Friday, September 18, 2015

ICFA Oral History Initiative

ICFA Oral History Initiative
Dumbarton Oaks Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives

The aim of this initiative is to speak directly with individuals who participated in key fieldwork projects or who have managed ICFA’s collections over the years. By recording verbal accounts straight from collection “protagonists” themselves, ICFA seeks to enhance its own—and, by extension, its researchers’—understanding of its many resources. 

The ICFA Oral History Initiative is distinct from, but related to, the Oral History Project administered by the Dumbarton Oaks Archives (DOA). Whereas the DOA seeks to gather Dumbarton Oaks affiliates’ memories of the institution and their perceptions of how it has changed over time, ICFA asks more targeted questions about the past fieldwork projects represented in its collections.

Photographs and documents can tell you a great deal, but people can tell you a great deal more. Oral histories—stories spoken aloud—are presented to the hearer as preformed (and performed) narratives that can, at times, provide bits and pieces of context not evident from archival materials themselves. These conversations, then, should be regarded as invaluable supplements to other archival materials—as the hearer’s guide to reading between the lines of the “paper trail” that is an archive. 

Hear Their Stories...

Link to Ercüment Atabay's ICFA Oral History Interview
 Link to Susan Boyd Link to Robin Sinclair Cormack
Christopher DonnanLink to Semavi EyiceHerbert KesslerHenry Maguire
Link to Natalia TeteriatnikovSarah UnderwoodLink to Robert L. Van Nice, Jr.

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