MIT’s Archnet, a collaboration between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries, “is a portal to rich and unique scholarly resources featuring thousands of sites, publications, images, and more focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world.” The website has recently been remained and restructured since its launch ten years ago.
The website features a timeline, a wide variety of digital collections and research materials, an advanced search, and selected syllabi pertaining to the study of Islamic Art, Architecture, and Culture.
To explore for yourself, check out Archnet!
The University of Michigan Library recently announced that it has completed cataloging its entire Islamic Manuscripts Collection, which resulted in the creation if 883 new catalog records and expanding 21 existing descriptions. Now that the project is complete, the entire collection is available in the library’s online catalog, complete with detailed, searchable descriptions.
Additionally, there are digital surrogates for 912 manuscripts from the library’s collection available in the HathiTrust Digital Library. There, users can view the digitized manuscripts in a page viewer or download the entire book or individual pages as PDFs.
The Library created a research guide for the collection, which provides stellar information on the history and scope of the collection, as well as search strategies, policies for viewing manuscripts in the library, and instructions on how to access the digitized manuscripts in HathiTrust.
Image from [al-Ḥizb al-aʻẓam maʻa Dalāʼil al-khayrāt, . Qārī al-Harawī, ʻAlī ibn Sulṭān Muḥammad, d. 1605 or 6.
The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (IFCA) or Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC has recently expanded the images included in their website dedicated to the photographs of Nicholas V. Artamonoff, who photographed Ottoman monuments and daily life in Istanbul during the 1930s and 1940s. Other Turkish cities represented in the collection include Bergama, Bursa, Izmir, Selçuk and Yalova. While the ICFA holds a collection of Artamonoff’s images in their repository, they discovered that other photographs are held in the the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives of the Smithsonian Institution in the Myron Bement Smith Collection. The addition of 477 images from the Smithsonian brings the total number of photographs available in the ICFA’s website to more than 1,000.
The ICFA’s website allows users to browse images individually or by parent institution, historic site, or keywords. There is also a map with plotted points that link to images in the collection to allow users to browse geographically and a “Zoom.it” viewer function.
For more information, visit the Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection.
Image: Nicholas V. Artamonoff. Cityscapes, Istanbul, View of the Atatürk Bridge and Süleymaniye Cami, no date. Myron Bement Smith Collection, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Artamonoff P382.
Many Viennese museums include important works of art from the Islamic world in their collections. Often these works are rarely exhibited, not well-known to the public or even to Islamic scholars. The Virtual Museum of Islamic Art in Vienna brings together images from disparate museums and repositories so that they may be viewed, studied, and compared in a new and meaningful context.
The virtual museum’s website is available here. Images can be accessed according to the collections (“Museen”) or according to the dates of the objects (“Zeitstreifen”). Currently the site is only available in German.
The Netherlands Institute in Turkey has recently released the first installment of digital images from the vast photographic archives of Dutch historian Machiel Kiel.
A former director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT), at which this project is now implemented, Kiel is a scholar whose career has revolved around the study of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Balkan countries — an area of study that he pioneered. His archive represents an invaluable source for researchers of this heritage. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 90s, it contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived, or have been significantly altered in, the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.
Images are available for publication free of charge (with attribution). For more information, see the FAQ section of this page.
The Chester Beatty Library Seals Project:
is an online, interactive database of seal impressions found in Islamic Manuscripts… as a visitor to the site, you are invited to participate in deciphering the seals, identifying the individuals or institutions named, and adding information such as other sources of the same seal impression or other seals that name the same individual or institution.
As there is currently no convenient means by which to find or share information on seal impressions, we hope that this database will be a useful resource for anyone working on Islamic manuscripts.
A user guide is available here. Individual seals are available for download as low-resolution files for teaching or research. Seal records are also linked to the full manuscript so entire folios may be easily viewed.
The Nicholar Artamonoff Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, an archive of historical photographs of Byzantine Turkey, is available online.
The Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection includes 543 photographs taken in Istanbul and five archaeological sites in Western Turkey (Ephesus, Hierapolis, Laodicea on the Lycus, Pergamum, Priene) from 1935 to 1945. The high quality photographs are of great value as they show buildings, sites, and objects that no longer exist or are in a better state of preservation than today.
Photographs may be browsed by tag (keyword), site name, and geography. Each photograph also includes a correlating Google Map, allowing visitors to see historical
Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its new Islamic wing: Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia. The New York Times featured an interactive guide to the wing, including panoramic views of galleries which may be expanded to full-screen.
Inaugurated in Italy, the Virtual Museum of Iraq includes tours of treasures from Baghdad’s National Museum:
Available in Arabic, English and Italian, the Virtual Museum of Iraq offers visitors the opportunity to move through eight virtual galleries and see highlights from the collection from the prehistoric to the Islamic period. Animated videoclips provide details.
Via The Ancient World Online
A recent article in the LA Times describes the threats faced by an ancient Afghan archaeological site, Mes Aynak. The threats include war, looting, and now bulldozing by a Chinese mining company searching for copper.
…a dozen archaeologists and 100 Afghan laborers are working like army ants to finish the dig. Many valuable relics were looted long ago, and the archaeologists won’t be able to save the ancient edifices from the mining company. But they can remove the statues, pottery and gold and silver coins still buried within the buildings.
“We don’t know exactly how much time we have to excavate the site. Sometimes the deadline is 14 months and sometimes it’s two years.”
Photographs of the excavation published online by the LA Times are available here.