- 1942-2000s (Creation)
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Name of creator
Robert and Mildred Bliss retired to their Georgetown home, Dumbarton Oaks, in 1933. They began adding to their already extensive collection of artwork and reference books, anticipating the creation of a research institute. In 1940, the Blisses gave their property to Harvard University, creating Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
"Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute in Washington, DC, administered by the Trustees for Harvard University. It supports research and learning internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships and internships, meetings, and exhibitions. Located in residential Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks welcomes researchers at all career stages who come to study its books, objects, images, and documents. It opens its doors to the public to visit its historic Gardens, designed by Beatrix Farrand; its Museum, with world-class collections of art; and its Music Room, for lectures and concerts. The institute disseminates knowledge through its own publications (such as Dumbarton Oaks Papers and symposium volumes) as well as through the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (published by Harvard University Press). Dumbarton Oaks also makes accessible ever more of its resources freely online." -http://www.doaks.org/about
Among its many other activities, in January of 1963, Dumbarton Oaks and the trustees of Harvard University assumed all fieldwork activities formerly initiated by the Byzantine Institute. The Dumbarton Oaks fieldwork committee directed and sponsored new fieldwork projects in Turkey (Church of St. Polyeuktos), Cyprus (Church of the Panagia Amasgou at Monagri), Syria (Dibsi Faraj), and present-day Macedonia (Bargala).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The collection includes over 75,000 mounted black and white photographic prints of Byzantine art, architecture, and archaeology, its bulk being from the fourth through the fifteenth century, along with corresponding negatives where available. The emphasis is on materials that originated in the Byzantine empire and neighboring cultures: Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Armenia, and Georgia, as well as Greece, Syria, Israel, and Egypt. There is also a limited number of Russian, Crusader, and post-Byzantine works.
In addition to photographs deposited by outside scholars or purchased from vendors, the images document the fieldwork of Dumbarton Oaks, the Byzantine Institute, and a number of affiliated scholars, including Margaret Alexander, Richard Anderson, Cyril Mango, Thomas Mathews, Ihor Ševčenko, and Robert Van Nice.
For more information, see related descriptions for each series.
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Allied materials area
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Subject access points
Place access points
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States
Name access points
- Dumbarton Oaks (Creator)
Description control area
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