ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America

Category: News (page 1 of 6)

New Finding Aids from ICFA, Dumbarton Oaks

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) of Dumbarton Oaks is pleased to announce the publication of four (4) new finding aids. These collections document various fieldwork and research projects, relating to Roman and Late Antique pavement mosaics, Byzantine sites in Greece and Turkey, and Coptic architectural sculpture from Oxyrhynchos.

New Finding Aids at ICFA, Dumbarton Oaks

To view the complete PDF finding aids, click on the thumbnail at the top of the following collection-level records in our online inventory, AtoM@DO. You can also check under the “Finding Aids” field for the direct links.

Since our last announcement of published finding aids in August 2014, ICFA staff have continued to work on processing our collections and improving the descriptive metadata in our finding aids in order to make our holdings more discoverable, usable, and accessible to our users. Currently, we are finalizing the processing of two other collections that were created by recognized Byzantine scholars: Corpus for Wall Mosaics in the North Adriatic Area, ca. 1974-1990s (MS.BZ.009) and the Ernst Kitzinger Research Papers and Photographs, 1940s-1980s (MS.BZ.016). We have also completed the digitization for William Earl Betsch Photographs of Architectural Capitals in Istanbul, 1970 (PH.BZ.002). The digital surrogates for Betsch’s negatives will also be added in AtoM@DO, and they will surely complement a related collection in ICFA, Nicholas V. Artamonoff Photographs of Istanbul and Turkey, 1935-1945 (PH.BZ.010). Thus, you can expect to see more and more content in AtoM@DO in the coming months – so stay tuned!

To learn more about these collections and ICFA’s current projects, please see:

Upgrade for AtoM@DO, Dumbarton Oaks ICFA’s online database

One year ago today, the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) of Dumbarton Oaks launched our online database, AtoM@DO ( We are pleased to announce that we have upgraded to a new version (2.1) of the AtoM (Access to Memory) software, which features a redesigned interface and many enhancements for searching and browsing.

In response to feedback from our users, we sponsored development of new functionality within the Places taxonomy through AtoM lead developer Artefactual Systems. You can now browse a hierarchical list of geographic terms with a tree-view that allows you to navigate from broader terms to narrower terms. You can also browse an alphabetical list of places, or search within the taxonomy with a dedicated search box. A persistent Browse menu in the header gives you instant access to all of AtoM@DO’s taxonomies, whether Names, Places, or Subjects. These same access points are now prominently displayed at the top of all archival records, thereby facilitating discovery of related items.

AtoM@DO’s search engine has been enhanced with the implementation of Elasticsearch. Now, when you start a keyword search in the Search box located in the header, suggested matches will appear in real time, faceted by archival description, Names, Places, or Subjects. The search engine is responsive, so the more characters you type, more relevant results will appear dynamically. Additionally, Place terms assigned to archival descriptions will inherit their parent terms, so that searches for “Turkey” will automatically return results for “Istanbul.” AtoM@DO now includes more robust faceting of search results, so that you can narrow large sets quickly to target the most relevant results. Use the facet filters on the left-hand side of the search results page to limit your results by level of description, department, or creator, or by access points (Names, Places, and Subjects).

We hope that you will explore the new AtoM@DO, which contains many more enhancements that we hope will improve our users’ ability to locate archival materials at Dumbarton Oaks. We will continue to add content to AtoM@DO as we process and describe our collections. In the meantime, you can also discover our collections (processed and unprocessed) through a variety of channels, whether HOLLIS, WorldCat, or ArchiveGrid.

For more information on how to use the new features, please see the AtoM@DO FAQ page prepared by ICFA staff. Feel free contact us with any questions or feedback at We would especially like to thank our colleague, Prathmesh Mengane, Database and CMS Developer, whose dogged assistance made this upgrade possible.

~Shalimar Abigail Fojas White, Manager, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Chapter Listserv Maintenance Scheduled for Friday, October 10th

UPDATE: As of 5:00 pm on October 15, 2014, the chapter listserv maintenance is complete.

The DC-MD-VA subscriber list was migrated to the new listname, so subscribers need not register anew unless the recipient’s email address needs to be changed.

Please note that the old listserv address is unavailable and does not feature automatic redirection; be sure to update your address book to include the new listserv address ( For further information about subscription instructions and options, consult the chapter listserv page.

Tessa Brawley Barker and Roger Lawson, Moderators
ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic Chapter


In order to effect the reconfiguration of the chapter listserv under its new name (ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic), the service will be operating intermittently between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm EDT on Friday, October 10. We expect that the list will be available again by Monday, October 13.

