The Brumfield Collection comes from the tulane university professor William C. Brumfield’s collection of photographs of Russia buildings. These photographs document the architecture of buildings in the Russian North, prior to the Soiet era. The types of buildings documented include “religious, commercial and industrial facilities, as well as some landscapes.” The photographs are from the present day, so they don’t show exactly how the buildings may have looked when they were first constructed, but the pictures make the buildings as they exist today accessible for students around the world.
Beyond this collection, the Library of Congress website is an open-access resource available for students and teachers to browse. It boasts a wide selection of documents, many of which are free to use. These documents include photographs, books, films, web archives, legislation and more, from a range of subjects and time periods. The Library of Congress also offers some lesson plans making use of primary sources they host, a blog describing teaching methods, and other resources to enhance both the student and teacher experience. These resources, combined with its easy to use platform, make it, as well as this collection, great resources and guides for use in the classroom.
This collection is not only important for architectural students, but also for those interested in Russian history. By asking questions such as “How and when was this building constructed?” students can better understand historical resource allocation, as well as what things were valued during that time period. These photographs give something concrete to visualize and contextualize the past as they build their understanding of history.