The Dorothy & Kenneth Woodcock Archives serves as the Museum’s institutional memory and documents the key activities of our directors, curators, and all other departments involved in programs and operations since our founding in 1805. Our collections also include the personal papers and manuscript collections of people related to the Museum as well as private archives and papers of artists, galleries, and art historians.

An essential resource for scholars, students, curators, conservators, writers, journalists, artists, and Museum staff, the Archives plays a crucial role in fulfilling PAFA’s mission as an educational institution.

  • Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Closed Federal Holidays. Hours are subject to change.)
  • All visits to the Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives at PAFA are by appointment only, and must be made by emailing a request to
  • Appointments should be scheduled 1-2 weeks in advance.
  • Researchers must provide a description of their research project with their appointment request.

Please review our Service and Fee Schedule.


Please visit PAFA's all new Digital Archives. The online resource will be a portal that provides access to our rich collections of digitized archival photographic images, memorabilia, and historical records. The first fully digitized collection is the Annual Exhibition photographs. 


Scope of the Archival Collection

  • Minutes of the board and its committees; information on founders, board members, stockholders, and the Pennsylvania Academicians.

  • Annual Reports, Charter, by laws, legal papers, and financial reports.
  • Office files of the administrators, curators, deans.
  • Clipping files, scrapbooks, and press releases.
  • Student records; school catalogues; faculty minutes; information on faculty.
  • Exhibition catalogues and records of PAFA's exhibitions from 1807 to the present.
  • Photos of exhibitions, school activities, events, buildings, artists, and administrators.
  • Manuscripts, correspondence and personal papers of artists, collectors, and art organizations.

PAFA Records in the Archives of American Art:

A branch of the Smithsonian Institution, the Archives of American Art (AAA) preserves documents in American art history, and makes them available to researchers. AAA has most of PAFA's older records and publications available on microfilm. These materials are available at the AAA offices in Washington, D.C. and New York, as well as at several other major libraries, including the Free Library of Philadelphia, located within walking distance of PAFA.

Researchers may order microfilm through the Interlibrary Loan system from the AAA's Washington, D.C. office.