Please note that the new listserv address is

Tessa Brawley Barker and Roger Lawson, Moderators
ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic Chapter

New Finding Aids and Inventories from Dumbarton Oaks ICFA

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA)  at Dumbarton Oaks is pleased to announce the publication of several new finding aids. Check under the “Finding Aids” field in the following collection-level records in our online inventory, AtoM@DO:

Additionally, ICFA has created preliminary inventories for:

These collections document various fieldwork and research projects, primarily relating to Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and architecture, but also related to prehistoric sites in eastern Turkey and gardens in the United Kingdom. They range from the detailed architectural survey of Hagia Sophia conducted by Robert Van Nice and his fieldwork assistants between 1937 and 1980s; the documentation of architectural capitals in the city of Istanbul by William Betsch for his dissertation; the photographic and fineline drawing documentation of Moche art created and assembled by Christopher Donnan and Donna McClelland; and correspondence detailing the financial support provided by Mildred and Robert Bliss to scholarly publications and archaeological expeditions undertaken by Kirsopp and Silva Lake. Additionally, other collections illustrate Dumbarton Oaks’ early fellowship and institutional projects starting in the early 1940s, including systematic efforts to document Early Christian and Byzantine monuments, manuscripts, and silver objects. There are also photo albums detailing Donald Egbert and Andrew Keck’s 1937 travels in Europe and the Middle East, as well as Franklin Biebel’s efforts to document mosaic pavements in Byzantium and the West.

The Moche Sacrifice Ceremony depicted on a bottle in the Museo Larco, Lima. Photography by Christopher B. Donnan. Rollout drawing by Donna McClelland (448)

The Moche Sacrifice Ceremony depicted on a bottle in the Museo Larco, Lima. Photography by Christopher B. Donnan. Rollout drawing by Donna McClelland (448).

Since our last announcement of published finding aids in April 2013, ICFA staff has continued to work on processing our collections and providing detailed information in our finding aids, in order to make our holdings more accessible to our users. As collections are processed, we develop finding aids to describe them more thoroughly and at more granular levels in the archival hierarchy. In the interim, collection-level descriptions in AtoM@DO and preliminary inventories serve to provide researchers with summary information about unprocessed collections.

ICFA’s finding aids and inventories are available as PDFs linked from the collection-level records in AtoM@DO. To learn more about the collections they describe as well as the wonderful work of ICFA’s dedicated interns and part-time staff, please check out our blog: In the coming months, ICFA will move forward with converting our long-form finding aids to hierarchical multi-level descriptive records in AtoM@DO. We will also continue to finalize other processing projects and finding aids for additional collections… So, stay tuned!

~Shalimar Abigail Fojas White, Manager, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

New Search Tool for Archival Collections at Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks’ Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) announces the public launch of its online inventory, AtoM@DO ( A searchable database of Dumbarton Oaks’ archival collections, AtoM@DO brings together the holdings of ICFA and a selection of the Dumbarton Oaks Archives (DOA) into a single virtual space, enabling discovery of related materials across the institution.


Instead of searching collections one-by-one by means of individual PDF finding aids or collection guides, AtoM@DO enables users to search across all holdings — either by keyword or through browsing the various menu options: Names, Places, Subjects. Search results are presented within the context of their collection, making it easier for users to learn more about the materials they have found and discover other relevant resources.


AtoM@DO is a local implementation of the open-source archival collection management system, ICA-AtoM, which is based on standards developed and promulgated by the International Council on Archives (ICA) with initial funding from UNESCO. You can find more information about the system and the standards ICFA employed, under the Quick links menu in the upper right-hand corner of AtoM@DO.


Find a link to the system along with a list of common FAQs on the AtoM@DO Help page on the ICFA website. This same page is accessible from anywhere within the system by clicking the Help link under the Quick links menu in the upper right-hand corner of AtoM@DO. Users can also contact the system administrator directly, ICFA Metadata and Cataloging Specialist , Anne-Marie Viola (


Over the course of the year, ICFA plans to enhance description of its collections within AtoM@DO, including expanding on collection-level records and adding digital objects for portions of ICFA’s photograph collections, which comprise more than half a million images. In doing so, ICFA will virtually reunite the fieldwork photography used to seed the reference collection with the archival collections from which they originated. The database is a work-in-progress and new functionality and content will be added based on a prioritized list developed by the department.

Note: Traditional  long-form finding aids for archival collections continue to be maintained on their respective pages: ICFA’s Byzantine Archival Collections and DOA’s Historical Papers.

Many thanks,

New Online Exhibit from Dumbarton Oaks ICFA: “A Truthful Record: The Byzantine Institute Films”

DO-ICFA_filmstill_iskender The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at Dumbarton Oaks presents a new online exhibit entitled A Truthful Record: The Byzantine Institute Films: This exhibit aims to reveal the context of the films created by the Byzantine Institute between the 1930s and 1940s by combining them with archival records from the collection The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers.

