Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture

Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture (RSIA) was compiled in 1994 by staff of the Aga Khan Programs at Harvard and MIT as a reference document for educators and scholars of Islamic architecture. The 414-page document is divided into two sections: a Bibliographic Component and a Visual Component.

The Bibliographic Component lists “basic reference tools for the history of Islamic art and architecture,” including general bibliographies, periodical indexes, reference sources, surveys, dictionaries, glossaries, and handbooks, arranged by a series of topical categories and then by a separate geographical classification.

The Visual Component aims to “identify monuments throughout the full extent of the Islamic world that exemplify what is famous, important or representative of its architectural history up to the late nineteenth century.” A list of 2,072 major buildings significant for a general understanding of Islamic architecture was complied, and a “core list” of 777 monuments was designated from that larger list. RSIA identifies sources of slides and photographs held by MIT and Harvard for each of those 777 monuments, along with published references and visual sources.

This document no longer represents current research in the field, but still serves as a valuable tool for researchers and educators when used in consultation with more current sources.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. "Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture." Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, 1994.
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
length: 414 pages