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Jacoby, Thomas J. The Thomas Jacoby Photographic Archive of Early Christian Churches of Syria in the Fine Arts Library: Finding Aid

Fine Arts Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: fal00011
Repository: Fine Arts Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Jacoby, Thomas J.
Title: The Thomas Jacoby Photographic Archive of Early Christian Churches of Syria in the Fine Arts Library, 1973-1976, predominant 1975
Date(s): 1973-1976, predominant 1975
Quantity: 4 cubic feet
Quantity: 3000 images
Quantity: Image count is approximate.
Abstract: Photographic images of churches and Christian antiquities in Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, and Turkey. Tom Jacoby's pictorial archive documents, in both black & white and color, an important stage in the history of Christian architecture. Syria's early Christian churches bear witness to a major cultural crossroads reflecting influences from the Roman basilica model to Eastern styles with the surmounting dome to temple architecture.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Acquired from Thomas Jacoby, Princeton, NJ, in October 2003, and received in a number of installments from 2003 through 2007.

Processing Information:

All material rehoused by Naomi Kaim for the Fine Arts Library.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access by appointment only. Applications to consult this material should be directed to the Librarian of the Fine Arts Library.

Conditions Governing Use:

Reproduction and/or publication of materials subject to copyright requires written permission from a) the copyright owner, his/her heirs or assigns and from b) the Fine Arts Library, owner of the original material.

Existence and Location of Copies:

Selected photographs from the Jacoby archive were printed and incorporated into the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Trustees for Harvard University.

Preferred Citation:

The Thomas Jacoby Photographic Archive of Early Christian Churches of Syria in the Fine Arts Library, Harvard University

Related Materials

Powell, Josephine, 1919-2007. Josephine Powell photographic archive (in the Visual Collections of the Fine Arts Library, Harvard University).

Separated Materials

Documentation (CDs, printouts) and contact sheets are kept at the Fine Arts Library; the rest of the collection is in remote storage.

Biographical / Historical

Jacoby made these photographs from 1973 to 1976 in preparation for his dissertation as a doctoral candidate at UCLA.


Arranged in 4 series, which have been further arranged in subseries. Series consisting of individual images are in order by year, roll number, and frame number, except that mounted color slides of Kanīsat al-Qiddīs Sam'ān al-'Amūdī are numbered in a continuous sequence; series consisting of grouped images are arranged by year and roll number.

Scope and Contents

Views of early Christian churches, tombs, architectural details, mosaics and stuccos primarily from Syria (including Aleppo, Palmyra, and Damascus), but also from Egypt, Jordan, Italy, and Turkey. A majority of the images represent Kanīsat al-Qiddīs Sam'ān al-'Amūdī (the Church of St. Simeon Stylites). The collection comprises 2,325 black & white negatives, 365 internegatives, 1,960 individual images on contact sheets, ca. 1,500 reference prints, ca. 800 color slides (mounted and unmounted), 2 large architectural plans, and documentation (on 3 CDs and paper printouts).

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Qal'at Sim'ān (Syria)--Photographs.
Kanīsat al-Qiddīs Sam'ān al-'Amūdī (Aleppo, Syria)--Photographs.
Church architecture--Syria--Qal'at Sim'ān--Photographs.
Church architecture--Syria--Photographs.
Church architecture--Egypt--Photographs.
Church architecture--Turkey--Photographs.
Church architecture--Jordan--Photographs.
Church architecture--Italy--Photographs.
Architecture, Early Christian--Photographs.
Christian antiquities--Syria--Photographs.
Christian antiquities--Egypt--Photographs.
Christian antiquities--Turkey--Photographs.
Christian antiquities--Jordan--Photographs.
Christian antiquities--Italy--Photographs.
Jacoby, Thomas J.