@Dumbarton Oaks

Tips for Using AtoM@DO

1. General navigation tips

2. Searching the database

3. Browsing the database

4. How are materials described in AtoM?

5. Collection access and restriction information

6. How do I cite material from a collection?

General navigation tips

To return to the AtoM homepage, either click on the Dumbarton Oaks logo in the upper left corner of your screen or use the Quick Links in the upper right corner, a lower-case "i" in a white circle.

On any page you will find the search box in the upper right as well as the Browse drop-down menu immediately to the right of the search box. For more on browsing, see the section on browsing the database.

Searching the database

Basic search

To perform a basic search, type a keyword into the search box which appears in the header on all pages in AtoM@DO and hit enter. To search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks, i.e. "saint ignatius." Without quotation marks, the search will return all results containing either "saint" OR "ignatius." Use other Boolean operators, such as "AND" to combine terms or "AND NOT" to exclude terms.


After conducting a basic search, you have the option to filter your results by:

  • Language: Limits results to records in a specific language. However, AtoM@DO only contains records in English.
  • Level of description: Limits results to a specific level of description, e.g. collection, series, file, work, image, etc.

  • Department: Limit to a specific holding repository at Dumbarton Oaks, i.e. "Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives" or "Dumbarton Oaks Archives."

  • Creator: Lists the top authority records associated with your search term as a Creator access point.

  • Name: Lists the top name authority records associated with your search term as a Subject access point.

  • Location: Lists the top place terms associated with your search term as a Place access point.

  • Subject: Lists the top subject terms associated with your search term as a Subject access point.

  • Media Types: Limits to the type of media described, either "Image" or "Text." Limiting to images does NOT mean only records with digital images, as some items are described at the image level but have not yet been digitized. To find only records with digital images attached, use the "Digital object available" filter in the advanced search.

When you click on a facet term to narrow the results, the page will reload with the related records. If you click on a second facet term, results will be returned that are associated with both selected facet terms. Click back on the bolded/underlined facet term to unselect the filter.

Advanced search

To perform an advanced search, click inside the search box and then click on "Advanced Search" which appears as a drop-down. For more detailed instructions on advanced searching, see AtoM's documentation.

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Browsing the database

You may browse by access points such as Names, Places, or Subjects, or by all Digital Objects or all Collections. To access the browse menu, click on the down arrow next to the word browse on the right hand side of the search box in the header at the top of all pages in AtoM@DO. Click on one of the options in the drop-down menu and you will see all the terms within that category.

  • Names: The names browse page includes modern people and corporate bodies associated with our collections as well as saints and biblical figures. Click on a name and you will see the full name authority record, and a list of records (which may be truncated in cases where the name is frequently applied) in which that name is listed as a subject or creator.
  • Places: The places browse page contains geographic place names as well as archaeological site names. Click on a place name, and you will be taken directly to the full list of records to which that place name is applied.
  • Subjects: The subjects browse page displays all the subjects that have been used in AtoM. Click on a subject term, and you will be taken directly to the full list of records to which that term is applied.
  • Digital Objects: The digital objects browse page displays thumbnails for all available digital objects. You may limit your results to either images (all digital images) or text (PDFs of collection finding aids and inventories) using the buttons in the upper right corner. Click on a thumbnail image to view the record for the digital object, which will display the image with relevant descriptive information.
  • Collections: The collections browse page lists all collections in AtoM. Click on any one to see the full collection-level description, and an overview of any digital images from that collection.

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    How are materials described in AtoM?

  • Collections: Materials are described at the collection level according to archival standards. A collection is a group of materials—documents, photographs, born digital files—that were created or assembled by a person, organization, or repository. Collections may be subdivided hierarchically into Subgroups, Series, Subseries, Files, and Items.
  • Works: Within each collection, different works are depicted, such as "Church of Panagia tou Arakos, Wall Paintings, Narthex." Each work receives its own record, and all the images of that work from the same collection are grouped underneath that work.
  • Individual images: Images are described according to visual resources standards. Images are linked to Works, which are placed into the context of the collection to which they belong, visible in the form of a breadcrumb trail at the top of the image record. Image records may or may not include a digitized version of the image.

    Collection access and restriction information

    Check the Conditions governing access note in the Conditions of Access and Use Area for the collection-level record. If you see the expand icon, click to view additional text in that field. You can hide the text again by clicking on the collapse icon.

    Certain records may have specific instructions for how to access a group of materials or particular items, especially for special formats such as photographs, negatives, or digital images. Always check the Conditions governing access field in any record you are viewing, regardless of the level within the archival hierarchy.

    Please note: The Conditions of Access and Use Area is where you can find information about any Conditions governing reproduction or the Language of material. This is also the area that lists additional Finding aids or inventories for the collection (when available). If you don't find this in the file you are viewing, check the collection-level record.

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    How do I cite material from a collection?

    Low resolution images in AtoM are available for research use. For ICFA collections, you can find the Preferred citation in the Rights Area of the collection-level record. This area is at the bottom of the collection-level record, so you will need to scroll to the end of the page. For individual images, a credit line is provided near the bottom of the image record under Rights area.

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    For additional questions or feedback, contact .