The Pre-Columbian program at Dumbarton Oaks was founded in 1963 to support the study of the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas. This research encompasses cultures that thrived in the western hemisphere from northern Mexico to southern South America, from the earliest times to the sixteenth century.
The activities of the Pre-Columbian program include a series of scholarly meetings, ranging from an annual symposium addressing major topics in the field to smaller gatherings focusing on specific problems in the anthropology, archaeology, art history, and history of the ancient Americas. These meetings are augmented by public lectures featuring recent research by scholars in the field of Pre-Columbian studies. An active publications program produces two series, one based on symposium and colloquium papers and a second featuring specialized studies in Pre-Columbian art and archaeology.
Research opportunities in the Pre-Columbian program include residential fellowships, short-term pre-doctoral residencies, one-month research awards, internships, and grants for field research. Scholars in residence have access to the significant holdings of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, as well as the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art and specialized archives.