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Collection MS.BZ.012 - Robert L. Van Nice Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. 1936-1989
Reports

Identity area

Reference code

US DDO-ICFA MS.BZ.012

Title

Robert L. Van Nice Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. 1936-1989

Date(s)

  • ca. 1936-1989 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

Approximately 60 boxes of correspondence, research materials, photographs, and drawings
Approximately 2,300 oversize architectural drawings and plans

Context area

Name of creator

Van Nice, Robert L. (1910-1994)

Biographical history

American architect. Born in Portland, Oregon, Van Nice received a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He worked at Dumbarton Oaks from from 1950 to 1986. From 1937 to 1985, Van Nice conducted a large scale architectural survey of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. The survey was sponsored by both William Emerson, Dean Emeritus of the School of Architecture at MIT, and later, Dumbarton Oaks. Van Nice and his assistants produced detailed architectural plates from their fieldwork, publishing them in two installments entitled Saint Sophia in Istanbul: An Architectural Survey in 1965 and 1986.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection documents the architectural survey of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, conducted by Robert L. Van Nice from the late 1930s to the 1980s. The project was sponsored by William Emerson, Dean of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from 1936 until Emerson’s death in 1957. The project was then sponsored by Dumbarton Oaks until Van Nice’s retirement in 1986.

Materials represented in the collection include correspondence, administrative records, research notes, draft material, publications, drawings, rubbings, photographs, slides, and negatives. The bulk of the material in the collection dates from the early 1940s through the late 1960s, when most of the intensive fieldwork was taking place at Hagia Sophia. The records represent all aspects of the project: administrative, intellectual, social, and personal.

Subgroup I: Administrative Records and Correspondence contains the correspondence of both Robert Van Nice and William Emerson. Emerson’s correspondence spans the years 1936-1957, and was given to Van Nice after Emerson’s death in 1957. Van Nice’s correspondence also begins in 1936 but continues until 1986. Subgroup I also contains correspondence and draft material relating to Van Nice’s published works, including papers co-authored with William Emerson, and the architectural plates published by Dumbarton Oaks in 1965 and 1986.

Subgroup II: Fieldwork Papers and Research contains Van Nice’s research materials, as well as drawings, measurements, and photographs produced during research. The research and drawing phases continued over the course of the whole project, from the late 1930s until the early 1980s.

The collection also contains materials, including research notes, offprints, and photographs, acquired from Van Nice’s colleague George Majeska in July 2012. There is also an addendum containing research materials compiled by ICFA staff.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

The collection is divided into two (2) main subgroups: Subgroup I: Administrative Records and Correspondence; and Subgroup II: Fieldwork Papers and Research. Subgroup I is arranged chronologically, while Subgroup II is arranged by topic, reflecting Van Nice’s original organization of his research materials.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

This collection is currently being processed and a finding aid is in progress. For more information or for access to the collection, please consult ICFA staff.

Conditions governing reproduction

Duplication of materials in the collection may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

An unpublished draft finding aid is available for consultation in the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Glass lantern slides (1937-1939) attributed to Robert Van Nice but likely by Nicholas V. Artamonoff are also available for consultation in ICFA.

Existence and location of copies


  • Digital copies of selected photographs from the Van Nice collection may be accessed through Havard University's Visual Information Access (VIA) system.
  • Contact sheets (1937-1939) attributed to Robert Van Nice but likely by Nicholas V. Artamonoff are also available for consultation at ICFA.

Related units of description

Publication note

Robert L. Van Nice. Saint Sophia in Istanbul: An Architectural Survey. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 1965-1986. 2 installments.

Published in: Clare Moran. Processing blog for the Robert L. Van Nice Collection, 2011-2012. Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. http://icfadumbartonoaks.wordpress.com/category/robert-van-nice.

Notes area

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

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 28, 2014.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Rights area

Related right

Act

Research

Restriction

Allow

Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Preferred Citation: Robert L. Van Nice Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. 1936-1989, MS.BZ.012, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Some materials created by Rowland J. Mainstone are restricted.

Basis

Policy

Related right

Act

Publish

Restriction

Allow

Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Copyright for Robert Van Nice materials belongs to Dumbarton Oaks. However, permission to publish materials created by other correspondents, including Rowland J. Mainstone, must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Basis

Copyright

Copyright status

Under copyright

Copyright status date

Copyright jurisdiction

Copyright note

Accession area

Actions