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Class Visits to Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks provides support for visits by graduate student workshops that are already established at Harvard; or by students who wish to form such a group. Eligible topics must have direct relevance to the particular fields of study and resources of Dumbarton Oaks.

Dumbarton Oaks enthusiastically invites proposals for class visits by Harvard faculty and undergraduate and graduate students. For reasons of space and cost, we can only accommodate classes of twelve students or fewer, so these visits work best with smaller teaching formats like seminars and conference courses. We will consider proposals that relate to Dumbarton Oaks’ three areas of study and that integrate its special collections. Resources that might be of particular interest include:

  • The museum’s Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art collections, including coins, seals, and textiles
  • The Rare Book Collection, with particular strengths in garden history, botanical works, illustrations, as well as facsimiles of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian manuscripts
  • The historic gardens, including extensive garden archives

Depending on the proposal and the resources of the Harvard department(s) in question, Dumbarton Oaks may offer (1) reimbursement of economy round-trip travel from Cambridge to Washington, D.C., for one or two faculty members and their students; (2) lunch in the campus Refectory; and (3) one night’s accommodation, depending on the duration of the visit and availability. Proposals for cost sharing, in which faculty members have secured separate funding from the university or other sources, are encouraged.

Faculty members are urged to plan visits that promote interaction of their students with Dumbarton Oaks staff and fellows. Proposals should address the relevance of particular Dumbarton Oaks collections to the class and summarize the main questions or topics that will be addressed during the visit. In all cases, we would be grateful to receive a follow-up report for institutional use.

Please note that our historic gardens are closed until March 2018; please plan your applications for class visits accordingly.