Beyond the Taj: Architectural Traditions and Landscape Experience in South Asia (Cornell University Library)

Cornell University Library is partnering with Artstor to share the Beyond the Taj collection of approximately 6,600 photographs of South Asian architecture. These photographs depict significant works of architecture, cultural traditions, rituals, and pilgrimage sites, from the monasteries of Ladakh to the temples of Tamil Nadu. Coverage extends to Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Mogul sites throughout India. The core of the collection was assembled over a 22-year period by Robert D. "Scotty" MacDougall (1940–1987), former Professor of Architecture at Cornell University, as well as an anthropologist and practicing architect. MacDougall had a special interest in expanding the study of architectural history to include Asian traditions. His research produced photographs, drawings, and other records that further challenged the boundaries of traditional studies of architecture by emphasizing its domestic, devotional, and vernacular aspects. MacDougall's photographs have been supplemented with images of domestic architecture in Sri Lanka, as well as drawings and photographs of 89 Aiyanar temples, a vernacular tradition in southern India.

The Beyond the Taj collection is the product of a long-term collaboration between Bonnie Graham MacDougall, Associate Professor of Architecture, and Margaret N. Webster, Director Emerita of the George W. & Adelaide Knight Visual Resources Facility, in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University.