The Edith Durham Balkan Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Two scrapbooks compiled by Durham during her time as Hon. Secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Society, containing cuttings from English and overseas press, letters and other documents relating to Albania and Yugoslavia.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mary Edith Durham was born in 1863 in London, daughter of a surgeon. Educated at Bedford College and at the Royal Academy of Arts, she worked as an artist and illustrator. However, in the late 1890s, she became ill and depressed and was prescribed travel. Sailing to Montenegro, she was captivated by Balkan life and culture. Thereafter she travelled extensively in the region and began systematically to study its history and languages, with a view to understanding the customs and manners of each area. She published several books, including Through the lands of the Serb (1904), The Burden of the Balkans (1905), and High Albania(1909). In particular, she championed the cause of the Albanians, becoming secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Society (later Association), launched in 1918. Ill-health ended her travels in 1921, but she continued to publish and was active on the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

Donated to Dr John Horton of the University Library c.1970 by Dr Fred Singleton.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist in progress.

Archivist's Note

Described by Alison Cullingford.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

Scrapbooks contain provenance of Chatham House (confirmed in correspondence 2004 that materials withdrawn from their stock).

Related Material

Durham's correspondence, notebooks, journals, sketchbooks and papers are held by the Royal Anthropological Institute (MSS 41-59).

Geographical Names