Historians spend a lot of their time traveling to visit archives and libraries, or to learn new languages, conduct interviews, or do other kinds of field work. And because writing a history book or article tends to leave an enormous amount on the cutting room floor, most of the interesting things they encounter on these trips fail make it into their published output (trying to find a home for some of the miscellaneous scraps was the inspiration behind The Appendix.) I often wish I could see what the space around the archives that historians visit looks like – all the aspects of traveling to do research that don’t make it into our scholarship. So with that in mind, I’ve decided to upload a portfolio of photos I’ve taken during my research trips of the past few years.

They’re grouped according to place: so far, I have Iran, Portugal, and England. More to come.

All photos are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 license, meaning you should feel free to download them and use them for personal purposes (such as for teaching or lectures), but please properly attribute them and do not sell them.


Summer, 2017: Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Yazd

I wasn’t in Iran to do historical research, exactly, but during my time there I started exploring the option of working with Farsi-language archives, and I learned a ton about early modern Persia. Research leads often begin with a personal interest or family connection, in my experience.

Bonus gallery of Iranian ceilings


Lisbon, mostly near Chiado and Bairro Alto, Summer 2018


London, Cambridge, and Oxford, Summer 2018 and 2019
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