About ICFA

ICFA StacksThe Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA), located on the 2nd floor of the Research Library, is the repository for Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape archival collections.

With more than a million unique and historical items, archival collections in ICFA are divided into document, photograph, digital image, and moving image categories. Collections are generally comprised of administrative records, fieldwork papers, photographic prints, negatives, slides, oversize drawings, and moving images. Finding aids for ICFA's archival collections are accessible and searchable via AtoM@DO, an online database of Dumbarton Oaks that represents the holdings in ICFA.  

The history of ICFA goes back to 1938, when Robert and Mildred Bliss purchased a copy of the Index of Christian Art from the Princeton University and funded a project called the Census of Early Christian and Byzantine Art.

In 1941, Dumbarton Oaks gathered the first group of Byzantine fellows to systematically develop research materials and lists of monuments and sites that needed protection during the Second World War; the project was called the Research Archives. All of these projects including the fieldwork and photograph donations produced by organizations, scholars, and archaeologists were eventually brought together into one department that now serves the research needs of Dumbarton Oaks fellows and other researchers.    

Starting in the 1950s, the department acquired the administrative records and fieldwork papers of The Byzantine Institute and Thomas Whittemore, two of the leading protagonists in ICFA's archival collections. The department also went through many administrative changes. It was first called the Photograph Collection (1950-1977), then the Byzantine Photograph Collection (1978-1986), Byzantine Visual Resources (1986-1994), Byzantine Photograph and Fieldwork Archives (1994-2007), and finally the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (2007-present).

ICFA was an independent department from October 2010 to April 2015; before, it was part of the Byzantine Studies Program and the Research Library. In April 2015, ICFA transitioned back to the Research Library.   


The department includes a small, dedicated staff assisted by an enthusiastic and ever-changing team of graduate and undergraduate interns.

  • Jessica Cebra, Part-time Departmental Assistant  


Learn about ICFA's internship guidelines and opportunities at Internship Policies.

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Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
1:00–4:30 p.m.


Tel: (202) 339-6972
Fax: (202) 625-0279