Before Byzantium: The Early Activities of Thomas Whittemore (1871–1931)
The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) presents Before Byzantium: The Early Activities of Thomas Whittemore (1871–1931), an online exhibition that focuses on Thomas Whittemore's activities prior to his founding of the Byzantine Institute in 1930. Bringing together three of ICFA’s archival collections— , and —this exhibit focuses on Whittemore himself as its common thread and aims to illustrate how his early and mid-life experiences enabled him to create and sustain the organization that would subsequently breathe life into the field of Byzantine studies.
Before Byzantium weaves a colorful, intricate narrative from an archival treasure trove comprised of correspondence, personal papers and effects, fieldwork notes, drafts and manuscripts, and a plethora of other materials that reflect the evolution of Thomas Whittemore and the beginnings of the Byzantine Institute. In addition to these textual sources, photographs taken between the 1910s and early 1930s document Whittemore's activities in Egypt (at Abydos and Amarna) and Greece and highlight the Byzantine Institute’s first fieldwork project at the Red Sea Monasteries.