The late Dr Haldane graduated from the University of Edinburgh where he studied Arabic and was awarded his doctorate in 1973.

His doctoral thesis was subsequently published as a monograph entitled Mamluk Painting. Dr Haldane has held a number of varied roles: he worked for the BBC's Arabic Service and subsequently as their Middle East Representative, based in Cairo.

He spent 9 years at the Victoria and Albert Museum where he worked as the Deputy Keeper of the National Art Library and had, inter alia, specific responsibility for all Islamic book materials and Library exhibitions.

Dr Haldane had participated in several international conferences and published articles in various art journals, in addition to lecturing in Islamic art to a range of different institutions. He also worked at the University of Surrey, Roehampton for three years and was a visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter's Department of Islamic studies from 1995 to 1998.