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Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives

With more than a million unique and historical items, archival collections in ICFA are divided into document, photograph, digital image, and moving image categories. The collections include administrative records, fieldwork papers, photographic prints, negatives, slides, oversize drawings, and moving images.

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The history of ICFA goes back to 1938, when Dumbarton Oaks founders Robert and Mildred Bliss purchased a copy of the Index of Medieval Art (formerly the Index of Christian Art) from 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. In the 1950s, ICFA began archiving documentation of archaeological fieldwork in Istanbul and beyond. In the early 2000s came the first donations of Garden and Landscape and Pre-Columbian materials including the papers of Renaissance landscape historian David Robbins Coffin, and the comprehensive photographic documentation of the Moche Archive. ICFA continues to collect, preserve, catalogue, and make materials available to Dumbarton Oaks fellows and other researchers worldwide.


Access the Collections

Collection finding aids may be viewed in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. See a list of all finding aids here: Dumbarton Oaks finding aids

Many collections have been digitized in full or in part and are available through HOLLIS Images or HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. Search our 20,000+ digitized images in HOLLIS Images by changing the right-hand drop-down menu from "All Harvard Repositories" to "Dumbarton Oaks."

Digitized archival materials are viewable from the finding aid by clicking on the "Digital Material" tab. Alternately, you may search across all digitized materials in the Harvard Digital Collections site. 

The ICFA Reading Room is open to researchers, by appointment, 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:30–4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.



Rights and Reproductions

Rights to material differ by collection. Please review each collection page for more information.

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Browse the Collections

Browse all collections, or explore by subject area.