Collection Policy

The Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock
Archives Collection Policy

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805, is the oldest art museum and school in the United States. The records in its Archives were accumulated as a result of the Academy's two primary activities: collecting, preserving, and exhibiting art, and training artists. An important research facility, the Academy's extensive archives document not only the history of the institution, but the development of the fine arts and art education in America.

The Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives’ holdings primarily consist of institutional documents (papers, files, and publications) created by members of the PAFA community and maintained by the Archives as a record of the Institution’s activity. Our archival collection includes: papers, documents, electronic files, photographs, videos, cassettes, financial records, letters, and personal materials relating to PAFA. Materials in the Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives are housed in secure, temperature-controlled environments.

In order to carry out its mission to acquire materials of enduring value for preservation and access, the Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives collects the following types of records:

  • Non-current records of administration, academic departments and student activities: Records which are no longer of immediate routine use and that document the everyday functions of the Institution.
  • Official publications, including newspapers, newsletters, yearbooks, directories, pamphlets, advertisements, posters, and notices.
  • Blueprints and information about PAFA’s campus and buildings.
  • Clippings and photographs related to PAFA: News accounts, including photography, that record important events at PAFA or are created by PAFA’s communications department.
  • Faculty publications: Books, articles and other published material by faculty who are teaching at the time of the publication.
  • Student theses and dissertations.
  • Photographs, scrapbooks and memorabilia that document the PAFA student experience.
  • Records generated by affiliated organizations.
  • Records of select Philadelphia art organizations.
  • Papers of American artists associated with the Academy or of significance to American Art history.

The Archives acquires material primarily through donation from departments of the Institution and from alumni, students and interested members of the community.

To learn more about contributing materials to the archives, please click here.