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General Library Collections

Research Library, Dumbarton Oaks
© 2007 Sheila Klos


Readers may use the collections at non-reserved carrels or tables. Wireless internet access is available. Public PCs offer access to HOLLIS and licensed databases are offered on site.

Minolta book scanners (color as well as black and white) are available for scanning books and journals to a personal jump drive, or burning to CD. Scanning to produce paper copies requires purchase of a copy card; copies are 10 cents per page.

Microfilm and microfiche can be scanned and saved to disk; no film or fiche printing is available.

Byzantine Studies

The Byzantine library collection had its formal beginning in 1936 when a reference collection was established with the personal book collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bliss to support research in Byzantine and medieval studies. By 1940, when Dumbarton Oaks was conveyed to Harvard, the Byzantine collection had 10,000 volumes, including many important works on Byzantine art and archaeology, museum catalogs, illustrative materials on manuscripts, painting, mosaic, sculpture, and the decorative arts, and the principal scholarly periodicals in art and archaeology. The collection has grown to more than 154,000 volumes with more than 625 current journal subscriptions. Microfilms, microfiches, maps, and an offprint file are included.

Garden and Landscape Studies

The garden library collection began with the personal library of Mrs. Bliss. Holdings now include 28,000 books and pamphlets covering the history of gardens and landscape design. The largest emphasis has been on gardens of the Western world, especially the United States and Europe, but collecting in recent years has included gardens of the Islamic world, China, Japan, Australia, and Africa. Many of the volumes are located in the Rare Book Collection.

Pre-Columbian Studies

The Pre-Columbian library collection was founded in 1962 with Robert Woods Bliss's personal collection of books on ancient American art. This collection of 2,000 volumes included rare and important works in the fields of Pre-Columbian art history, anthropology, and archaeology. The collection has since grown to more than 33,000 volumes, covering the Pre-Columbian and early colonial cultures of Mexico, Central America, and South America.

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Research Library General Collection Hours

For Fellows and
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
9:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

Holiday Closures for 2016-17
September 5, 2016
November 24
December 25
January 1, 2017
July 4
Rare Book Collection Hours