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Ottoman Victoriana: Istanbul’s Last Ottoman Palace-Complex of Yildiz, 1876–1909

Deniz Turker Cerda, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2013–2015

During my spring-term residency at Dumbarton Oaks, I worked full-time on a project to refresh the Middle Eastern Garden Traditions website, which was first developed by an international group of scholars in garden history in 2004. The site has languished for several years without an institutional home, but has now been moved to the Dumbarton Oaks website. With the indispensable help and expertise of members of the publications department, we are nearly ready to launch the updated site. Its diverse content aims to serve scholars in the early phases of their research on Islamic garden traditions by providing them with invaluable bibliographic, lexical, visual, and descriptive information on the most seminal gardens from the eighth to the twentieth centuries. I have spent invaluable time in the Rare Book Collection scouting for lesser-known travel accounts of naturalists who ventured to the Near and Middle East in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Two of these accounts have now found their descriptions in the Botany of Empire online exhibition. Others will be added to the new sections of the website in order to introduce the unique and diverse resources that Dumbarton Oaks has to offer on these geographies.