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Beyond the Galleries

Somerville Research Facility

200 Inner Belt Road 
Somerville, MA 02143
Monday to Friday, 10am–5pm

The Somerville Research Facility is a hub for creativity and inquiry. It supports the Harvard Art Museums’ teaching and research mission and provides access to art and archival collections. It is home to the Harvard Art Museums Archives, the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, the Communications Division, and the Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources.

Collections Management
Class and individual appointments to view objects from the collections can be held in one of three art study rooms. Appointments are required and can be requested through the Art Study Center page on the museums’ website.

Archaeological Exploration of Sardis
Since its founding in 1958 by Harvard and Cornell Universities, the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis has excavated, conserved, and published on aspects of the ancient city of Sardis in western Turkey from prehistoric through Islamic periods. Photographs, slides, drawings, plans, maps, reports, field books, and other documents of the exca- vations are housed here at the administrative headquarters of the project, where they are used to support research and publication. To learn more about nearly 60 years of discovery, visit

Contact: or 617-495-3940.

Harvard Art Museums Archives
The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums. Collections date from 1895 to the present, and include papers of individuals and groups associated with the history of the museums, records of past exhibitions, architectural plans, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia.

Open by appointment only. A minimum of three weeks notice is requested when scheduling a visit.

Contact: or 617-495-2384.

Communications Division
The Communications Division develops and produces all digital and print materials for the museums, including the website, video content, gallery text, and catalogues and other books. The division also oversees media relations, public relations, marketing, advertising, and social media efforts.

Contact: or 617-495-1075.

Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources (DIVR)
Digital Imaging and Visual Resources creates photographic records of objects in the collections, which are then made available on the museums’ website and used for publications and other projects. DIVR also grants rights and permissions for the publication of the collections by outside institutions.

Image requests can be made via the website or by calling 617-495-8211.

Getting Here
By car: There is abundant free parking onsite. Drive to the end of Inner Belt Road; the large, four-story brick building on the left is your destination. As you approach the building, bear right and drive along the road running parallel to the building. You will drive past the main entrance on your way toward the parking lot, located at the rear of the building. Park in any of the sections marked “Harvard.”

By public transport: The closest subway station is the East Somerville station on the MBTA’s Green Line. Sullivan Square station on the Orange Line is also nearby. The Somerville Research Facility is approximately one mile from Sullivan Square. Several bus routes, including the 86 and CT2, also have stops near Inner Belt Road. Visit for further details.

Upon arrival
Once you arrive, press the buzzer to the right of the main entrance. Check in with the first floor security attendant, who will direct you to our location on the second floor. Upon exiting the elevator, turn left and follow the hallway around to the glass door. Our security team will be just through that door to greet you; please be prepared to show a photo ID at check-in.