A Truthful Record features thirteen motion picture films from the Byzantine Institute, which are stored and preserved at ICFA: one of the Red Sea Monasteries in Egypt, eleven of the Hagia Sophia, and one of the Kariye Camii, both in Istanbul, Turkey. The color films created by the Byzantine Institute’s photographer Pierre Iskender provide significant testimony of the mosaics at Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii and the techniques employed to uncover and conserve them. When combined with notebook entries written by Byzantine Institute fieldworkers such as Ernest Hawkins and the brothers Richard and William Gregory, the history of the films’ creation truly comes alive. Thomas Whittemore, who founded the Byzantine Institute in 1930, made wide use of the moving images, screening them for donors and patrons (such as Robert Woods and Mildred Bliss), the Byzantine scholarly community, and an interested general audience in the United States and Europe. The exhibit is divided into three sections that investigate how the films were made and how they were received by contemporary audiences: Style and Content, Technique, and Purpose and Reception. You can also explore the archival materials chronologically using a detailed Timeline.DO-ICFA_filmstill_whittemore

This online exhibit was created by Fani Gargova, ICFA Byzantine Research Associate. The ICFA team would like to give special thanks to the Dumbarton Oaks Publications Department for their generous assistance and support throughout this project. For more information about ICFA’s Moving Image Collection, please see our website or Vimeo album.

~Shalimar Fojas White, Manager, Image Collection and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Smithsonian AA/PG Library Annual Art, History, & Biography Book Sale

December 4th, 5th and 6th
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

AA/PG Library, Victor Building
750 9th Street NW, Suite 2100

Right in time for the holidays! Open to all.

Thousands of books, catalogs, and magazines to choose from at prices that cannot be beat—half of the lowest comparable online price! Titles featuring art from all periods, history, biography, and more.

~Anne Evenhaugen, Reference Librarian, Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library

Archives of American Art Symposium on American Art History and Digital Scholarship

Please join us on November 15, 2013 for the symposium American Art History and Digital Scholarship: New Avenues for Exploration organized by the Archives of American Art and generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The purpose of the symposium is to convene scholars, curators, archivists, librarians, graduate students, technical experts, and the public to consider American art history in a digital world.  We will examine ways to integrate digital tools and/or resources into the study of American art and to encourage collaboration.

To register online or see the day’s schedule, see our website.

~Bettina C. Smith, Librarian, Digital Projects, Archives of American Art

Chapter Mentoring Program Update

The first year of the ARLIS/NA DC-MD-VA chapter mentoring program has gotten off to a great start! The inaugural participants include the following nine mentor/mentee pairings (mentors are listed first):

John Hagood and Julia Murphy

Molli Kuenstner and Kerry Huller

Shalimar White and Dan Moore

Sarah Osborne Bender and Oksana Prokhvacheva

Kim Lesley and Lisa Bonaparte

Jacqueline Protka and Angela Forest

Julia Wisniewski and Tamara Pilko

Leila Prasertwaitaya and Michelle Strizever

Doug Litts and Adam Robinson

Thanks to all the participants for making this first year of the mentoring program a success! Participants are welcome to write about their experiences on the chapter blog (email submissions to Tessa Brawley-Barker) and are invited to the upcoming chapter meeting on Friday, October 11, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (see for the schedule).

Digitization of the Kress Collection of Historic Images

Fig. 1 Alesso di Benozzo Gozzoli, The Deposition of Christ, c.1500, Philbrook Museum of Art, photo: Murray Keyes, 12/8/1937.

Fig. 1 Alesso di Benozzo Gozzoli, The Deposition of Christ, c.1500, Philbrook Museum of Art, photo: Murray Keyes, 12/8/1937.

The National Gallery of Art, and specifically the Library’s Department of Image Collections (DLI), has long enjoyed the generosity of Samuel H. Kress and his Foundation. This department’s photographic archive, now one of the largest art historical photo collections in the world, was established by the foundation in 1970 and of course, the Gallery itself was shaped by Kress’s seminal gifts, beginning in 1939. While the majority of his collection went to the National Gallery, Kress also donated European art to 90 institutions in 33 states, making art accessible to areas formerly without such cultural resources.

