Press Release

PAFA Receives Grant For Historic Archives

PAFA Receives Grant For Historic Archives

Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will allow PAFA
to digitize, catalog, and re-house PAFA's Annual Exhibition photographs

 
PHILADELPHIA (November 11, 2016) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services' (IMLS) Museums for America program to digitize, catalog, re-house, and provide online access to its historic Annual Exhibition photograph collection.

Starting in 1811 until the final exhibition in 1969, PAFA's historic Annual Exhibitions brought more than 100,000 works of art to Philadelphia audiences. The PAFA archives are home to a unique collection of photographs that document both original works exhibited as well as installation photographs from as early as 1877.

This one-year project represents the PAFA archives' inaugural efforts to digitize and provide online access to its collections. The award will not only fund the purchase of necessary equipment, but also hire and train project employees to assist in the digitization and cataloging of at least 2,000 photographs.

Anna Marley, PAFA's Curator of Historical American Art and Director of the Center for the Study of the American Artist, states, "the collection provides an unparalleled resource for the study of 19th- and 20th-century American art, salon-style exhibition design, and provenance research for art works."

PAFA's new Center for the Study of the American Artist supports the museum's mission to collect, conserve, exhibit, and interpret works of art. The Center is also the new home of PAFA's Arcadia Fine Arts Library and the Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives. Open to students, faculty, scholars, and the public, the Center is dedicated to the promotion, dissemination, and study of American art and art history.

"We couldn't be more pleased that the Institute of Museum and Library Services is supporting our efforts to make our archival collections more accessible, and to plan and implement a formal digitization program that is both sustainable and efficient for years to come," said Hoang Tran, Director of the Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives. "Not only will the grant help PAFA to enhance the preservation of and access to its collection, but it also ensures we continue to fulfill our mission to be responsible collection stewards."

Other noteworthy additions in the first year of the project include developing a cataloging manual as well as updating policies, standards, and guidelines for digitization. At the end of the project, the archives will be able to provide free online access to the digitized materials, increasing its ability to better serve scholars, students and the community at large.

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About PAFA
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Arts, PAFA is a recognized leader in fine arts education with a world-class permanent collection of American art.

About IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. Visit www.imls.gov for more.
Last Updated
November 14, 2016 - 11:14 AM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.