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Collection MS.BZ.018 - Dumbarton Oaks Research Archive, ca. 1940s
Reports

Identity area

Reference code

US DDO-ICFA MS.BZ.018

Title

Dumbarton Oaks Research Archive, ca. 1940s

Date(s)

  • ca. 1940s (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

60 boxes of photographs and research notes

Context area

Name of creator

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (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. Dumbarton Oaks 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

Koehler, Wilhelm (1884-1959)

Biographical history

Medievalist, museum director, and professor of art at Harvard University. He served as Senior Fellow in charge of Research at Dumbarton Oaks from 1941-1943.

Name of creator

Biebel, Franklin M. (1908-1966)

Biographical history

Biebel became the second director of the Frick Collection in New York (1951-1964) after previously serving as a lecturer and assistant director at the museum. He studied art history and archaeology at Oberlin College and Princeton University and was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1941-1942. He published on many topics in art history, including the monograph Gerasa, City of the Decapolis: Mosaics (New Haven, CT: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1938).

Name of creator

Bloch, Herbert (1911-2006)

Biographical history

Classicist and medievalist. Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in 1941-1942."Bloch taught at Harvard from 1941 to 1982, as instructor, faculty instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, and Pope Professor. His teaching and research involved Greek and Roman historiography, Latin epigraphy, Roman archaeology (particularly architecture), medieval history, and medieval Latin literature." From obituary in Harvard Gazette, June 12, 2008 (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/06/herbert-bloch/).

Name of creator

Brown, Donald Frederic (1909-)

Biographical history

Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in 1941-1942.

Name of creator

Crane, Mary Emma (active mid 20th century)

Biographical history

Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in 1941-1942.

Name of creator

Day, Florence Eli (active mid 20th century)

Biographical history

Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in 1941-1942.

Name of creator

Keck, Andrew S. (1902-2003)

Biographical history

Medievalist and art historian. Keck was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1941-1942.

Name of creator

Kitzinger, Ernst (1912-2003)

Biographical history

Art historian specializing in Byzantine, early Christian, and early medieval art. He received his PhD from the University of Munich in 1943 under the direction of Wilhelm Pinder and was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1941-1944. During his tenure as an Assistant Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at Dumbarton Oaks, Kitzinger was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1949, which he used to conduct a survey of Norman mosaics in Sicily. He published prolifically on the subject, particularly on the mosaics at the Capella Palatina and Martorana in Palermo and the churches in Monreale and Cefalù. From 1955-1966, Kitzinger served as Director of the Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. In 1967, he was appointed the first Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor at Harvard University, where he remained until his retirement in 1979.

Name of creator

Alexander, Margaret A. (1916-1996)

Biographical history

Alexander specialized in late antique mosaics of Tunisia. She received her PhD in 1958 from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. She was a junior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1942-1945. From 1967 to 1996, in collaboration with Mongi Ennaifer, she co-directed the Tunisian-American project Corpus of the Mosaics of Tunisia, which was supported in part by Dumbarton Oaks. She excavated at major sites in Tunisia, including Carthage, Dermesh, El Jem, Thuburbo Majus, and Utica. The first fascicle of the Corpus des Mosaïques de Tunisie appeared in 1973 and the final volume under her direction was published posthumously in 1999.

Name of creator

Harris, Josephine M. (1911-1992)

Biographical history

Harris earned a Ph.D. in Latin and Greek at Washington University, St. Louis in 1936. In 1937-1938, she became a fellow in Archaeology at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. The following year, as a special fellow at the excavations in ancient Corinth, she published coin finds. Harris was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Research Library and Collection from 1942-1945. Under the direction of Wilhelm R. W. Koehler, Senior Fellow in charge of Research, Harris began to catalog the architectural sculpture from Oxyrhynchos, Egypt on the basis of published photographs for the Research Archive. In 1953-1954, Harris received a Faculty Fellowship from the Ford Foundation and the Margaret M. Justin Fellowship from the American Association of University Women. For that year, she was granted sabbatical leave from her position as Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA in order to study Coptic sculpture in Egypt. Harris photographed and studied the Oxyrhynchos fragments from Evaristo Breccia’s 1927-1931 excavations in the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, Egypt. In 1959, Harris received additional grant funding from the American Philosophical Society to continue the project. On subsequent trips to Egypt in 1963 and the 1970s, she continued to photograph fragments from Oxyrhynchos that had not previously been published [Evaristo Breccia, Le Musée Gréco-Romain, 1925-1931 (Bergamo, 1932); Evaristo Breccia, Le Musée Gréco-Romain, 1931-1932 (Bergamo, 1933)].

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The original materials were compiled by the Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellows in the 1940s. An additional 3 boxes relating to North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia) were found filed with the Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers (MS.BZ.004) and added to the present collection.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Under the direction of Wilhelm Koehler, Dumbarton Oaks initiated a research project to create an inventory of Early Christian and Byzantine monuments by compiling bibliographic information and photographic reproductions for each site. The goal of the Research Archive was to gather in one place all available documentation from extant publications and make this resource available to all scholars. Koehler, as Senior Fellow in charge of Research, supervised the work of Junior Fellows. Each Junior Fellow was assigned a geographic region and was responsible for surveying and documenting all the monuments within that area. For example, in 1941-1942, the assignments were, as follows: North Africa - Donald F. Brown; Balkans - Ernst Kitzinger; Italy - Herbert Bloch; Anatolia - Mary E. Crane; and Syria and Palestine - Andrew S. Keck.
The resulting collection consists of photographs and prints, along with accompanying notes from the Junior Fellow's individual findings. Geographic coverage includes: Algeria, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Syria, Transjordan, Tunisia, Turkey, (former) Yugoslavia.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Arranged roughly alphabetically by region (Aegean Islands, Anatolia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, North Africa, Palestine, Sicily, Sinai, Transjordan, Yugoslavia), and then geographically by area, city, and site.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

This collection has been pre-processed. For more information or for access to the collection, please consult ICFA staff.

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

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area

Description control area

Description identifier

US

Institution identifier

DDO-ICFA

Rules and/or conventions used

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Minimal

Dates of creation revision deletion

This record was created by Shalimar White on January 31, 2014.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources


  • Dumbarton Oaks Annual Report, 1941-1942, p. 2-3, 7.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Annual Report, 1942-1943, p. 1.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Annual Report, 1943-1944, p. 2.
  • Wilhelm R. W. Koehler, "Proposed Programme for Research at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection," Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum 9, no. 4 (March 1941): 81-84.
  • Wilhelm R. W. Koehler, "News Reports: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C.," College Art Journal 1, no. 2 (January 1942): 34-36.

Archivist's note

Initially processed by Gerrianne Schaad, ICFA Curator, Laura Bang, Archives Assistant, and Jackie Meyers, Intern (c. 2008-2010).

Rights area

Related right

Act

Research

Restriction

Allow

Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Preferred Citation: Dumbarton Oaks Research Archive, ca. 1940s, MS.BZ.018, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Basis

Policy

Related right

Act

Publish

Restriction

Disallow

Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Photographs are for research and study purposes only.

Basis

Copyright

Copyright status

Under copyright

Copyright status date

Copyright jurisdiction

Copyright note

Accession area

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