Dr. Yasser Tabbaa, a prominent scholar in Islamic art and architecture, donated his teaching collection of 35mm slides to the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT in the summer of 2015. The collection also included two original notebooks documenting some of Dr. Tabbaa's travels. In addition, the online collection includes a select number of his publications.
The collection spans the majority of the Islamic world but is particularly strong in its documentation of the medieval Islamic architectural heritage of Syria, eastern Turkey, and Iraq. Together, this core group of original photographs records many of the most significant monuments in the historical regions of the Jazira (or Jazirat Aqur, the term medieval geographers used to denote the lands between the northern parts of the Tigris and Euphrates, including Mosul, Raqqa, Diyarbakir and Mardin) and Bilad al-Sham (a medieval toponym denoting greater Syria-Palestine with its major cities of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Damascus, Jerusalem, and their hinterlands). Pertinent to the events of today, Dr. Tabbaa’s collection documents many of the monuments damaged or destroyed in recent conflicts in Iraq and Syria. His images and notes will be used in the continuing effort of AKDC to substantiate and record the loss of cultural heritage throughout the region.
The digital collection is divided into groups to reflect the general system of geographic and chronological organization of sites in Dr. Tabbaa's slide cabinets. These groups appear as thumbnails on the main collection page and the images within them can be accessed by clicking on the thumbnail and then clicking "view collection."
Please note: This collection is under development and digitization of Dr. Tabbaa's slides is ongoing. Images will be made available as soon as possible. A preliminary inventory is available to offer an idea of the scope and contents of the collection. If you need specific images from this collection, please contact AKDC directly.