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Edith Durham's Balkan Scrapbooks

Archive reference:DUR

Edith Durham

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, after caring for her sick mother, she became ill and depressed and was prescribed travel. She headed for Montenegro, where she was captivated by Balkan life and culture. Thereafter she travelled extensively in the region and began to study its history, languages, customs and manners. 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 passionately championed the cause of the Albanians, becoming Secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Society, 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.

The Scrapbooks

Two scrapbooks compiled by Durham during her time as Secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Society, containing cuttings from English and overseas press, letters and other documents relating to Albania and Yugoslavia (dates circa 1919-1927).

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

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