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Dumbarton Oaks’ Oral History Initiative

18 September 2015

Earlier this year, the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) of Dumbarton Oaks announced the launch of the ICFA Oral History Initiative (, a project that began in 2011 with the support of the Dumbarton Oaks Archives (DOA) Oral History Project. This fall, ICFA has added four (4) additional interviews, which complement three (3) of ICFA’s archival collections.

In December 2014, ICFA interviewed Henry Maguire and discussed his fieldwork campaigns in Poreč with Ann Terry, as well as his development as a scholar in Byzantine art. This interview complements the Henry Maguire and Ann Terry Poreč Archive, 1990s-2000s, which ICFA acquired between 2012 and 2013. Also during this time, ICFA interviewed Sarah Underwood, daughter of Paul Underwood, in relation with the Paul Underwood Research Papers and Project Materials on the Reconstruction of the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, ca. 1936-1950s. In her interview, Sarah Underwood recalls her experiences in Turkey and at Dumbarton Oaks from the early 1950s to the late 1960s, when her father was the Field Director for the Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks fieldwork projects.

Additionally, ICFA has added its first Pre-Columbian oral history. During a visit to Washington, D.C., ICFA had the opportunity to interview Christopher Donnan and discussed his early interest in archaeology and Moche art, his education and career trajectory, and the development of the Moche Archive. Donnan’s interview greatly complements the Christopher B. Donnan and Donna McClelland Moche Archive, 1963-2011, a collection that has reached more than 1,000 page views on AtoM@DO since the publication of the finding aid. Last but not the least, ICFA conducted an interview with Herbert Kessler, who held various posts while at Dumbarton Oaks between 1960s and 1980s. In his oral history, Kessler discusses his memories of Dumbarton Oaks affiliates and the Photograph Collection and its management during the early 1960s and the 1980s.

See ICFA’s departmental blog:

Reblogged from ARLIS/NA List [ARLIS-L@LSV.ARLISNA.ORG]; on behalf of; Shalimar Abigail Fojas White [shalimarwhite@GMAIL.COM]

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