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Collection MS.BZ.012 - Robert L. Van Nice Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. 1936-1989
- ca. 1936-1989 (Creation)
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Approximately 2,300 oversize architectural drawings and plans
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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.
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- 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
- Myron Bement Smith Collection, ca. 1910-1970, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. http://www.asia.si.edu/archives/finding_aids/smith.html.
- Nicholas V. Artamonoff Photographs of Istanbul and Turkey, 1935-1945, PH.BZ.010, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.
- Records of the Office of Strategic Services 1940-1946 (Record Group 226), National Archives at College Park (Archives II), National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD.http://www.archives.gov/iwg/declassified-records/rg-226-oss.
- The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s, MS.BZ.004, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.
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.
Subject access points
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- Van Nice, Robert L. (Creator)
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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.