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Bing and Harrington Balkan Archives

Identifier: AKDC-2013-0001

Content Description

The Bing and Harrington Balkan Archives consist of the work of J. Brooke Harrington and Judith Bing who have collaborated in research on the vernacular architecture of the Balkans for more than twenty-five years. Their archives are comprised of an extensive collection of photographs, drawings, and publications on traditional wooden buildings and settlements in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

The buildings examined include urban and rural houses, farm buildings, shops, and other economic structures, as well as religious sites and structures. Buildings were examined to better understand construction methods and details, formal, and spatial characteristics, and expression of social and cultural traditions. These buildings represent the diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and religions characteristic of the Balkans. As wooden structures are vulnerable, most buildings visited were constructed during the nineteenth century, but the oldest date back to the early eighteenth century.

Bing and Harrington’s fieldwork involved archival studies, observations, and documentation at building sites, and consultation with regional experts. Bing and Harrington have written individually and jointly in peer-reviewed publications on topics related to their studies, and presented papers at numerous academic and international conferences. Exhibitions of their own photographs and drawings have taken place at a variety of institutions. Their long-term goal is widespread access to their research materials, by way of an internet-accessible, digital archive and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT.

This collection physically includes research materials, documentary records, drawings, maps, and photographic records concerning vernacular architecture in the Balkans. The photographic materials include slides, digital images (at least some digital images are of physical materials also in the archives), photographic prints, and negatives. There are many reference materials consulted and used by Judith Bing and J. Brooke Harrington in conducting their research, many of which are copies of rare and difficult to acquire materials in languages of the Balkans. For example, there is an volume with typed text and drawings, bound in cloth, which has been digitized and will be linked to the finding aid, it is the: Projekat Konzervadije Stambenog Kompleksa "Begovina" Stolac / Project for the Conservation of the Residential Complex "Begovina" Stolac [town in Bosnia and Herzegovina].


  • circa 1950s-2010s


Language of Materials

Many of the reference materials and maps are in original Balkan languages. Further description to come.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Judith Bing is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Architecture and Interiors at Drexel University in Philadelphia (PA, USA), where she taught from 1988 to 2010. She taught previously at the University of Southern California and Miami University in Ohio. A Bachelor of Arts graduate of Smith College and Masters of Architecture graduate of Yale University, she practiced architecture in Paris, Cambridge (MA), Los Angeles, and most recently with Brooke Harrington in Philadelphia (Bing Harrington Architects, 1987-2010).

J. Brooke Harrington is a Professor Emeritus in the Architecture Department of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia (PA, USA), where he taught from 1983 through 2010; he also taught in the Architecture Department at Drexel University as an adjunct faculty member during a portion of this time. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, he practiced architecture in Philadelphia and Washington DC. In 1979 he received an Accomplished Professional Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Source: Bing, Judith, and J. Brooke Harrington. "BVA." Balkan Vernacular Architecture : Authors. Accessed May 22, 2015.


10 box(es) (Boxes I - VIII (1 - 8) are photographs enclosed in glass plates. Box IX (9) is a triangular tube of drawings by Jonathan Harrington Box X (10) encloses the reference volume from Sarajevo AKDC.2013.0001.0001rf (rf = reference material) 10 boxes of files of slides arranged by the donors)



Bing and Harrington Balkan Archives
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Repository Details

Part of the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT Libraries Repository

Cambridge US