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Prints Department Records

Identifier: PRI

Scope and Contents

Material consists of Bye's correspondence from 1922 to 1928 in forming the Print Room, which was the forerunner of the Department; and that of Elizabeth Pearson who was an Assistant in the Prints Department from 1927 to 1932. Correspondence of Penrose, Zigrosser, and McNulty is also included, and makes up the majority of the collection.


  • 1922-1984


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Prints Department Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Biographical / Historical

The Department was initiated in 1923 under Arthur Edwin Bye, curator of Paintings. In 1930 Boies Penrose became the first curator of Prints, and in 1941 Carl Zigrosser succeeded him. Kneeland McNulty took over in 1963 after Zigrosser retired. McNulty served as assistant curator from 1952 until 1961, and associate curator from 1961 to 1964. He retired in 1980. The files from 1952 through 1963 were a combined effort upon the parts of these two curators, hence almost impossible to separate.


15.5 linear feet (31 document cases)


This collection contains correspondence and research from the Prints Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by Alice Lefton in 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation. Additional processing and description was done by Cecilia Figliuolo in 2017.



Guide to the Prints Department Records
Finding aid prepared by Alice Lefton (2007) and revised by Cecilia Figliuolo (2017)
2007, 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States