January 21, 2022

Andy Warhol Photography Archives (Over 130,000 Images) Now Publicly Available via a Cantor Center and Stanford University Library Collaboration

From Stanford University:

Now available through the Stanford Libraries’ SearchWorks catalogSpotlight gallery, and the Cantor’s website, this archive – of 3,600 contact sheets and 130,000 images – provides a unique ability to view the world through the lens of Warhol’s 35mm camera, which he took with him everywhere he went during the last decade of his life. The collection, which is the most complete collection of the artist’s black-and-white photography ever made available to the public was acquired by the Cantor from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. in 2014.

“The Warhol contact sheets project is a wonderful example of how the university’s libraries and the Cantor Arts Center can work together to benefit research and teaching,” said Mimi Calter, Stanford’s deputy university librarian. “Making scholarly content widely available for deeper exploration and investigation while securing perpetual online access is at the very core of what we do.”

The Cantor’s digitization effort was led by project archivist Amy DiPasquale, who has spent the last two-and-a-half years cataloging the collection.


“This remarkable archive will be available to researchers, academics and Warhol fans all over the world,” said Susan Dackerman, John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center. “Stanford University’s commitment to making this material available will advance scholarship on Warhol’s less-studied photographic work and will contribute to a deeper understanding of the role photography played in the artist’s development.”

The contact sheets – printed thumbnails from a roll of film – document the last 10 years of Warhol’s life.

In order to make the archive useful for researchers and the public, DiPasquale worked to compile as much descriptive information as possible for each contact sheet. “Warhol and his colleagues didn’t always record where they were when they took the photos,” she explained. For the past two years, DiPascquale has retraced the artist’s steps through 1980s New York to figure out the who, what, where and when of each image . “I tried to match up what I was seeing on the contact sheets with the business trips and social events in the Andy Warhol diaries, as well as with contemporaneous newspaper accounts,” DiPasquale said.

The collection was acquired by the Cantor with the help of Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Peggy Phelan, Ann O’Day Maples Professor in the Arts, professor of theater and performance studies and English in the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Denning Family Director of the Stanford Arts Institute. An exhibition based on the collection, Contact Warhol: Photography Without End, is on view at the Cantor through Jan. 6, 2019.

With the cataloging complete, the contact sheets were deposited into the Stanford Digital Repository managed by the Libraries, which provides continuous online access and displays the contact sheets across three Stanford University sites.

Each site provides a slightly different functionality, allowing visitors to explore the images in different ways:

  • To search and zoom in on the contact sheets, visit the Stanford Libraries’ SearchWorks catalogs and the Libraries’ Spotlight
  • To see both contact sheets and enlarged views of all 130,000 negatives, visit the Cantor’s website.
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.