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COLLECTION Identifier: MS.BZ.020

Corpus of early Christian and Byzantine silver

Scope and Contents

The collection documents approximately 1,500 Byzantine silver vessels and utensils produced for liturgical and domestic use between 300 and 1453 CE within the geographical boundaries of the Roman and Byzantine empires (as known, ca. 1985). Silver vessels from Western Europe through the seventh century and Veneto-Byzantine silver are included; Sassanian silver, coins, jewelry, armor, icon frames, settings, and ingots are excluded.

Mounted photographs of objects correspond to entries in the Silver Corpus Catalog. Each individual object entry includes a description with dimensions and weights provided by published sources and by the holding institutions. An accompanying card catalog serves as an index to the objects; reference cards record bibliography, locations, hoard codes, inscriptions, and object types.


  • 1981-1986


Conditions Governing Access

An appointment is required to consult the collection. Please submit appointment requests here: A draft inventory is available here: For research queries, contact the staff of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (

Conditions Governing Use

Photographs are for research and study purposes only.


24 linear feet (45 boxes containing around 4,000 photographs; 10 binders of documents; 4 boxes of reference cards)

Biographical / Historical

The Silver Corpus was started in 1981 by staff of the Byzantine Photograph Collection (an earlier iteration of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives). It was completed between 1984-1986, with aid of grant funds from the J. Paul Getty Trust. Staff who worked on the project were Charlotte Kroll Burk, photograph archivist; William Diebold, Silver Corpus cataloger (1981); and Erin Loftus, Silver Corpus cataloger (1984-86).


Photographs and binders for the Silver Corpus Catalog are arranged by geographic location and institution. Reference cards are organized by subject (bibliography, locations, hoard codes, inscriptions, and object types) and arranged alphabetically within each grouping.


Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Corpus of early Christian and Byzantine silver, 1981-1986 : Finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Dumbarton Oaks Repository

With more than a million unique and historical items, archival collections in ICFA represent the three areas of study supported by Dumbarton Oaks: Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape. Collections are generally comprised of administrative records, fieldwork papers, photographic prints, negatives, slides, oversize drawings, and moving images. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 9:30am-12pm and 1-4:40pm (excpet Federal Holidays).

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