As a result of the sudden and tragic death of Melanie Michaildis (Ph.D., AKPIA MIT 2007) in 2013, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT became the home for her research archive and personal library.
Dr. Michaildis was an Islamic art specialist and was serving as the Korff Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Art at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, at the time of her death. She had conducted fieldwork in Iran, Uzbekistan and Western Europe, was praised as a gifted and passionate scholar and teacher on the subject of Islamic art. Dr. Michaildis had published numerous scholarly articles on Islamic ceramics as well as on mosques, shrines, castles, and tomb towers in Iran and Central Asia.
Almost immediately upon receipt of her archive and library, it was decided that the latter should be kept intact and sent to a deserving research institution. After many months of searching for the right home, Michael Toler’s Peace Corp connections led us to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Université Ibn Zohr-Agadir in Morocco; on 28 July, AKDC’s donation — 17 boxes of books in total — were shipped out, en route to their new home.