The Byzantine Empire and the Shape of Afro-Eurasia Today (and Tomorrow)

This is a lecture delivered on 24th May 2022 on behalf of the UK Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS) and the Austrian Association of Byzantine Studies. It is being temporarily hosted by BEMA before it can be posted to the SPBS Youtube channel, where you can find further exciting Byzantine content!

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David Talbot-Rice in Nicaea

(Talbot-Rice notes + some photos) G.Berggren

Contained in the David Talbot-Rice archive at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts are a collection of photographs and notes relating to Nicaea, including work for publication or presentation by Talbot-Rice and some images by G. Berggren. It is not always clear whether images in the collection were taken by Talbot-Rice or by Berggren, or when the images were taken. As usual any notes on or with the individual images or notes have been preserved in the caption give here. Please note that the notes are in a disordered state. Where relationships between the pages are clear they have been noted. Continue reading

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David Talbot-Rice Trebizond (again!)


117 To 130(127 missing) (crossed out)

This is to announce that all of David Talbot-Rice’s images of Trebizond from the archive kept by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts have now been transferred from Flickr to our main site. The full set of 189 images can be accessed here.

We are continuing work to bring all of our images across to this site to make accessing and working with them as straightforward as possible.

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David Talbot-Rice excavations at the Myrelaion

This gallery contains 42 photos.

This album contains the scanned pages of David Talbot-Rice’s notebook from the excavation of the Myrelaion in the 1920s in Istanbul. Some of the final pages are loose and may not be in the original order in which they were … Continue reading

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David Talbot-Rice Trebizond

This gallery contains 187 photos.

A total of 187 images from David Talbot-Rice’s travels in Trebizond have been scanned here from photographs held at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham. Many preserve a record of wall-paintings now much deteriorated, as well as intimate images … Continue reading

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David Talbot-Rice Brick Stamps

This gallery contains 48 photos.

David Talbot-Rice did groundbreaking work on brick stamps as a means of dating and grouping the materials used for buildings in Byzantine Constantinople. These 48 images are taken from his research negatives.      

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The Lost Box

by Rebecca Darley

In 2015 images from the Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive featured in a series of workshops, called ‚Research in Translation‘, which I had the opportunity to participate in. These examined the translation of research into exhibition. The meetings held for the event were extremely productive and thought-provoking, bringing together early career researchers from across the humanities and sciences. We had chance to visit museum installations and store-rooms and talk to curators and exhibition designers. The end result, a series of mini-exhibitions, one by each participant, was displayed in Leicester from June 2015 util February 2016 (some images available here).

The David Talbot-Rice Archive

Fragment of statue, Constantinople, c. 1927? David Talbot-Rice Archive, courtesy of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, made available digitally by the Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive, image no. 19343776542.

Fragment of statue, Constantinople, c. 1927? David Talbot-Rice Archive, courtesy of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, made available digitally by the Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive, image no. 19343776542.

The exhibition I intended to present went through various development stages, most of them trying to do too much and say too little. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work on an archive which I had discovered while working at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham. This was the archive of the art historian and archeaologist David Talbot-Rice. Although most of his collected papers, art works and books were left to the University of Edinburgh where Talbot-Rice spent most of his career,in 1972 his widow, Tamara Talbot-Rice (also a prominent art historian) gave some of his notes and photographs to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, both at the University of Birmingham. These were materials most colsely connected to his work on Byzantine art, and especially to excavations he was involved with between 1927 and 1957 in the eastern Mediterranean. Many sites Talbot-Rice worked on have since been lost, buried or restored so heavily that they are unrecognizable. His photographs are a record of lost archaeological discoveries. In the background of many are also images of vehicles, people, buildings and street activities giving a glimpse into the changing face of the eastern Mediterranean at a time of intense change. His notes and letters record unpublished details of the excavations and evolving debates with other scholars of the region. Continue reading

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Initial support

Letoon – Matthew Harpster Archive

BEMA is delighted to announce that we have received generous support for the purchase of scanning equipment and other start-up costs from Prof. (emeritus) Anthony Bryer. We hope to present the first results of this investment by summer 2015 in the form of the first material from the Anthony Bryer Archive!

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