- Expertise of antique Tatar manuscripts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which are requested by the private owners and institutions such as libraries and museums, e.g. the Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kórnik and the Podlasie Museum in Bialystok.
- Applying for external funds to finance research, editorial and popularizing initiatives in the field of kitcab studies.
The Centre for Kitab Studies offers: monographic lectures on the translation of religious books and multilevel Slavic-Oriental relations; subjects of diploma (and doctoral) dissertations in the field of history, culture and literature of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with particular emphasis on the North Eastern Polish and interreligious interference, etc.
The centre has the specialized scientific and research equipment, including IT equipment necessary to conduct the research in the field of kitab studies. In addition, it has a rich collection of historical and contemporary kitab literature as well as unique manuscripts of the Tatars of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.