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Welcome to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

What's the best way to get started?

  • Start searching here by keyword or browse the collections on the right
  • Review our guide on how to use the archives
  • Consult our guide on researching the museum
  • Visit our webpage for more information
  • Consult with an archivist by emailing archives@philamuseum.org
  • If you know what you would like to see, please fill out this form to schedule a research appointment

About the Archives

The Archives documents the key activities of the museum, our directors, curators, and all other departments involved in programs and operations since our founding in 1876. Our collections also include the personal papers and manuscript collections of people related to the museum, which helps us tell the story of the institution and its collections.

The Archives holds a variety of materials, including institutional and directors’ records, personal papers, and ephemera that chronicle the history of our institution. We have over 4,200 linear feet of material, from correspondence, photographs, and films, to other audiovisual material, scrapbooks, and artifacts. Some notable collections include the Alexina and Marcel Duchamp Papers, Arensberg Archives, Julien Levy Gallery Records, Fiske Kimball Records, Young-Mallin Archive, and George Grey Barnard Papers.

Using This Site

You can browse our finding aids by navigating to the Collections tab (above) or by scrolling through the list on the right of the page. A finding aid is a descriptive inventory for an archival collection. Typically, it includes information about the origin, history, content, date, format, and organization of the records. You can also use the Subjects, Names, and Records Groups tabs for additional access points. Links to digitized and born digital materials are included when available and can be found in the Digital Materials tab.

Records of the Corporation

Records of the Directors

Records of the Curatorial Departments

Records of the Support Departments

Records of the Schools

Related Institutions and Organizations

Manuscript Collections

Special Format