@Dumbarton Oaks

Collection MS.BZ.020 - Corpus of Early Christian and Byzantine Silver, 1981-1986

Identity area

Reference code



Corpus of Early Christian and Byzantine Silver, 1981-1986


  • 1981-1986 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

36 boxes containing approximately 3,500 photographs
10 binders of documents
4 boxes of reference cards

Context area

Name of creator

Dumbarton Oaks (1940-Present)

Administrative history

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).

Name of creator

Burk, Charlotte Kroll

Biographical history

Photograph archivist at Dumbarton Oaks

Name of creator

Loftus, Erin (active late 20th century)

Biographical history

Silver Corpus cataloger at Dumbarton Oaks (1984-1986)

Name of creator

Diebold, William (active late 20th century)

Biographical history

Silver Corpus cataloger at Dumbarton Oaks in 1981.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The Silver Corpus was created in 1981 by the Byzantine Photograph Collection. It was completed between 1984-1986, with aid of grant funds from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection documents approximately 1,500 Byzantine silver vessels and utensils produced for liturgical and domestic use between 300 and 1453 CE within the geographical boundaries of the Roman and Byzantine empires (as known, ca. 1985). Silver vessels from Western Europe through the seventh century and Veneto-Byzantine silver are included; Sassanian silver, coins, jewelry, armor, icon frames, settings, and ingots are excluded.

Mounted photographs of objects correspond to entries in the Silver Corpus Catalog. Each individual object entry includes a description with dimensions and weights provided by published sources and by the holding institutions. An accompanying card catalog serves as an index to the objects; reference cards record bibliography, locations, hoard codes, inscriptions, and object types.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Photographs and binders for the Silver Corpus Catalog are arranged by geographic location and institution. Reference cards are organized by subject (bibliography, locations, hoard codes, inscriptions, and object types) and arranged alphabetically within each grouping.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the collection is unrestricted. It is available for research purposes. Appointment is required for access because researcher space is limited: http://www.doaks.org/icfa-appointment-request-form. For research queries, contact the staff of Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (icfa@doaks.org).

Conditions governing reproduction

Photographs are for research and study purposes only.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area

Access points

Name access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)



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Rights area

Related right





Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Preferred Citation: Corpus of Early Christian and Byzantine Silver, 1981-1986, MS.BZ.020, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.



Related right





Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Copyright for Corpus research materials and photographs of objects in the Dumbarton Oaks Museum belongs to Dumbarton Oaks. However, permission to publish photographs of objects from other repositories must be obtained from the copyright holder.



Copyright status

Under copyright

Copyright status date

Copyright jurisdiction

Copyright note

Digital object metadata



Media type





71.6 KiB


October 21, 2016 1:15 PM

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area