Dumbarton Oaks Website

Project Type:
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
Washington D.C.

Providing rich content and research tools for scholars while welcoming visitors and supporting staff

Dumbarton Oaks Website

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, in Washington, DC, is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting international scholarship in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications. Located in Georgetown and bequeathed by Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks welcomes scholars to consult its books, images, and objects, and the public to visit its garden, museum, and music room for lectures and concerts.

Dumbarton Oaks chose Jazkarta for an extensive project that started with replacing their outdated, static HTML website with the Plone content management system. We migrated hundreds of pages to Plone using Funnelweb and then added specialized content types to make their unique collections of Byzantine Seals and Rare Books available to researchers around the world. All content is geocoded and has extensive metadata, making it possible to create rich displays of dynamic content collections on maps (using the Maps package) or in faceted search (using eea.facetednavigation). A private intranet area for faculty and staff supports internal communications. Our design partners Might & Main created a beautiful new design for the site reflecting the many facets of the institution, which we applied to the site using Plone's built in Diazo theming.

As part of the project, Dumbarton Oaks funded the development of a new open source Plone add on for online exhibits: collective.exhibit. It provides content types and navigation for creating multi-section exhibits from content items that are already on a site. For Dumbarton Oaks, this includes rare books, Byzantine seals, and images, but the package can be configured to use the content types on any Plone site. We also created collective.zoomit for panning and zooming large images and collective.timelines for making timelines out of Plone content.

For more information see our blog post on theming the site and our presentation on collective.exhibit.