January 20, 2022

Archives of American Art and Terra Foundation Announce Partnership for Increased Digital Access to the Archives’ Extensive Collection

From the Smithsonian:

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and the Chicago-based Terra Foundation for American Art announced a long-term partnership to support the digitization of the Archives’ collections. The Terra Foundation has made a $4.5 million commitment to the Archives, $4 million of which is a challenge grant to be matched by the Smithsonian, to seed an endowment for ongoing digitization. The remaining $500,000 provides operating support for the current digitization program.

The Archives of American Art holds nearly 6,000 collections of archival material on the artists, collectors, dealers and scholars who have shaped the history of art in America. Its oral history program, containing interviews with important artists ranging from Charles Burchfield to Kehinde Wiley, has preserved the voices and personal stories of nearly 2,300 art world luminaries since 1958. Transcripts for many of these are available on the Archives’ website.


Since the inception of its digitization program in 2004, with support from the Terra Foundation, the Archives has created more than 2 million digital images that together represent full online access to more than 160 of its most important collections, including the papers of art world luminaries such as Milton Avery, Joseph Cornell, Lee Krasner, Horace Pippin, Jackson Pollock and Grant Wood among many others. As the program has grown, visitation to the Archives’ ever-expanding collections has increased from about 2,000 users a year via its reading rooms and interlibrary loan program for its microfilm to more than 500,000 users a year, with the vast majority visiting online.


The Archives [currently] makes more than 2 million digital images freely available online. The oral history collection includes more than 2,200 audio interviews, the largest accumulation of in-depth, first-person accounts of the American art world.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Research Resources/Digital Collections From the Archives of American Art

Direct to Image/Media Gallery Search

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.