ICFA Services


General Information

  • ICFA is located on the 2nd floor of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library.
  • Materials are available for research by appointment only Monday through Friday 9 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 5 PM.
  • ICFA is closed for lunch from 12 PM to 1 PM. Please notify ICFA staff to coordinate your schedule.
  • Researchers, including Dumbarton Oaks staff, fellows, and readers, are welcome to use the archival collections in ICFA. Guests are not permitted.


Access Policy

  • To request an appointment, you must submit a request via the online appointment request form:

    request appointment



  • Indicate the collections you wish to consult, as well as purpose and subject of your research.
  • After submitting the form, an ICFA staff will contact you to confirm the time and date of your appointment. 
  • You must notify an ICFA staff in advance if your arrival will be significantly delayed or you are unable to make your scheduled appointment.
  • ICFA does not require a Reader's badge, however if you need to use the Research Library, you must obtain a Reader’s badge from the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library: http://www.doaks.org/library-archives/library/access-info.


Before Your Appointment in ICFA

Consult our finding aids online at AtoM@DO. Make note of the specific collection(s), boxe(s), or image(s).

Provide detailed information in the online appointment request form about your research topic:

  • Which collection(s)?
  • Dates? Time periods?
  • Sites, subjects, or persons of interest?
  • Medium (e.g., architecture, sculpture, wall painting, epigraphy, etc.)?
  • Name/title of the site, building, object, or work of art?
  • Location (e.g., country, city, etc.)? 

Note: Provide any alternative names, if applicable. Provide reference code, if known.


Before You Arrive

Allowed in the ICFA Reading Room

You may request a clear plastic bag from the guard to carry approved items to the ICFA Reading Room.

  • Pencils and mechanical pencils
  • Notepads or notebooks
  • Personal computers
  • Storage media: External hard drives, USB drives, CDs/DVDs, etc.
  • Wallets
  • Digital cameras - May be used for research or study purposes only and at the discretion of ICFA staff depending on the condition of the materials to be photographed. Mobile phones may be used as cameras, but the ringers must be turned off.

Not Allowed in the ICFA Reading Room

  • Pens, markers, highlighters
  • Post-its
  • Envelopes, binders, folders
  • Items unrelated to your research in ICFA, e.g. books, magazines, and newspapers
  • Food, candy, and drinks (including water) - Water fountains are available on every floor of the Library.
  • Bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, boxes, or other large containers of any kind - You must leave these personal belongings in lockers behind the security desk.
  • Mobile phones - ICFA is a quiet study area and mobile phones may not be used other than as digital cameras.
  • Guests


When You Arrive

  • Staff, Fellows, and Readers with a Reader’s badge may proceed to the 2nd floor of the Library.
  • For all other researchers, you need to be issued a Visitor's badge. When you arrive at the Library, inform the security guard that you have an appointment in ICFA and the guard will dial the appropriate extension. 

* An ICFA staff member will meet you at the security desk to sign you in with a Visitor’s badge and escort you to the ICFA Reading Room. As a Visitor, you will need to be accompanied at all times by an ICFA staff member.

  • All researchers will be required to fill out two forms:

* Registration form: name, contact information (e.g. address, phone number, email), research topic, and reading room rules agreement.
* Sign-in form: date, name, affiliation, and collection used

  • Notify ICFA staff if you have visited within the last month (you may not need to fill out the Registration form again).


ICFA Reading Room Rules

  1. Food and drink are not allowed in the ICFA Reading Room. Please make sure your hands are clean before handling the archival materials.
  2. Archival collections (documents, photographs, and other types of visual materials) may only be consulted in the ICFA Reading Room. No material in the archives may be removed from the area.
  3. Only ICFA staff are allowed to retrieve materials from the shelves. Researchers are not allowed to browse the shelves. 
  4. When handling any type of archival materials, do NOT bend, mark, touch, or otherwise damage items in any way. Items should remain flat on the table at all times. 
  5. Wear gloves and always handle photographs or negatives by their edges – do not touch the image surface. If items are in Mylar sleeves or folders, do NOT remove them from their containers. Notify an ICFA staff if assistance is needed. 
  6. Keep all material in the order in which it was received - do NOT rearrange items. Use out-cards to mark an item’s place when removing from folders or boxes. Complete each out-card with detailed content descriptions and location information to facilitate proper re-filing.
  7. When archival items are in need of preservation, alert ICFA staff immediately. Do not attempt to repair any items.
  8. You must notify an ICFA staff if you need to leave the ICFA Reading Room or when you are done with the materials. Materials should not be left unattended. Your requested items may be held for your use on a subsequent day and will be re-filed within one month.
  9. Readers may photograph materials for study purposes free of charge. They may also elect to make use of ICFA’s photocopying, scanning, or digital photography services. For these services, whether for study purposes or publication, reproduction fees may apply (see below).
  10. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance to publish or otherwise reproduce or distribute archival material. Whenever possible, ICFA will provide the contact information of copyright holders.


