Obituary: Mark Harril Saunders (1966–2019)

by Pauline Saliga, Karen Kingsley, and Gabrielle Esperdy | May 28, 2019

Obituary Mark Harril Saunders
September 04, 1966–May 19, 2019

It is with great sadness that SAH shares news of the death of Mark Saunders, the Director of the University of Virginia Press. Mark was a valued colleague who collaborated with us to shape the future of the Buildings of the United States (BUS) book series and SAH Archipedia, its online counterpart. 

As SAH President Sandy Isenstadt stated, “Mark’s death is a great loss for both SAH and the Academy. He has been such a staunch supporter of SAH’s publishing program that it will be difficult to move forward without his wise counsel.”

Because Mark was champion of print books, he expanded the BUS state guides by developing a new BUS City Guide series, with Savannah and New Orleans as the first releases. In response to requests from SAH for more user-friendly state guides, Mark and his staff recently completed development of a new design that will include the same scholarly content in a user-friendly, lower-cost, color guidebook format. Similarly, in response to SAH’s requests for open access for SAH Archipedia, Mark and his team created a new mobile-friendly, open-access site that includes more than 20,000 building histories and dozens of new interpretive essays. It will launch this summer. In Mark Saunders and University of Virginia Press, SAH found publishing partners willing to invest in BUS and SAH Archipedia and to provide the support, expertise, and editorial and technical staffing to help us realize our shared vision for these award-winning print and online publications. It is with gratitude that we note Mark’s conceptual and pragmatic contributions, which stand as a lasting legacy in the evolution of the BUS series and SAH Archipedia.

Colleagues at University of Virginia wrote a tribute about Mark’s many achievements and interests, which is available here.   

Pauline Saliga, Executive Director SAH
Karen Kingsley, BUS Editor-in-Chief
Gabrielle Esperdy, SAH Archipedia Editor




Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.
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