Hagia Sophia Homecoming: Returning to Istanbul after World War II
Hagia Sophia / Robert Van Nice / William Emerson

Hagia Sophia Homecoming: Returning to Istanbul after World War II

Written by Beth Bayley, former Byzantine Archives Assistant (2012-2014) The Van Nices returned to Istanbul in June of 1946, a year after the European theater of World War II had ended. Robert Van Nice had spent the war years both in Cambridge, Massachusetts, working on drawings, and then in London, England, and Bern, Switzerland, working … Continue reading

Leaving Hagia Sophia: Istanbul before World War II
Hagia Sophia / Robert Van Nice / William Emerson

Leaving Hagia Sophia: Istanbul before World War II

Written by Beth Bayley, Byzantine Archives Assistant All the talk about the Monuments Men and the role that Dumbarton Oaks played in World War II (as illustrated in our blog post about Harvard’s American Defense Group) got ICFA staff thinking about what else might be in our archives from that era. The following is another … Continue reading

The Influential Friendship of William Emerson
Hagia Sophia / Robert Van Nice / William Emerson

The Influential Friendship of William Emerson

Written by Beth Bayley, Archivist Assistant We have previously mentioned William Emerson, the man who sponsored Robert Van Nice’s survey of Hagia Sophia, but who was he, really?  Primarily, Emerson was an architect and the dean of the School of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1919 to 1939. He was also Van … Continue reading

Motivation, Methods, and Meaning: Architectural Drawings of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia / Robert Van Nice

Motivation, Methods, and Meaning: Architectural Drawings of Hagia Sophia

Written by Beth Bayley, Archivist Assistant As we’ve mentioned previously on this blog, Robert Van Nice spent most of his life working on an architectural survey of Hagia Sophia. Van Nice may have been the most dedicated person to ever carry out such a project on the building, but he wasn’t the only one. Wilhelm … Continue reading

The Byzantine Institute Fieldwork Notebooks
Assistants / Byzantine Institute / Hagia Sophia / Kariye Camii

The Byzantine Institute Fieldwork Notebooks

Written by Beth Bayley, Archivist Assistant People today just love to sing the praises of technology. We especially love to think back to the past, and speculate about how much more our predecessors could have accomplished if they had our technology (Lewis and Clark with GPS! Or Da Vinci with a laptop!). Here in ICFA, … Continue reading

Setting the Stage: Background on the Byzantine Institute
Byzantine Institute / Hagia Sophia / Thomas Whittemore

Setting the Stage: Background on the Byzantine Institute

Written by Rona Razon, Archivist Edited by Beth Bayley, Archivist Assistant Thomas Whittemore’s professional goals had many manifestations, from meeting notes, to gorgeous colored pencil drawings in notebooks, and to oversize watercolor paintings of saints and religious scenes. We are truly excited to be able to share these images and records with researchers. One of … Continue reading