Reproductionphoto order form

For Study Purposes

Self-Service Digital Photography

  • A copy stand is available for photographing archival materials for study purposes. Researchers may use their own digital cameras or borrow ICFA’s camera for this purpose.
  • ICFA reserves the right to approve photography depending on the condition of the materials.
  • There is no charge for researchers to photograph archival materials for study purposes.
  • ICFA staff may request that researchers provide copies of the digital photographs they take of archival materials.
  • All images provided for study purposes may not be published, redistributed, reproduced, modified, or otherwise used for personal or corporate gain without prior written consent from Dumbarton Oaks or the copyright holder.

Additional Services Provided by ICFA

  • There is no fee for requests up to 25 items (images or pages). However, turnaround time for orders will depend on staff availability and the existing queue of digitization requests.
  • For larger orders, additional charges may apply at the discretion of ICFA staff, depending on the quantity of images and the complexity of the request. ICFA reserves the right to assess a $50 per hour fee. If the fee applies, ICFA staff will provide you with an estimate prior to processing your request.
  • For scanning and digital photography requests, images will be delivered as low resolution JPEGs.
  • For photocopying requests, only ICFA staff may photocopy archival materials, not the researcher. Researchers will be provided with Photocopy markers to indicate which pages you would like to be photocopied. The charge for photocopying is $0.10 per page.

For Publication

Policies and Fees

  • Fill out an Image Request Form: http://www.doaks.org/about/photographic-services/online-image-request-form. Provide publication information and a detailed description of the image you are requesting, including any negative or accession numbers, if known. If you found the image in a publication, please supply citation information and figure/plate numbers to facilitate your request.
  • ICFA staff will review your request and determine whether we are able to grant permission for publication. Note that Dumbarton Oaks does not own copyright for all of the images in our collections.
  • If we are able to provide permission, ICFA staff will scan the item at high resolution in TIFF format.
  • We do not charge use or permission fees for scholarly, educational, or non-commercial publications. However, for ICFA staff to produce a publication-quality image:

* There is a $20 charge for items that have not yet been scanned or digitized.
* There is no charge ($0) for items that have already been scanned or digitized.

  • ICFA reserves the right to assess a $50 per hour fee for requests that require extensive research or a significant amount of staff time due to the volume of the order. If the fee applies, ICFA staff will provide you with an estimate prior to processing your request.

Payment and Delivery

  • ICFA staff will send you a copy of the Image Request Form that itemizes the fees (if any) that apply to your request. Fill out both pages of the form, including your contact information and publication information.
  • Please indicate your preferred delivery method:

* Link to an FTP site for downloading
* Save to your USB drive or external hard drive
* Copy to CD/DVD (additional shipping charge of $5.00 will apply)

  • Sign and date the form. Return the form to ICFA, whether by mail, fax (202-625-0279), or email (). ICFA staff will provide you with a counter-signed copy for your records.
  • Images will be delivered upon receipt of payment:

* By check: Send a check payable to Dumbarton Oaks in US dollars ($) to:

Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
1703 32nd Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

* By credit card: To initiate payment, call Neressa Darroux in the Finance Department at 202-339-6424. You may also fax your credit card information to the Finance Department at 202-339-6416. Please do not transmit any sensitive financial information by email or voicemail - phone or fax only.


Preferred Citation

When citing or publishing material from ICFA, our preferred citation is:

[Collection Title], [Reference Code], Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Document Actions


Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 to 5 p.m.


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