New Hours at PAFA Archives

PAFA’s Archives announces new public hours beginning May 6, 2019. Please Note: While the Archival Research Room is open to the public; individuals wishing to review records need to schedule an appointment in advance of their arrival. Appointments are required, due to limited seating capacity and staff.

Monday-Wednesday: Closed
Thursday-Friday: 10am-4:30pm 

Don’t forget to visit PAFA’s Digital Archives for additional online resources.

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.

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's Digital Archives

With the generous support of the Institue of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), PAFA is now able to provide users access to our rich collections of digitized archival records. We are constantly adding to our digital collections, so keep checking back for updates and to browse new materials on PAFA's Digital Archives.

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.