Graphical version

Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

DURHAM, Mary Edith (1863-1944): water-colours, drawings and photographs from the Balkans


Reference code(s): GB 1446 MS 50

Held at: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

Title: DURHAM, Mary Edith (1863-1944): water-colours, drawings and photographs from the Balkans

Date(s): [1900-12]

Level of description: Collection level

Extent: 0.5 boxes

Name of creator(s): Durham | Mary Edith | 1863-1944 | Balkan traveller and author


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mary Edith Durham born in London on 8 December 1863; educated at Bedford College, 1878-1882; became an artist, and trained at the Royal Academy Schools. Following illness and at nearly forty years old she travelled to the Balkans and worked as a political missionary. She first visited the area in 1900 in search of health and was an anthropologist as well as a gifted artist. She travelled to the Balkans annually from 1900 to 1914. When uprisings occurred, in 1903 and 1909, she provided medical aid and food. Durham was offered a permanent home in Albania by the Albanian Government. She refused, choosing to remain independent and settled in London writing books and articles. She died in London on 15 November 1944.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Mary Edith Durham, comprise water-colours, drawings and photographs from the Balkans, [1900-1912], many of the pictures are annotated, the paintings and drawings are signed M.E. Durham, 1900 and 17 water-colours, 4 black and white drawings and 2 photographs are mounted. Images depicted include Monastery churches at Dečani and Ipek, 'Moslem' peasants at Podgorica and market places at Cetinje and Cattaro.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in original order.

Conditions governing access:

Appointments are necessary for all visits; please contact the archivist by email to arrange; a fee of £10 is payable by all visitors except Fellows and Members; membership details can be found on the RAI web site; access to material referring to the most recent thirty years is restricted; some material is very fragile and may not be available for view; a few items are of restricted or forbidden access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies and scans for personal research only may be arranged at the discretion of the archivist; charges apply; in all cases forms governing use of copies must be signed; use of digital cameras is not allowed.

Finding aids:

Hand list available in the Institute's Reading Room.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:




Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Samantha Velumyl.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2008

Drawing | Graphic arts
Moslems | Religious groups
Religious buildings | Buildings | Architecture
Travel abroad | Travel
Travel writing | Nonfiction | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature
Watercolour painting | Painting | Fine arts

Personal names
Durham | Mary Edith | 1863-1944 | traveller and anthropologist

Corporate names

Balkans | Eastern Europe
Montenegro | Yugoslavia | Eastern Europe