After the dissemination of the collection (completed in 1961), the Kress Foundation continued to serve as a repository for many archival and photographic materials pertaining to the Kress Collection. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Foundation donated its sizable holdings of photographs and negatives of the collection to DLI for preservation and reproduction, if needed. These negatives were made by various photographers between c.1910 and 1969 and represent objects from the Kress gift (not including the Dreyfus medals and bronzes). Among the photographers represented are Foto Reali, Murray Keyes (fig. 1), Alfred Martin, Siegfried Colten, Paul Kiehart (fig. 2), the NGA and Bullaty-Lomeo. They document the objects in various views and states of conservation and occasionally include infrared images and x-rays. For decades these materials have been consulted by art historians and have been an important resource for documentation of the physical history of these objects.

Recently, the National Gallery became concerned that these 5,600 historic negatives of the Kress Collection were beginning to degrade so we began to explore option for scanning.  In 2008, the department received a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to digitize and mount the images on the Image Collection’s website for public access. This Kress project complements the department’s 2000-2006 Foto Reali digitization project undertaken with the assistance of ARTstor. The Foto Reali glass negatives scanned by ARTstor include 612 Kress objects and the associated records served as a springboard for the Kress project.

Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere, Portrait of a Youth, National Gallery of Art, photo: Paul Keihart, 4/1/1954.

Fig. 2 Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere, Portrait of a Youth, National Gallery of Art, photo: Paul Keihart, 4/1/1954.

During the scanning, the size of the project grew with additional gifts to the department and continued reconsideration of the project’s scope. The NGA’s Department of Imaging and Visual Services transferred negatives of non-NGA objects to DLI which contained 49 negatives of Kress objects photographed by NGA photographer Henry Beville in 1944-1946; these negatives were added to the project. Similarly, the Kress Foundation facilitated the donation of 844 color lantern slides made in the 1940s, largely by Louis Werner, which had already been scanned by the Institute of Fine Arts. These images were also added to the project.

In order to make the project as all-inclusive as possible, we decided to survey DLI’s extensive photographic archive for additional images not represented in the negatives. As a result, 1,800 new images were added. Among the many photographers represented by the photos are Alinari, Anderson, Brogi, A.C. Cooper, Villani and Archivo Mas.  Also scanned were 217 oversized sepia-toned carbon prints by Vittorio Jacquier made in 1930 or 1931 (fig 3). Many of the Jacquier prints are annotated with opinions solicited by Kress from scholars in the 1930s such as Lionello Venturi, Roberto Longhi, Wilhelm Suida, and Giuseppe Fiocco. We scanned these and other signed opinions (including a few by Bernard Berenson) from the collection.  The combination of the negatives, photographs, lantern slides and other related materials document the history of each object in ways not seen elsewhere.

Fig. 3 Italian (Veneto), 15th century, Saint Michael, c.1450, University of Arizona, Museum of Art, photo: Vittorio Jacquier, 1930/1.

Fig. 3 Italian (Veneto), 15th century, Saint Michael, c.1450, University of Arizona, Museum of Art, photo: Vittorio Jacquier, 1930/1.

The DLI Kress Collection also includes photographs and negatives of some objects considered for purchase, but returned to the dealer (called “Off Inventory” in the Kress Foundation records). In many cases the date of purchase and return was found through the files of the Kress Foundation Archives in New York and the National Gallery Archives. Occasionally documentation also exists describing why the objects were not kept; most notable are those by Alan Burroughs who made x-rays accompanied by comment sheets for Kress. Burroughs is considered to be one of the earliest scholars to use x-rays as an attribution tool.

Also found in this collection are images of works on paper from the Kress’s collection not published in the 1964 -1977 catalogues sponsored by the Kress Foundation. These include twenty drawings by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta donated to the Pierpont Morgan Library and seven prints by Albrecht Dürer formerly in the collection of Mrs. Rush Kress. Other objects formerly in Mrs. Kress’s collection (and many still with the family) are also found in the DLI group.

Additionally, the collection includes decorative arts and furniture that adorned the Kress apartment.  Many are now lost, but can be seen in the 68 images of the Kress apartment (1020 Fifth Ave. New York, NY) previously mounted in the Image Collection’s website (fig. 4).  Two hundred and eighty five objects shown in these photographs have been identified and their records linked to the apartment images. These identifications, and the knowledge of when Kress donated them, made it possible to date the apartment photographs within a few years.

Fig. 4 Samuel H. Kress apartment, Entrance Hall, 1938/40.

Fig. 4 Samuel H. Kress apartment, Entrance Hall, 1938/40.

In addition to conducting attribution research, cataloguing, and scanning the images, we completely rehoused the Kress Negative Collection. We separated the film and glass negatives, rehoused them in better fitting boxes, and packed the film in Mylar bags for cold storage. These measures will preserve this collection for researchers, who can also consult the collection through the DLI website (

Melissa Beck Lemke, Image Specialist for Italian Art, National Gallery of Art Library

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